Causes, Prevention, And Treatment
Submental Fat, also known as a double chin, is a common cosmetic problem occurring when a layer of fat is formed beneath your chin. It is usually associated with being overweight. However, some people may have it due to other causes such as genetics and aging.
Figure 1 – Commonly called a double chin, high submental fat can often be due to a recessed lower jaw too as the weakness in the jaw development pulls the soft fat less taut and allows it to sag.
Why Does High Submental Fat (Double Chin) Affect Facial Aesthetic?
Some people are young and slim yet have high submental fat. When you ignore your double chin, it sags and creates wrinkles. People with double chins usually look older than others. In addition, you may have a prominent, chiseled jaw hidden behind your double chin. Attractiveness differs from person to another and some people even love their double chins. However, strong, prominent jaws are a definite sign of beauty.
What Causes High Submental Fat (Double Chin)?
When an extra layer of fat occupies the space under the chin, the double chin appears. It is recommended to understand the causes of high submental fat to be able to get rid of it.
As we age, our skin starts to lose its elasticity. When that happens, the skin loses its ability to hold the fat firmly in the submental space. In addition, the loss of skin elasticity leads to the formation of wrinkles, which contributes to the appearance of a double chin. (1)
Weight gain is usually associated with the appearance of a double chin. The condition worsens if you are already predisposed to the formation of a double chin. Wrong food choices such as high-calorie foods, unhealthy fats, and processed foods can increase your weight and create a double chin. (2)
Some people have double chins because high submental fat runs in their families. If poor skin elasticity or high submental fat runs in your family, you will likely develop one at a certain point in your life. (3)
Continuous bad postures can make the muscles of your neck and chin weaker over time. They contribute to the formation of a double chin, especially if the skin surrounding your neck starts to lose its elasticity and form wrinkles. (4)
How To Prevent High Submental Fat (Double Chin)?
Double Chin Exercises
Exercises burn extra fat, the same thing can be applied to the neck area. More scientific research is required to confirm the efficacy of the double chin exercises to burn submental fat, but people who perform them regularly say that they are effective. Try “Whistle at the ceiling”, “Kiss the sky”, “The ball squeeze”, “The pouting stretch”, Gum chewing”, and “The Lion’s Yawn” exercises. Try each exercise 10 to 15 times per day for the best results. (5, 6)
Healthy food choices and weight loss are recommended for people who have a double chin due to weight gain. Try to reduce the calories you consume per day. The face is one of the first areas where weight loss appears.
In addition, try to drink more water. Studies show that people who drink water before meals and increase their water intake lose weight faster than people who do not. Water, fruits, and vegetables help your body to get rid of toxins that may cause skin inflammations, which can worsen your facial wrinkles including double chin wrinkles. (7)
Several face masks can prevent the appearance of a double chin by enhancing the elasticity of facial skin and toning facial muscles. Glycerin, coffee, green tea, egg whites, honey, and lemon juice masks along with double chin exercises can reduce the fat around the neck and chin significantly. (8, 9, 10)
High-quality moisturizers usually contain vitamins, elements, and extracts such as vitamin C, green tea extracts, and collagen that can tighten and hydrate your skin. Certain facial moisturizers are designed specifically for firming the neck and gives your skin a youthful appearance. (11)
Applicators, Straps, and Mouthpieces
Applicators are applied to the chin and infuse certain substances such as collagen to make the skin more elastic over time. Facial straps are attached to the chin and work on tightening the submental area over time. Mouthpieces help people who perform jaw exercise to burn the submental fat.
Figure 2 – Mesotherapy using Phosphatidylcholine (a) Phosphatidylcholine group: pre-treatment.
(b) Phosphatidylcholine group: posttreatment.
How To Treat High Submental Fat (Double Chin)?
If you tried eating healthy, doing chin exercises, and applying face masks and failed to get rid of your double chin, other treatments are available. Invasive procedures are effective in removing high submental fat without any problems.
Mesotherapy is a technique depending on injecting certain compounds such as phosphatidylcholine and organic silicium into the double chin to dissolve the high submental fat. The doses of these compounds are very small and must be done professionally and correctly to avoid any nerve damages. It is one of the best methods to treat spot fat reduction problems such as double chins, but it can take up to 6 months and may require 100 injections. (12)
Submental liposuction tightens the muscles surrounding your chin to decrease the double chin appearance. It is usually associated with a facelift or chin implant to improve the overall appearance of the entire face, not just a certain area. It depends on removing the fat using suction techniques or lasers. After liposuction, the jawline will be more prominent and defined, the fat around the neck will disappear, and the entire area will be tightened. However, liposuction does not improve skin elasticity.
After the procedure, the patient must wear a head-wrap for a while to tighten the skin under the chin and prevent any swelling or bruising. (13)
If you want to get rid of your double chin as fast as possible, lipolysis treatment maybe your best option. Injection lipolysis depends on injecting a fat-melting solution that can digest the fat beneath the chin. Laser lipolysis melts fat cells using the heat energy produced by lasers.
Side effects such as swelling, bruising, and mild pain are expected, but manageable. (14, 15, 16)
Coolsculpting depends on freezing fat cells instead of melting them. Freezing cells leads to their death and dead cells leave the body naturally leaving the chin, which leads to a more defined jawline and chin. It is usually used when other natural techniques fail to solve the problem since it is the most powerful and expensive. (17, 18)
Figure 3 – A, B, Preoperative photographs. This 18-year-old girl exhibited localized submental lipomatosis preoperatively. For this patient, 2-jaw surgery (mandibular setback and maxillary advancement) was planned. It was believed the neck and chin profile would worsen after mandibular surgery. Therefore, submental fat transfer was added to this patient’s treatment plan. C, D, Fourteen-month postoperative photographs. Note that the neck and chin profile is enhanced owing to submental liposuction (and not worsened after mandibular setback) and the upper lip vermillion exposure is improved owing to fat injection (2 mL of fat was injected into the upper lip during surgery).
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