The skin is the first outward indicator of aging, and often the neck is the first area to show signs. Most people remember the face, and take advantage of anti-aging skin care products, but most of these are made for the face. It is also easy to forget that one can use those same products on the neck to reduce aging signs. As a person ages the skin becomes weaker. The neck becomes looser, wrinkled, and thinner.
There are many answers to the question “why do neck wrinkles develop?” The primary, and most obvious answer is that it is an issue brought on by age. As a person ages they produce less elastin and collagen which are vital to giving the skin elasticity and firmness. Without these proteins skin is more vulnerable and sensitive to damage. As skin weakens and becomes thin, it loosens, creating wrinkles. Some people do, however, experience more severe or early-onset neck wrinkles than others. This could be hereditary, but there are a few other contributing factors as well—and in the end it may be the result of a number of these issues combined.
Sun is, as most dermatologists will attest, a leading issue in aging skin. Sun exposure leads to internal damage to the skin which can help lead to wrinkles. Many people forget to apply sunscreen to the neck, and this can also help speed up the process of aging skin. Because UV rays can penetrate the skin deeply they are capable of harming the skin significantly. One of the primary ways the sun damages skin is by dehydrating it. Even if a person was exposed to the sun earlier on in life the damage could manifest years later.
Smoking and drinking are other issues which may lead to advanced aging in the skin. Because it leads to premature aging, smoking obviously helps to accelerate the appearance of wrinkles. Like the sun, smoking damages skin and produces negative effects by dehydrating it. Hydrated skin is able to replenish cells faster, and this makes for healthier skin. Alcohol has a similar affect and saps the skin of oxygen and nutrients. Alcohol causes the blood vessels to narrow, thus depriving the skin of these healthy elements. Alcohol and smoking are both responsible for limiting the amount of vitamin A in the skin. Vitamin A helps skin to shed and generate skin cells.
One commonly overlooked cause of neck wrinkles is actually gravity. Gravity affects wrinkles by pulling down the skin. When skin loses its elasticity and support, gravity is even more effective at pulling on the skin. The skin on the neck easily becomes loose, so gravity takes over and makes the situation more pronounced.
There are also two different types of neck wrinkles:
Horizontal and Vertical
These types of wrinkles develop differently and from different causes. Horizontal wrinkles are often a consequence of a deficiency in collagen. Collagen deficiency could be due to environment, like sun exposure, or hormonal changes. Vertical neck wrinkles, on the other hand, tend to develop over a more extended period of time. These may be the result of long-term sun exposure, or from keeping one's head in the same position for long periods of time.