When you look in the mirror, you may notice an area of accumulated skin and fat under your chin. Also known as submental fat, it is generally a result of weight gain but being overweight may not necessarily be the only cause for it.
For most people, the presence of double chin can be a result of a few factors, such as deposition of fat, accumulation of loose skin or both.
But before you throw out your ice-cream and potato chips, or make drastic changes to your diet, you should know that there could be some contributing factors behind the extra padding on the lower face.
“Accumulation of fatty deposits under the chin can be hereditary, or due to loss of elasticity of the skin, or loss of muscle tone,” explains Dr. Siew Tuck Wah, Medical Director of Radium Medical Aesthetics.
“Weak chin or jawline can also accentuate the fatty deposit under the chin, giving rise to the appearance of a double chin. This is a very common problem amongst Asians due to the weaker structure of the lower face.”
Here are some ways you can eliminate the fatty deposits under the chin or reduce the appearance of double chin.
Diet and exercise
If your double chin is due to weight gain, losing some weight may help to reduce the appearance of double chin. The best way to shed some weight is to watch your food intake and exercise regularly.
Include lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Doctors recommend eating at least 5 portions of a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. Increase your intake of lean, white meats such as chicken breast and fish. They are a good source of protein and contain little fats.
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar. Too much saturated fat can increase bad cholesterol in the blood, which increases the risk of developing heart diseases. Reduce highly processed carbohydrates such as white bread, white flour, white rice and noodles.
As well as maintaining a healthy diet, regular exercise may reduce your overall risk of getting serious health conditions.
Also known as liposelection, it effectively addresses areas of disproportion and fatty deposits through a minor surgical procedure. In most cases, a local anesthetic is all that’s required to treat a double chin.
However, liposelection only treats fat. It does not remove excess skin or tighten the skin after the fatty deposits are removed.
It is normal to experience swelling, bruising, and pain for up to 2 weeks post-treatment.
Fat freezing treatments
You may reach your healthy weight but the fatty deposits around your face have not reduced. In such cases, targeted fat removal can be done to selectively reduce the fatty deposits in the chin.
Cryolipolysis, or fat freezing treatment, is a technology that safely delivers precisely controlled cooling to target fat cells underneath the skin, while leaving the surrounding tissue and the skin largely unaffected.
This technique targets the fat cells and bring them down to freezing temperature, causing them to die and break down in the body. Over time, the body naturally processes the fat and eliminates the dead cells.
Kybella is a very popular fat-dissolving treatment offered in many countries, albeit not in Singapore yet. It works by injecting deoxycholic acid into the fatty tissue and dissolving them without damaging the surrounding healthy tissue.
No surgery or anesthesia is required for this treatment. However, there may be a period of about 2 weeks of swelling, which can be rather uncomfortable and causing disruption to work and social life.
Unlike any of the suggested treatments, Ultherapy is an all-encompassing treatment that reduces fatty deposits and tightens loose skin at the same time.
Ultherapy uses high intensity focused ultrasound for ‘precise and specific deep tissue heating’. The ultrasound energy melts the fatty deposits and at the same time, causes the healthy tissues to undergo remodeling which leads to new collagen formation, firming and tightening the skin.
You can expect some swelling and tenderness for 2 days post-treatment. As this treatment focuses on inducing new collagen growth naturally in your body, you can expect up to see gradual results over 6 to 8 months.
People with a weak lower face and undefined jawline can appear to have double chin. In this case, experienced doctors can strategically inject dermal fillers along the jawline to improve definition.
“Injecting dermal fillers along the jawline can soften the appearance of double chin,” says Dr. Siew. Combining Botox facial slimming treatment and chin filler, it may drastically improve the contour of the lower face, making the double chin less pronounced.