How to Get Rid of a Double Chin: What Really Works
Skip the turtleneck—we talked with top doctors, and there are trustworthy ways to get rid of a double chin, from least to most invasive.
Why did your chin double?
There are a number of reasons people develop that double fold between the neck and jaw, and they don't all have to do with weight gain—though that may contribute, according to Medical News Today. Other potential causes may be that you inherited the tendency from your parents, poor posture that—over time—weakens the supportive muscles in your neck, and simply getting older, which can rob your skin of elasticity. Whatever the reason, now you want a fix. There are several exercises you can try that will strengthen that area and potentially minimize that second chin. Or you could talk to a plastic surgeon about potential solutions. Here are your options.
Fitness for your face
If you're searching for how to get rid of a double chin without leaving your sofa, good news: Facial exercises can help to some degree. According to Healthline, strengthening your neck, jaw, and local connective tissues can help lessen the appearance of double chins. One of the easiest from their list of chin exercises only requires a few minutes a day. This "pucker up" routine helps define the temporalis muscles of the face, which offer the jawline a firmer structure.
Pucker up chin exercise
- With your head tilted back, look at the ceiling.
- Pucker your lips as if you're kissing the ceiling to stretch the area beneath your chin.
- Stop puckering and bring your head back to its normal position.
Here are some more simple facial exercises that can tighten your face.
Try this injection
When patients ask Sachin M. Shridharani, MD, FACS, a plastic surgeon and Founder of LUXURGERY in New York City, how to get rid of a double chin without surgery, he suggests the injection-based treatment, Kybella. "As a doctor injecting the medication, I can control where the fat is being destroyed within one centimeter. That's amazing when trying to tailor the perfect neck and jawline. Kybella is ideal for just about anyone who has a double chin. The treatment transcends age, race, and gender." The injections contain a type of digestive acid that breaks down the fats.
Expect two to four treatments spaced six to eight weeks apart, and the final outcome will take two to three months. Side effects can be redness, bruising, and swelling for a matter of days near the injection site, but patients typically recover fairly quickly. Treatments generally start around $1,500, depending on how many injections are necessary; the price will vary depending on where you live, as well.
Surgically remove the fat
If the idea of removing the double-chin–causing fat cells in one fell swoop appeals to you, liposuction could be the right choice. "Liposuction of the double chin physically removes the fat from under the chin and can also be used to contour the jawline and slightly reduce the jowls if needed," shares David Shafer, MD, of Shafer Plastic Surgery & Laser Center. "It's an outpatient procedure, which can be done under general anesthesia or even under local for the right patient. While chin liposuction is a straightforward procedure with minimal downtime and low complications, it's very important that patients seek out board certified plastic surgeons."
You can expect a few days to a week of downtime after liposuction on a double chin, and to pay roughly the same amount as you would for four treatments of Kybella. The biggest benefit of liposuction is how fast the treatment, recovery, and results can be when compared to other methods. This surgical process has changed a lot—check out what's new about liposuction, here.
Explore your laser options
If you think lasers seem quick, easy, and relatively painless, you're right—that's why acclaimed dermatologist Doris Day, MD, and author of Beyond Beautiful, loves to treat patients with them. "When patients ask me how to get rid of a double chin, I often suggest a fat-melting laser such as Fotona. It's the most versatile laser I've seen and I'm still discovering all it can do. Depending on the energy settings and time over which that energy is delivered, you can do a laser peel and skin tightening or do deep treatments to melt fat and body contouring. Using a longer wavelength of energy, the heat goes deeper and that melts fat. It usually takes three to five treatments for 80 to 90 percent reduction of fat. You get tightening along with it and that heat, aka thermal injury, stimulates collagen production as well." This treatment can be a choice for those who are squeamish about surgical procedures.
Turn up the radiofrequency dial
You probably haven't thought about radios in a while, but radiofrequency is the technology behind FaceTite, a minimally invasive facelift-type procedure. "FaceTite is ideal for areas like the chin because it is a controlled safe manner for treating the fat or outer layer of skin with a very precise and controlled technology," says Spero Theodorou, MD, founder and Surgical Director of bodySCULPT in New York City. "The FaceTite energy is only in the area between the two probes, so that ensures heating only happens in a very targeted and contained area."
According to Dr. Theodorou, improvements begin right away but increase with every month that goes by. "Great results are seen between the three to six months time range, and tightening can continue up to 12 months." Your recovery time is minimal, but the procedure typically costs about as much as liposuction—several thousand dollars depending on the patient.
You can try this treatment on your lunch break
If you truly don't have time to spend on surgical procedures and recovery, says Steve Fallek, MD, a New York-based plastic surgeon at Fallek Plastic Surgery and BeautyFix Med Spa, try truSculpt iD: "It is a non-surgical treatment that allows me to permanently eliminate stubborn body fat that doesn't respond to traditional diet and exercise. It treats the entire fat layer, resulting in an average of 24 percent fat reduction. My patients receive customized treatments to one or multiple body areas, and as little as one 15-minute treatment can be successful."
Patients can immediately resume their life and expect to pay about the same rate as a single treatment of Kybella. When it comes to how to get rid of a double chin, this is likely the least invasive way with the least downtime, but it won't be as effective on large double chins or extremely pronounced fatty deposits as other treatment options.
Freeze it away
"Coolsculpting freezes the excess fat in your chin area, and over the next two to four months the fat is metabolized by the body," says Debra Jaliman, MD, author of Skin Rules: Trade Secrets from a Top New York Dermatologist. "The metabolized fat is passed out through your urine," she explains. "There's no downtime with this treatment. Unlike injections under the chin which can cause bruising or swelling, Coolsculpting doesn't cause bruising or swelling. You may have a little bit of temporary tenderness."
Dr. Jaliman typically performs this procedure twice over the course of a month, and patients can expect to pay around $1,000 per treatment, but cautions against using this method alone for those with excess skin laxity and sagging. Read this woman's experience with Coolsculpting.