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Monday, 07 November 2011 00:00

I'm in my twenties and double chins run in my family. I've been self-conscious about mine since my teens. Am I too young to have this surgically corrected?

Dr. Barbour's Answer: A double chin, or an oblique silhouette running from under the chin to the front of the neck, can be due to a few things in youth. And by your twenties, you’re fully-grown and old enough to have the condition corrected if you wish.

If it runs in the family, it’s usually due to an extra layer of fat right under the skin in the neck – and this sometimes can extend toward the angle of the jaw – and/or a little pad of fat that is under the chin and at a deeper level. If this is the case, we can make a small, inconspicuous incision under the chin and remove the excess fat. Since the skin will actually be covering more surface area under your chin with the fat removed, it contracts right into that new angle without your having to have a more extensive procedure.

Sometimes the bone of the jaw and/or chin can be a bit weak so that it’s not supporting the area under the chin as well as it should. Actually, it’s not uncommon to see this situation along with some excess fat under the chin or jawline. Also, there is a little horseshoe-shaped bone called the hyoid that sits right about where the neck and the area under the chin meet. If it’s sitting a little low or more to the front of the neck, the angle under the chin won’t look as well defined. In this case, we’re more limited in what we can accomplish, but often just by building up the chin and jaw a bit we can accomplish a very satisfactory result. This can be accomplished with implants or long-lasting fillers that boost collagen formation at the area where they’re given. Remember that on the face even a small change by a ruler measurement can make a big difference in the harmony of the area.

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dr barbour

Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon,
Sarasota, Florida

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