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What Causes Double Chins? And How to Treat Them

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We’ve all been there. You click on your camera icon on your phone, only to be slapped in the face by the world’s most unflattering angle, courtesy of your front-facing camera. You turn that around faster than you can say “double chin,” and go about your day. Next time you get your selfie on, you opt for the classic raising-the-phone-above-the-head method to get the best angle and avoid the double – or worse, triple, quadruple – chins. We get it. You’re not alone. But, what causes the dreaded double chin, and what can we do to get a jawline sleeker than Audrey Hepburn’s in Breakfast at Tiffany’s?? Let’s discuss the most common causes of double chins and what can be done to get rid of them.

Genetics and Double Chins

Having a double chin doesn’t always mean you’re carrying some extra pounds – sometimes you can blame your ancestors! Poor jaw bone structure or a weak chin bone can cause an undefined jawline that accentuates a double chin. If you recognize that your chin drama comes from a relative (thanks, Grandma), there are a couple of options. In severe cases, your plastic surgeon can perform chin augmentation to reshape the jawbone, or in milder cases, you can have fillers placed to add some structure.

A Tense Neck Can Cause a Double Chin

Do you grit your teeth? You might have a tight platysma muscle; that’s the one that runs from your collarbone to your jaw, and it can cause your chin to grow a few unwanted friends. The simplest fix is to stretch! Tip your chin up to the ceiling and try moving your lower jaw forward, puckering your lips, stretching your tongue out or against the roof of your mouth, and rotating your neck from side to side. Hold the stretches for 5-10 seconds and repeat throughout the day – a great way to fight the chins from your desk!

If jaw and neck yoga doesn’t cut it, your surgeon can surgically loosen this muscle for a full lifted effect, or you can have Botox injected to help release the muscle and define your jaw (a procedure called the Nefertiti Lift – talk about neck goals!).

Your Extra Chins Could Just Be Skin

Sometimes, neck skin that has lost elasticity can mimic the look of a double chin. This can easily happen with age, and a good skin care regimen and healthy lifestyle can help prevent it as you get older. But your surgeon can give some extra support, if needed. Lasers can be used to tighten the skin with the help of heat, or threads can be placed under the skin, like a hammock, to support the skin from below in a process called a thread lift. In mild cases, topical solutions, such as retinol and vitamin C, can provide desired results, and, of course, keeping that pretty neck safe from the sun’s rays!

Get Rid Of Your Double Chin

A Double Chin is Most Commonly Caused by Excess Fat

I know, I know. It’s hard to admit that the second and third OREOs could have found a new home beneath your jaw, but it happens. A healthy diet and exercise is obviously a good place to start – for lots more problems than just chins! But, if your double chins are particularly stubborn, your plastic surgeon can offer lots of treatment options.

Liposuction on the neck is one option for removing unwanted neck fat. Mesotherapy, does the same thing, but with fat-dissolving injections, like Kybella. CoolSculpting is also available to freeze and kill fat cells. There are so many ways to kiss that double chin goodbye and say hello to that gorgeous reflection in the front-facing camera! But, hey, those double chin selfies are cute, too.


If you are interested to learn more about ridding yourself of your double chin,  we invite you to simply come in for a complimentary consultation with Dr. Chang or one of the cosmetic laser and injection nurses to explore whether you would make a good candidate. To find out more whether Aesthetica can help you, contact us online or at 703-729-5553 to arrange an appointment. Dr. Phillip Chang is a board-certified plastic surgeon in Northern Virginia near Leesburg, Virginia and an expert in a wide variety of cosmetic treatments.

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