Living in the digital age means dealing with a whole host of technology-related pains that didn’t exist in previous generations. In the past, we’ve covered how social media could actually cause you to get more plastic surgery. But, it’s not just what’s online that is having a psychological effect on our aesthetic sense; the way we access the internet is also posing a physical threat to the way we look.
In the Yahoo Health feature “With ‘Text Neck’ Comes…Turkey Neck,” beauty writer Grace Gold shines light on a condition that dermatologists and plastic surgeons have aptly nicknamed Text Turkey Neck—sagging jowls and wrinkled necks attributed to obsessive smartphone usage. “With such thin skin on the neck, looking down at your phone constantly can cause collagen and elastin to break down and lead to deep wrinkles and sagging,” explains Stephen S. Park, president of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS).
The increase in Text Turkey Neck, according to the article, is tied to other smartphone-related problems, like chronic pain and Forward Head Posture (FHP), which is associated with headaches, long term muscle strain, pinched nerves and even a 50 percent reduction in endorphin production. All of these issues negatively affect sleep, emotional and physical health, and the body’s ability to naturally handle pain.
But, even with compelling evidence for why smartphone users should give their devices a break, it’s unlikely that even the most image conscious will put down their precious devices for any significant amount of time. Cosmetic doctors advised Gold that basic habits like holding your device at eye-level and always being mindful of your posture can help lessen the aesthetic effects of Text Turkey Neck as well as reduce damage caused by FHP.
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A remedy to help reverse Text Turkey Neck: retinoid creams. In the article, leading New York dermatologist and Charlotte’s Book expert Dr. Joshua Zeichner explains, “Topical retinoid and retinol creams stimulate collagen and keep the skin elastic, and formulas with antioxidants fend off potential damage from other aggressors like UV light exposure, pollution and cigarette smoke, which can also lead to premature skin aging.” Like all essential steps in our beauty regimen, the key to getting results is to be consistent. So, remembering to apply retinoids regularly and wear sunscreen every day is key.
A more high tech solution: Ultherapy. Charlotte’s Book advisor and expert New York Dermatologist Doris Day pointed to this popular new treatment that uses the power of ultrasound to target signs of aging around the neck and jaw. “Ultherapy uses ultrasound energy to heat tissue under the surface of skin, triggering the natural production of collagen to lift and tighten loose necks,” explained Dr. Day.
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Dr. Day added that injectables like Botox can also be used to tighten the appearance of skin around the jawline. And, look out for what could be the next big injectable breakthrough, ATX-101. These deoxycholic acid injections have been shown to permanently reduce small pockets of fat, even proving effective in clinical tests on sagging necks. The new fat targeting injectable is awaiting FDA-approval, which it will almost surely get since it recently received backing from an independent panel to the FDA.