A Sculpt Away Educational Series

Part 1 A: Fat at the Jawline & Underneath the Chin

Welcome to our 1st educational series. In this series, we focus on problem fat as it relates to different body parts. Follow our series as we discuss unwanted fat in all areas of the body. Find out why you develop fat in certain areas, who is effected by fat in those particular areas and what you can do to make those areas look great. We will answer questions most asked by patients. We hope you find the information both interesting and beneficial. We invite you to follow each of our educational series in the future.

We start our series with fat located beneath the chin and at the jawline. This condition known as a “double chin” or a “turkey neck” causes as much worry and distress as wrinkles. In the medical field, we use the term “submental fullness” to describe the condition associated with fat located beneath the chin. The issue impacts both men and women alike.

Recently, studies have shown that subcutaneous fat is sequestered in “compartments” within our body. This holds true for submental fat as well. Though many “double chins” appear to spread completely across the jawline, we know that the fat deposits are limited to a small area under the chin. The entire jawline, chin and face appear much slimmer and younger when this small area of submental fat is reduced.

Genetics plays a big role in the development of a double chin. Consider the bone structure of your face, the shape of your jawline and the length of your neck. If you have a round face, any fat deposits under your chin will be more evident than if you had a longer, slim face. Consider also whether your mom or dad or grandparent, aunt or uncle have “double chins.” If one or more relatives have submental fat, your genetic makeup may dictate a predisposition to store fat underneath your chin. If you have submental fat and you are not overweight, you may blame your genes. Efforts you make will not likely “cure” your condition but may provide some short term improvement.

Weight gain or being overweight may lead to a double chin. When your body does not burn the energy you consume, your body deposits fat in storage. Heredity plays a large role in where your body places extra fat. Losing some extra weight may or may not take care of your concern with submental fat.

In addition to genetics and weight, the aging process may cause the appearance of a double chin. Our muscle mass decreases and our metabolism slows as we get older. Maintaining our weight becomes increasingly difficult and fat may be deposited in the submental region. We also produce less collagen and elastin as we get older. The loss of collagen and elastin causes skin laxity. Thus, skin is much less firm and toned and may have a “crepe paper” appearance. While we may not have a problem with a double chin when we are younger, we often do as we get older. Intervention with treatments and/or products is necessary to combat a double chin caused by aging.

Coming soon: Look for our Part 1 B of the series wherein we discuss ways you can improve the appearance of a “double chin” and look great.

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