Nobody likes to see evidence of a double chin – whether catching a sideways glance in a mirror or a less than fortunate selfie angle – and unlike unwelcome fat on any other part of the body, it can be harder to hide with flattering clothing. Even very slim people can be plagued with a double chin, also known as submental fullness.
Men are often more bothered by this feature than women, as a strong, chiselled jawline is seen as an essential component of the masculine ideal. In fact, a recent survey carried out by leading aesthetic company Allergan found that 29% of male respondents had grown a beard to disguise unwelcome fullness in the lower face – and younger men were even more likely to do this.
Causes of a double chin:
“There are several causes for a double chin,” explains Maxine Dornon, an aesthetic practitioner at the Karidis Clinic. “It can be hereditary; you may be prone to storing fat in that area. It can also be due to loss of elasticity of the skin, which causes sagging – ageing causes that, as well as loss of muscle tone. Having a weaker chin or jawline also contributes to the appearance of a double chin.”
- The ageing process: even very slim, toned men can start to see submental fullness appear as they get older. As we age, the skin loses elasticity and under the chin is a common area for skin to start to sag.
- Genetics: you may be genetically disposed to developing this problem if you have a family history of poor skin elasticity.
- Weight gain: when you pile on the pounds, weight often accumulates in stubborn pockets of fat and the chin is one of the prime places.
- Facial imbalance: the appearance of a double chin can be exaggerated by having a recessive chin and weak jawline. A relatively small increase in fatty tissue in the area can then lead to a double chin forming.
- Poor posture: our mania for technology is compounding this problem – if you’re hunched over your phone or craning over your laptop for long periods of time, then this can weaken the muscles in the chin and neck.
What can be done to get rid of a double chin?
This was the question that Men’s Health recently posed for our medical director Mr Alex Karidis. The obvious solution is to hit the gym and lose weight, but Mr Karidis did warn that this won’t always guarantee a chiselled jawline: “Some stubborn areas won’t reduce with exercise and diet. You can even end up losing fat on areas where you actually want it to stay, while the stubborn area remains unchanged.”
However, there are surgical and non-surgical double chin removal procedures:
- Chin liposuction: Liposuction can remove fat on many areas of the body but can also be used to treat more delicate areas such as the neck and under the chin. Small incisions are made in the skin and a tiny cannula is inserted; excess fat is removed, and the area is sculpted to improve contour. At Karidis, we offer targeted chin, neck and jawline liposuction, helping to remove fat from these stubborn areas.
- Lower facelift and neck lift: strengthening the platysma muscles under the neck or lifting the tissues in the lower face can both help greatly with the appearance of a double chin
- CoolSculpting: “If there is excess fat in the area, we would usually recommend reducing fat cells with CoolSculpting, for example,” says Karidis Clinics’ Maxine Dornon. CoolSculpting destroys the fat cells by freezing them and then they are safely eliminated by the body’s natural processes.
- Ultherapy: this is a safe, highly effective skin tightening treatment that works by increasing collagen and strengthening elastin. “The tissues undergo ‘remodelling’ which leads to new collagen formation, shrinkage and firming, with tightening of the skin and deeper muscle layers,” Mr Karidis explains.
- Dermal fillers: if facial imbalance is worsening the appearance of a double chin, then temporary dermal fillers can be used to define the jawline or increase chin projection.