My neck is retreating into my chest!
June 30, 2008 8:34 PM   Subscribe

I'm 28 years old, thin, and my jawline is slowly disappearing into my neck. Please help me reverse this trend before I end up looking like George Lucas.

Over the last year, I've begun developing extra padding on my neck between the bottom of my chin and the top of my adam's apple. When I look straight down, or open my mouth really wide, it makes a distinct double chin, and I'm afraid if the skin continues to loosen, it will eventually result in me having no discernible jawline.

The weird part is I'm really thin (six foot, ~165 pounds), so I don't think this is a weight gain problem. Is there something I can do to stop this? Maybe some sort of chin/neck tightening exercise or something?

PS - Upon further investigation, it appears that Tom Hanks suffers from the same neck droopiness I'm experiencing.
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
It really looks like Lucas has goiter. Perhaps you need iodine in your diet.
posted by hammerthyme at 8:42 PM on June 30, 2008

Exercise doesn't tighten skin. If you're already thin and having this problem, seems like cosmetic surgery is the only remedy. Gaining weight certainly won't help. You can try losing even more weight at the expense of looking gaunt and sickly.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:43 PM on June 30, 2008

I don't think there is anything you can do about this, I'm afraid. It's a natural part of the aging process. There might be some kind of horrible plastic surgery you can get to have the flesh removed, but most men I know who don't like their jawlines deal with it by growing a beard. Have you considered that?
posted by A Thousand Baited Hooks at 8:43 PM on June 30, 2008

George Lucas has tried to add contour to his jaw with that beard, but instead it just looks like a random strip of hair in the middle of his neck. Not the most flattering look.
It does look like he has a goiter, but it must be fat because he surely can afford the medical care necessary to treat a goiter. If you're thin, you definitely won't ever look like that. Lucas has a very large fat deposit in his neck. The skin would probably still be loose if he lost weight, but it would be much less pronounced.
posted by HotPatatta at 8:48 PM on June 30, 2008

Facercise! I've been doing it, and I think it works. And if it doesn't, well, you get what you pay for :-D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:48 PM on June 30, 2008 [4 favorites]

There might be some kind of horrible plastic surgery you can get

There are indeed -- Platysmaplasty and Cervicoplasty.

I'd start with exercise at your age, though. You could be "skinny fat," in that you appear thin, but really have a higher fat body composition.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 8:51 PM on June 30, 2008

You have a variety of cosmetic procedures, also, as options:

1) thermage: if it is simply loose skin with nothing under it, thermage might tighten the skin under there. It's a non-surgical procedure. Works for some.
2) submental liposuction: slurping out the fat below your jaw, just under the skin
3) deeper fat sculpting: going under platysma muscle and taking out the fat there
4) lift: I believe they have necklifts now, for just that very thing.
5) jaw / chin work: a bigger jaw, chin, implants and so forth could all tent this out a bit.

That covers everything I've come across in my research.
posted by adipocere at 8:54 PM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

The uh, technical term for this, in case you're wondering, is "meat beard" and seems to be something a lot of guys struggle with as they age. Good luck fighting it.
posted by MadamM at 9:36 PM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Being thin has nothing to do with how or where your body accumalates fat. If you did workout, with weights, there is a very good chance this will reverse itself.
posted by P.o.B. at 10:31 PM on June 30, 2008

Yeah I've got the same thing. When I'm thin it just hangs in a "V" instead of a "U", which is no better. My Dad coped with it by growing a big beard but beards aren't my thing. Has anybody here actually tried the surgery?
posted by w0mbat at 10:52 PM on June 30, 2008

Heh. Facercise. I play that video with the sound off at parties. It's incredible. Definitely get it.

I don't recall a neck exercise from it in particular, but I learned one somewhere, because I've got a double chin I hate: Look up, way up, and stick your chin out, with your bottom teeth protruding into an underbite. You'll feel your neck muscles stretch. Do this in sets of reps, and maybe you'll see some tightening.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:19 AM on July 1, 2008

I've got bad news for you: this is just the beginning. Everything else on your body will go into slow decline as you age.

Do your best to accentuate the positive and hide the not so positive (i.e. work with what you've got), but at the end of the day you need to be comfortable with yourself. And focus on the other great things that come with age. Such as money, power, fame, cars, houses, kids, mortgages, credit card debt....etc.
posted by randomstriker at 12:43 AM on July 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Hmm unless its the aging thing make sure there are no lumps on your neck. Your thyroid is in your neck and thyroid cancer can happen to men also .

I had to get my thyroid removed aznd it started with a huge lump on my neck that just kept getting bigger.
posted by majortom1981 at 5:26 AM on July 1, 2008

Exercising helps a lot to fix this. Do you do any weight training? Take a look at some older body builders like Schwarzenegger for example and you'll see how many of them have retained slim jawlines because of muscle tightening around that area of the face.
posted by cazoo at 5:54 AM on July 1, 2008

Developing a goiter is a symptom of thyroid disease. I'd get it checked out to be extra safe.
posted by damn dirty ape at 8:45 AM on July 1, 2008

Seconding AmbrosiaVoyeur. I read about that exercise in a yoga book once.
posted by pised at 9:05 AM on July 1, 2008

Thanks for all the answers guys. It's definitely not a goiter, nor does it have any lumps... just a gradual accumulation of fat that's slowly sagging southward. I think I'm going to wear a bike helmet constantly, so the strap will help keep things tight. :D
posted by (bb|[^b]{2}) at 1:04 PM on July 1, 2008

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