It isn’t every day you hear of a procedure that will literally help you look like royalty, but that’s what a neck lift using Botox promises. The technique is also known as a Nefertiti Lift. A 14th- century B. C. Egyptian queen, Nefertiti was partly famous for possessing a “dream neck” — smooth, and in perfect proportion to her well-defined jawline. The minimally-invasive procedure is designed to provide the visual effect of a mini jawline lift and help contour the upper neck.
Unlike other types of lifts which require surgery, a Nefertiti Lift will rejuvenate the neck without anesthesia or the need to take time off from work to recuperate. To understand the benefits of this lift, it’s first necessary to know how Botox works.
WHAT IS BOTOX?
Botox is an injectable drug made from a purified substance called botulinum toxin. Botox is the brand name under which this neurotoxin was first marketed. Botulinum toxin is actually what produces botulism, so it might sound like it would be bad to have it injected. You can rest easy, though, because the toxin is diluted with saline, plus, the dosage is always small, both of which make it safe for injection into the human body. Allergan manufactures Botox, and Ipsen Biopharm Limited makes Dysport, which also uses botulinum toxin as a base.
What is it used for?
Botox has the ability to produce muscular paralysis by blocking the nerve signals that make a muscle contract. That’s what makes it useful when dealing with certain neurological diseases. Doctors have a good number of medical applications for Botox, among them treating hyperhidrosis, which is excessive sweating, and migraines. Its best-known use, however, is in aesthetic medicine. Beauty professionals have been smoothing out expression wrinkles, also known as dynamic wrinkles, with Botox for decades.
There are many muscles in the face and neck that we move on a daily basis. We use them to laugh, cry, grimace, and squint, contracting them hundreds or even thousands of times a day. You can see wrinkles even on teenagers when they frown or smile, but those lines disappear when the facial movements stop. In time, though, those dynamic wrinkles that occur when we make expressions become permanently visible.
That’s where the botulinum toxin comes in. When injected into the muscle, it inhibits the communication between the nerves that send the order to contract and the muscles themselves. The muscles relax, move less, and dynamic wrinkles aren’t as apparent. So, Botox works best on wrinkles that show up when a muscle consistently moves.
Botulinum toxin injections are a great way to take care of skin concerns without surgery. The technique has the advantage of being virtually painless. You get to see the effects almost right way, and there are very few contraindications.
WHAT IS A NECK LIFT?
People choose to get neck lifts because they’re looking for a toned and more youthful appearance. In a Nefertiti lift, the goal is to make the contours of the jawline look sculpted and to treat noticeable vertical bands and wrinkles in the neck. Practitioners do this by relaxing something known as the platysma muscle.
The platysma is a broad band of tissue that covers the sides of the neck, from the jawline down to the collarbone. This muscle contracts when you make different facial expressions — if you make an “eeek” sound in front of a mirror, you can see the platysma accentuated.
Every time the platysma muscle contracts, there is a downward pull on the lower face. When we’re younger, this muscle is tense and tight, so the neck and jawline look clean and defined. Over time, the muscle becomes lax. The results of making facial expressions day after day become more visible. Relaxing the platysma muscle by injecting it with Botox keeps it from contracting. This prevents it from pulling down the jawline and the corners of the mouth. Platysmal bands, those marked vertical lines on the neck that look like thin chicken feet, don’t form. The jawline appears lifted and the neck looks smooth and tight.
HOW IS THE NECK LIFT DONE?
Having Botox applied is so much simpler compared to having a cosmetic surgical procedure. There are only a few precautions you need to take to get ready. You’ll have to discontinue substances that affect coagulation like aspirin, vitamin E, and St. John’s Wort. But if you take prescription medications that fall into this group, don’t stop taking them without speaking with the doctor first.
The procedure takes around 60 minutes and consists of a series of precisely placed injections. The aesthetic medicine practitioner first marks the injection sites. Receiving Botox is considered a painless procedure, but to be on the safe side, the doctor may decide to apply ice or a topical anesthetic product to the injection area. After cleaning the zone with antiseptic, she then injects along the lower jawline using a very fine needle. She will also inject down the sides of the neck into the platysma bands themselves by grasping these between two fingers.
You’ll be free to leave the clinic or doctor’s office after having the injections done. Bruising and swelling are the only possible side effects, and you may not experience these. The only post-procedure recommendations you’ll need to follow include avoiding exposure to sunlight and making sure not to consume alcohol in large quantities. To avoid migration of the toxin, doctors advise not to massage the treated area for 48 hours. Also, for about three hours after the procedure, you’ll have to refrain from activities, such as sleeping or yoga, where you would have to lie down or tilt your head downward.
Will I see results right away?
You may be able to see some improvement right after treatment. To act correctly, the toxin needs three or four days, though, so it’s likely you’ll notice the full rejuvenating effects days or even a couple of weeks after having Botox.
Although the results aren’t permanent, they will last anywhere from three to six months. This means you’ll only need to repeat the treatment two or three times a year in to maintain a young-looking neck.
GOOD CANDIDATES FOR A NEFERTITI LIFT
For centuries, painters and artists have included slender, smooth necks in their portrayals of beautiful women — it’s an age-old association. So, who would say no to a neck lift? While you can achieve wonderful results by treating the neck with Botox, not everyone benefits equally. A skilled practitioner will only recommend this procedure to those who make good candidates. He can make an evaluation by asking the patient to grimace. This will accentuate the area and let him see how much the muscle pulls. Those with moderate, severe, or very severe prominence of the platysma will see the most noticeable results when getting a neck lift.
A Nefertiti Lift can treat jawlines that lack definition, mild to moderate jowls, moderate neck sagging, and visible platysmal bands. It will not get rid of excess fat, the kind that causes a double chin. It also won’t erase severe neck wrinkles. Patients ideally will be under 50 years of age, have thin necks, and be at average weights for their heights. It’s not that you can’t have the procedure if you don’t fit this profile. Rather, you should manage your expectations and possibly consider more invasive treatments.
As always, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of Botox. Always applying sunscreen, quitting smoking, leading a healthy lifestyle, and using a rich anti-aging cream daily will help ensure your neck looks regal and youthful. If you do get a neck lift, you’ll want to protect your investment by making doubly sure you follow these skincare tips.