Chin up?


Things that get bigger in November include turkeys, mustaches and tummies. Whether you’re visiting family out of town or enjoying Thanksgiving in the harsh San Diego weather, overindulgence this time of year seems inevitable - which means ‘tis also the season to sprout a dreaded second chin.

While the battle of the bulge never ends, keep your chin up! There now exist new weapons to use in the fight against submental fullness, otherwise known as a double chin.

“Until recently, the only option available for people with excess fat in this area was liposuction,” says FACES+ dermatologist Dr. Tracy Leong, who offers solutions for staving off such unsightly head-turners. “However, with the introduction of Kybella last year, patients now have a nonsurgical option for permanent removal of their double chins.”


Kybella offers a relatively fast, noninvasive way to get rid of submental fat (aka double chin). The FDA-approved injectable, also known as deoxycholic acid, disrupts fat cells by destroying their membranes, causing the cells to rupture, which allows them to be permanently eliminated from the body. “It typically takes me 10 to 15 minutes to do the injections, and recovery time is usually 5 to 10 days,” says Dr. Leong, who trains other physicians to perform the Kybella procedure. “Common side-effects include swelling and minor bruising.” Results from Kybella treatments occur gradually, and improvement will be seen over the course of several weeks to months. Most patients require two to four treatments spaced at least six weeks apart.


Kybella can be used in conjunction with other procedures to help patients achieve an optimal aesthetic outcome. Depending on your needs, combining Kybella with skin-tightening procedures (such as ThermiRF and Ultherapy) or skin-rejuvenating laser treatments (including like Laser Genesis or Fraxel) may be extremely beneficial.


For people with excessive fat accumulation in the neck and chin area, surgery may be a better option. Heredity, weight gain and natural aging processes can cause fat deposits in these areas. These traits are often resistant to weight loss and exercise. In this case, liposuction involves removing specific areas of fat deposits in the neck and jaw area. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis and takes approximately one hour. In cases where a double chin is associated with a recessed chin, FACES+ cosmetic surgeons can offer non-surgical chin augmentation in addition to a range of surgical options.


Watch your diet and add a few targeted exercises to your workout. Two main muscles, the sternocleidomastoid and platysma, make up the neck. Toning them can help pull the overlaying skin tighter for a younger, healthier look. In addition, adding a topical skin firming cream to your skincare regimen can help improve the appearance of the chin and neck area. For firming up this area, Dr. Leong recommends cosmeceuticals including Revision Nectifirm, Neocutis Micro Firm Rejuvenating Complex and Faces+ Neckletage. “All of these contain peptides and antioxidants that help to hydrate and tighten the skin,” says Dr. Leong.


Tracy Leong, M.D.
Director of Dermatology, FACES+

Fellow, American Academy of Dermatology