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Will Losing Weight Help Turkey Neck?
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Will Losing Weight Help Turkey Neck?

Written by Thalia Oosthuizen | Medically reviewed by Medically reviewed by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Published on 2022 July 14
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6 min

Turkey neck can be a huge issue and not everyone can get a face lift

will losing weight help turkey neck

Are you struggling with how you look because of some unexpected weight gain OR weight loss over the last few months, or even years? Recognizing ourselves in the mirror can be difficult after a fluctuation in weight, especially when that change gathers in our face and neck.

If you’re struggling with this problem, our experts have just the thing for you. Explore all of the reasons why you might have this extra skin around your neck and what you can do to fix it.

What Is a Turkey Neck? Is It the Same as Double Chin?

As the not-very-nice name implies, “turkey neck” is a term used to describe hanging or sagging neck skin. It’s not quite the same as a double chin, and it doesn’t have the same causes. A double chin is a distribution of fat, usually around the jowls and jaw of the face.

This distribution of fat gives you the appearance of having a “second” chin. In contrast, a turkey neck has a lot more to do with skin elasticity, fat, and muscle tightness and its ability to bounce back to where it once was.

People who experience having sagging neck skin are usually older or have experienced significant weight loss in a short period of time. As we age, our skin elasticity isn’t the same as it used to be.

What Does a Turkey Neck Look Like?

While the name might give you some idea, it looks like excess skin that is loosening and wrinkling around your chin and neck. Instead of having a defined jawline and neck area, people with loose neck skin often look like there is a draping of skin connecting their chin directly to the bottom area of their neck.

What Causes a Turkey Neck?

This issue is caused by a number of factors, and all of them primarily affect the skin around your face and neck. Much of these factors have to do with weight gain, rapid weight loss, and aging. Here’s what the experts have to say about the top causes of this loose skin.

#1 Skin elasticity

When we age, our bodies have trouble with collagen production. Collagen is a protein found in the skin that helps with the support and structure of our skin tissue. When we don’t have that same collagen production, we start to see the skin sagging.

#2 Fat distribution

When you gain weight, you inevitably gain weight in your face and neck area. This excess weight causes the skin to stretch over time. When that weight is then lost, sometimes the skin has trouble tightening back to what it once was, causing a loose appearance.

#3 Muscle tightness

As we get older, our muscles naturally lose their tightness. This can cause sagging issues as well. As your neck muscles start to loosen, they have trouble supporting the skin on your neck and head, which can cause it to look as if it’s sagging.

Can Losing Weight Help With a Turkey Neck?

Here’s where the answers get a little complicated. Losing weight can both help and hinder the tightness of your neck skin. If you’ve had a significant amount of weight gain for a long period of time, the skin on your neck might struggle with snapping back to its original position.

When you lose a lot of weight in a short period of time, your skin doesn’t have the time it needs to tighten as the fat distribution is removed from the area around your neck and chin. This is often why people who lose a lot of weight in a very short amount of time end up with excess skin.

However, the more effort you put into losing weight before the elasticity in your skin is stretched out, the easier it will be to have your neck return to its original appearance. As well, losing weight at a healthy pace rather than relying on crash diets will ensure the best effects on your neck skin.

3 Ways to Get Rid of a Turkey Neck Without Surgery

Cosmetic surgical procedures are expensive, risky, and rarely covered by insurance. There’s no reason to undergo surgery to try and get rid of the turkey neck when there are plenty of ways to help the appearance of your skin without it.

#1 Exercises

There are plenty of skin tightening and muscle toning exercises you can do to help with loose skin. These exercises focus entirely on the neck and face area.

One exercise we suggest is sitting up with your back straight. Then, lift your chin in the air so that it’s pointed all the way to the ceiling. Make a chewing motion with your mouth. Repeat this exercise at least twenty times to help with loose neck skin.

Another exercise that really helps with the muscle tone in your neck involves carefully laying on your bed with your head hanging over the side. Slowly and carefully lift your head as much as you can, using your neck muscles. Repeat five times, but cease the exercise if you experience neck pain.

Exercising and staying in shape is a great way to prevent loose fat and skin, to begin with. If you’re having trouble knowing where to start, we suggest an exercise app like Fitter. Fitter is an app that has personalized workout plans, meal service features, and activity trackers.

The Fitter app is good for more than neck exercises, though! It’s great for a whole body workout that can help tone your muscles and keep your skin healthy.

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#2 Skin tightening products

There are plenty of cosmetic products that help with tightening the skin around your neck, especially as you start to age. Loose neck skin can be helped by n-acetyl glucosamine, a naturally occurring glucosamine that is often found in anti-aging creams.

Several studies have found that women who have been consistently using anti-aging cream containing glucosamine were able to reduce the appearance of their saggy skin and tighten their neck skin over a period of several weeks.

#3 Healthy lifestyle habits

One of the best ways to combat sagging skin and ensure firmer skin is to focus on living a healthy lifestyle. This means diet, exercise, and hydration! The last one is particularly important. Dehydration is bad for our skin cells, and a healthy diet f.e a keto diet can ensure good collagen production.

You might also want to limit your time in the sun! Sun exposure can cause all kinds of damage to your skin, including a breakdown of collagen fibers that you need to keep the skin around your neck tight and firm. When you spend too much time in the sun or even in a tanning bed, your skin loses its firmness.

And finally, only drink in moderation. Excess alcohol is a one-way ticket to skin dehydration, as well as losing the vitamin A in your skin, which it needs in order to stay healthy. A glass of wine with dinner is fine, but make sure to keep excess drinking to a minimum.

A Word From Our RD

If you want to prevent saggy neck skin from the get-go, make sure to invest in a good skincare routine, and don’t forget your neck! Any anti-aging products with n-acetyl glucosamine are great for skin tightening and keeping up a youthful appearance.

However, exercise is one of the best ways to invest in skin tightening, especially if you’re dealing with sagging skin as a result of weight loss. When we lose weight, especially a large amount of it, our skin can sometimes struggle to bounce back.

Neck exercises are a great thing to add to your workout regime, even if you’re not looking to combat aging skin or get rid of sagging skin.

Now, there are surgical procedures that can be done to restore your neck to a more youthful appearance, but surgeries like a neck lift can be more dangerous than they are worthwhile. Most cosmetic surgeries aren’t covered by insurance, and out-of-pocket expenses are often astronomical.

Always talk with your doctor if you’re ever considering surgery. There are plenty of other options out there that are safe, natural, and much less painful!

Conclusion

So, can losing weight help with turkey neck? Yes and no. It’s important to maintain a healthy weight if you want to reduce the risk of neck fat stretching out the skin and causing it to have a sagging appearance when you lose weight.

But, it’s also important to focus on slowly losing weight rather than losing it as fast as possible. When you lose weight at a healthy pace, your skin has time to heal and snap back to its original position.

If you’ve already lost the weight and are still struggling with keeping the skin around your neck tight, make sure to try our tips and tricks. A healthy lifestyle and exercise are the way to go when you’re looking to combat the appearance of a loose neck skin.

Written by
Thalia has always wanted to be a writer, starting her first local newspaper at the age of 11. She also has enjoyed a passion for health and fitness since a young age, playing many sports through her schooling career, and still enjoys biking, running, and swimming today. She studied English Language at University for 3 years, developing a passion for spelling, grammar, and research. She now has over 10 years of experience writing, proofreading, and editing, and has paired this with her love for health and fitness by writing health content.
Medically reviewed byRosmy Barrios, MD
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