From a tightening cream to a full neck lift, here are seven double-chin blasting options. (Photo: John Akehurst/Trunk Archive)
Want to get rid of your double chin? There have never been more options. Best of all, the majority of treatments don’t require surgery, have little downtime, and can be done at your dermatologist’s office in under 30 minutes. The newest options, Kybella and CoolMini, are providing fat blasting relief for those with “tech neck.” For those with loose skin (lovingly known as waddles) near infrared skin tightening can help. Many doctors like Manhattan dermatologist Macrene Alexiades-Armenakas, MD, are combining two or more treatments for optimal results: “I start with Kybella to get rid of the fat and move to near infrared to tighten.” If you’re ready to make a change, here are the seven best double-chin blasting treatments to try now:
Who it’s best for: Patients with mild to moderate fat under the chin. Patients who are obese or who have a turkey neck that requires a lot of skin tightening should try other options. “Based on my experience, the best candidates are people who have double chins with enough fat that the shape is convex,” explains Alexiades-Armenakas, who was one of the principal investigators in the FDA trial of the just-launched drug.
Procedure: The 20-minute treatment is nonsurgical, but involves dozens of small injections. A doctor creates a grid of dots targeting the fat under the chin and then does multiple injections in one session. “It melts fat so slowly it doesn’t enter the bloodstream,” explains Alexiades-Armenakas. Some patients may experience mild burning or a stinging sensation.
Downtime: Doctors say there is little to no downtime, but some patients may experience some bruising, redness, and swelling that can last up to a week as the fat melts away. After a few weeks, patients will start to see a change.
Maintenance: Patients will need to have three to six treatments, each spaced a month apart.
Cost: $1,200 to $2,000 per treatment. Patients should expect to do two to four treatments.
Who it’s best for: “This is best for someone under 55 with a double chin who has good skin tightness,” explains plastic surgeon Anthony Youn, MD.
Procedure: Just approved by the FDA in September, this is basically CoolSculpting for the neck. The treatment freezes fat, promising a 20 to 25 percent reduction in fat thickness. There are no needles, no surgery, but some discomfort as the fat is frozen and then massaged.
Results: Don’t expect to walk out with a new chin, it will take anywhere from one to three months for your chin to look tighter and the fat to dissipate. Most people only need one treatment.
Cost: $700 to $1,500 per treatment
Who it’s best for: “People with a substantive amount of fat and loss of a mandibular definition,” says Alexiades-Armenakas.
Procedure: The 15 minute treatment both tightens skin and eliminates fat. Expect a little pinching and suctioning sensation that’s mildly uncomfortable.
Downtime: Some patients experience bruising and redness that can last up to 10 days.
Side effects: Expect a waddle that can last up to a week as the fat melts away. The average number of treatments is four. “The chin will continue to tighten for up to six months,” says Alexiades-Armenakas. “By one month patients should see a difference; if not, they shouldn’t move forward with more treatments.”
Cost: Around $500
Near infrared skin tightening
Who it’s best for: Patients who need to tighten loose skin, but don’t need fat reduction. “It doesn’t remove fat; it just tightens skin,” says Alexiades-Armenakas.
Procedure: No needles, no surgery, and no pain. The 10 minute procedure feels like a warm wand being rubbed on your skin. “The infrared light stimulates your own collagen and elastin. I really have gotten the 100 percent response rate.”
Side effects/downtime: None, possibly a small amount of redness that day.
Follow-ups: “You will see a difference starting at two weeks, but it keeps working for up to 6 months,” says Alexiades-Armenakas.
Skin tightening creams
Who it’s best for: Someone who doesn’t want the high cost of a treatment or the pain of a more invasive procedure. Best for those with very mild double chins. It won’t affect a waddle.
Effectiveness: The doctors are split. “It’s like a shrink-wrap for your skin,” says Youn. “They may work in a mild way for a few hours, but you are not talking huge changes. There is no cream that will melt fat away.” Alexiades-Armenakas thinks that the future is actually in topical treatments. “I believe that active ingredients will make all of these procedures obsolete. Peptides do penetrate and tighten tissue.
Cost: Anywhere from $20 up to a few hundred dollars.
Who it’s best for: “If you have a lot of loose skin, the only way to attack it is to do a neck lift.” says Youn. “Typically, for people who are 55 and older, there is no real substitute. If you just remove the fat, the skin will sag afterwards.”
Procedure: A three to four-hour operation under local or general anesthesia where incisions are made to remove fat via liposuction as well as trimming excess skin.
Downtime: The operation leaves patients with significant swelling and bruising. “Recovery takes about two weeks, but bruising can last a few weeks, and swelling can last a few months,” says Youn.
Side effects: “You will have a small amount of scarring underneath the chin and almost completely around both ears.”
Cost: Around $10,000
Who it’s best for: A patient who is younger than 55 and wants fat reduction in areas that aren’t responding to diet and exercise.
Procedure: An incision that is a couple of millimeters wide is made in the chin. A very small tube called a cannula is placed in the chin, and fat is sucked out with a vacuum. The 30-minute operation can be done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia.
Downtime: “There is very little bruising, so it is really a weekend recovery,” says Youn.
Side effects: Patients will need to make peace with a tiny permanent scar underneath the chin.
Cost: Around $4,000