As people age many tend to develop saggy neck skin, also coined “turkey neck,” which in and of itself is fairly self-explanatory. No one really wants to have saggy neck skin, yet it is just something that happens to quite a few people, especially as the effects of age begin to set in. One understandable question is, what causes this saggy neck skin to occur in the first place? Obviously age plays an important role, but there is more to it than just that.
Genes also determine a large part of exactly how and when you will age, and you can look to your mother as a fairly good indicator for how you will look at her age. As everyone gets older the elastin and collagen in the skin begin to decrease. They are both responsible for making skin firm and youthful looking. When collagen and elastin levels go down, sagging, wrinkles, and lines begin to appear. Aside from this, the skin will get thinner as you age. This causes the skin to be more translucent than before. The connective tissue on the neck becomes weak and stops being so elastic. This is another reason that neck skin begins to sag. Hormonal change may also play a role in saggy neck skin, specifically the changes that take place as an individual ages.
Aside from the most forceful reasons for neck skin sagging, genetics and aging, there are a variety of lifestyle choices and habits which factor into developing turkey neck. Stress, for one thing, can have a very negative impact on the body both on the inside and on the outside in terms of appearance. How you treat your skin and other environmental elements are also at play.
The sun is one of the next most dominant reasons that people's skin show signs of aging. In fact, wrinkles are largely caused by UV light from the sun. Often the consequences of spending a lot of time in the sun without protection don't fully express themselves until years later. What makes matters worse is that most people forget to put sun protection on their necks anyway.
Aside from the sun, artificial tanning beds often have the same effects because they emit UVB and UVA radiation. UVA adversely affects skin by suppressing the immune system, whereas UVA works by penetrating into the lower layers of skin. This is what causes premature aging. Tanning beds and similar devices have their places for treating conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis but should otherwise be avoided. Even in these cases it is important to have medical supervision.
Another important lifestyle decision which can affect the skin is smoking. Smoking inhibits the flow of oxygen, vitamins, and other nutrients that flow to the skin through the blood vessels. This is because smoking causes the vessels to narrow and this leads to signs of aging on the face and neck. There are a lot of treatments for saggy neck skin, the most effective but expensive are medical procedures like neck liposuction. Otherwise there are solutions such as moisturizers, skin firming lotions and creams, and other home remedies.