What causes turkey neck?

What causes turkey neck?
  • PublishedJune 10, 2020

Even though age comes with a wealth of experience and wisdom, it also comes along with unwanted effects on your appearance. This includes fine lines, wrinkles, and the turkey neck due to sagging skin. In this article, we are going to discuss what causes turkey neck.

When you look at the skin on the neck, it is just like the skin on your face. It is also liable to signs of aging. Turkey’s neck is one of the common signs of aging that may be hard to fix; because it’s one of the areas we rarely exercise.

In this article, we are going to look at the causes of turkey neck, how we can avoid it, and the treatments that can help to tighten the skin around the neck; so that you maintain the young radiant looks.

What causes turkey neck is mostly attributed to aging, leading to changes such as skin elasticity, muscle toughness, bone distribution, and genetic fat distribution.

What is a turkey neck?

Turkey neck is just a slang term that refers to the sagging skin around the neck. It got the name turkey neck because sagging skin resembles the red wattles that hang downwards all-around a turkey’s neck.

Unlike other body parts, most people don’t pay attention to their necks, until they begin noticing extra folds under the chin and ring lines building around the neck. According to California skin institute, most people have their neck skin begin to significantly sag and wrinkle at the age of 40.

As part of the natural aging process, the production of the components such as collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acids slows down. These are the components responsible for skin structure and its elasticity.

As you become older, the skin will no longer be robust as it used to be. The skin and the muscles lose the ability to stretch and stay tight, hence the formation of the fine lines, crepey skin, and folds around the neck.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, exposure to the sun’s UV rays, smoking, air pollution, and other environmental factors can lead to the degeneration of collagen and elastin in the body.

Some people confuse the turkey neck and the double chin, but these are two different things. The primary difference is that the double chin is due to extra fat deposits around the chin while the turkey neck is mostly as a result of aging.

What causes a turkey neck?

Most of the causes that we are going to discuss below are all attributed to aging. When age comes in all these come into play which eventually leads to turkey neck.

1. Skin Elasticity

As we grow up, the ability by our bodies to repair and rejuvenate declines. The same applies to the skin. The production of components by the skin such as collagen reduces. Collagen is a protein found in the inner layers of the skin, responsible for tissue support and structure.

When the collagen levels are very low, the skin layers lose their elasticity and will have a difficult time snapping back.

2. Muscle Tightness

With aging or lack of use, the muscles that support the neck and its skin weaken. These become less and less able to support the skin around the neck. As a result, the skin will not snap back as young skin does, hence sagging skin.

3. Genetic fat distribution

Some people are genetically predisposed to have excess fat around their necks. This becomes more pronounced as they get older. The excess fat stretches the skin, resulting in folds like the turkey wattle. If you have relatives in your family with turkey necks, chances are high that you may develop a turkey neck when you grow older.

4. Bone Position

The position of different bones in the neck such as the hyoid, can influence the skin under the kin or around the neck. For example, when the hyoid bone is set back away from the front of the neck, the skin is pulled back into a square angle.

However, when the hyoid bone is set forward, the skin makes a rounded shape. A rounded neck is more liable to gravity and loosens with age which decreases its tightness.

How do we get rid of turkey neck?

Aging is inevitable because it is a natural process and therefore cannot be stopped. Fortunately, several ways can be employed to tone the sagging skin around the neck to improve your appearance and achieve the look and feel of a more radiant, youthful complexion.

Below are some of the ways that can tone the turkey neck

1. Exercise

This sounds peculiar but I am here to tell you that; there are exercises for every part on your body, and your neck is no exception. The simple exercise that can give you a firm skin and a youthful appearance include;

1. Chewing

You can work the neck muscles by chewing according to

  • Sit upright
  • Close your lips while tilting the chin towards the ceiling
  • Begin to chew, moving the teeth together and apart
  • Repeat for 20 times.
2. Raise and turn
  • Lie on your back
  • Raise your head from the floor
  • Keeping your head above the floor, turn it to the right, then back to the center, to the left and back to the center
  • Lower back to the start position
  • Repeat for at least 10 times
3. Stretch
  • Place both hands on the collar bones
  • Stretch the neck by tilting it back a bit
  • While holding this position, lift your lower lip towards the ceiling
  • Hold that position for about five seconds and return the lower lip to its position
  • Repeat for 10 times.

4. Forehead push

  • Hold your forehead firmly by one hand
  • Push your head through your hand and make sure your head does not move forward
  • keep at this pause for about 10 seconds
  • Hold the two hands behind your head and push through your neck backward while holding the head in one position
  • stay in this position for 10 seconds
5. Kiss
Image by Bruno /Germany from Pixabay
  • Stand upright
  • Tilt your head backward until the chin points straight to the ceiling with your lips closed.
  • Extent your lips as if you’re going to kiss
  • Repeat 20 times.
6. Neck lift
  • Sleep on the bed with your head hanging over the edge.
  • Lift high your head carefully using your neck muscles.
  • Repeat five times.
  • In case of neck pain, stop the exercise

 2. Surgical procedures

No one can bet on the effectiveness of surgeries as far as turkey neck treatment is concerned. They are so far the quickest treatment to turkey neck. This involves removing excess skin and tightening loose muscle.

Examples of surgeries and medical procedures that can help turkey neck include;

1. Hyo neck lift

This procedure aims to create an acute cervicomandibular angle. It helps to tighten and smooth the neck skin.

2. MST operation
Image by 272447 from Pixabay

This is a surgical procedure that involves tightening the skin using mastoid-spanning barbed tensor threads. It is a minimally invasive technique and only leaves small scars.

3. Z-plasty

This dates back to the 1970s. It involves the direct excision of the excess skin on the neck. Although it is very fast and effective, it leaves behind significant scars.

4. Skin tightening laser

This is a non-surgical procedure that directs energy in the layers of the skin to produce collagen. Various medical devices can be used to heat and tighten the skin layers. It requires 4 to 6 months of repeated treatments to see results.

3. Cosmetic procedures  

Antiaging creams

Research suggests that creams such as N-acetyl glucosamine can improve the appearance of turkey neck by tightening and smoothing the skin as well as suppressing the hyperpigmentation.

In one study where 85 women used neck cream twice a day, it was established that 94% of the women who participated improved their neck appearance.

4. Choosing a healthy lifestyle

Taking on healthy choices has a very huge impact on our well-being. This not only applies to physical health but also applies to your skin. Here are some of the healthy habits that can help you get rid of turkey neck and retain youthful skin.

1. Stay active

Apart from the neck exercises we described above, exercising for 30 minutes or more for at least 3 days a week can make wonders for your skin. Exercising increases blood circulation, which provides all the necessary nutrients to the skin cells to stay healthy.

2. Get enough sleep

Sleeping refreshes and rejuvenates your body and skin. Have a look at our fantastic article on how to lose weight by sleeping.

3. Quit smoking

what causes turkey neck

Smoking is dangerous to your skin. It contains carbon monoxide, which displaces the oxygen in your skin and nicotine which hinders blood flow. This leaves the skin dry, damaged, and discolored. All this can lead to the development of a turkey neck.

4. Stay hydrated

Water is essential for our bodies. Drinking enough water flushes toxins out of our skin and provides the necessary hydration to the skin cells. This will eventually beat the turkey neck.

5. Limit your time in the sun

Although it feels good to sunbath, the sun’s rays are one of the main causes of aging skin. The UV rays from the sun break down the skin’s collagen and elastin. With collagen and elastin distorted, be assured of turkey neck.

Bottom line

Of all the remedies or treatments for turkey neck, surgeries and medical procedures are the most effective, neck exercises are the least effective, and cosmetic creams fall somewhere in the middle. In case you are concerned about your turkey neck, visit your doctor, he will recommend the most appropriate treatment.


Subscribe for weekly insights on faster weight loss and good health.

[activecampaign form=3]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *