Surgical and Non-Surgical Solutions for Submental Fat

Surgical and Non-Surgical Solutions for Submental Fat

Submental Fat, associated with a double chin, is a very common cosmetic concern for both men and women. It can occur when a layer of excess fat is formed beneath the chin. There are many causes of double chin, the prime ones include being overweight, ageing and genetics. Dr Jeremy Hunt is a plastic surgeon in Australia. He has helped hundreds of patients to achieve their aesthetic goals with the help of face, breast surgery or body procedures.

Causes of Submental Fat

Submental fat is caused by excess fat underneath the chin. It occurs when an extra layer of fat cells resides underneath the chin. Here are some of the major causes of submental fat formation:

1. Ageing

With age, our skin begins to lose its elasticity. When this occurs, your skin can lose the ability to hold submental fat in place. Moreover, the loss of skin elasticity leads to wrinkle formation which can result in the formation of submental fat.

2. Weight Gain

A lot of people end up noticing a “double chin” due to excess weight gain. Wrong food choices such as high calorie and processed food options aren’t only bad for your waistline, and health but can also lead to the formation of submental fat.

3. Genetics

Many individuals have premature submental fat due to genetics. There is nothing you can do here. No amount of healthy eating and exercise will eliminate it, if it is a result of your genetics. Your underlying neck muscles may be different to others.

4. Poor Posture

Bad posture can weaken the muscles of your neck and chin and might contribute to the formation of submental fat. This is especially true if the skin surrounding your neck begins to lose elasticity and leads to early development of wrinkles.

Reducing Submental Fat – at Home Remedies

If your submental fat is a result of genetics, there is not much you can do to prevent it other than surgery . However, if it isn’t, you can try the following ideas:

1. Submental Fat Exercises

Exercise can help you burn extra calories and tone your body. You can also employ the same strategy to your chin and neck area. Research is still needed to confirm the effectiveness of these exercises. However, it is worth giving it a try. The key to seeing results is consistency. You can try the following: tilt your neck backwards and blow a kiss towards the sky, you can also try whistling at the sky, ball squeeze, pouting stretch, lion yawn, or simply chewing the gum can help strengthen the skin surrounding jaw/chin. You have to do these exercises 10 to 15 times a day to see any results.

2. Weight Loss

If your submental fat is formed as a result of gaining excess weight, it is time to shed some kg. You are what you eat. Hence, the first step is to make healthier food choices. Limit your calorie intake based on your BMI and incorporate a bit of exercise into your daily routine. It is important to stay hydrated and drink enough water every day while you are trying to shed some extra weight. Do not go for crash diets as they do more harm than good. Instead opt for fruit, vegetables, healthy proteins, fats, and complex carbs. Your face is one of the first places you will notice changes once you start to lose weight. Hence, your double chin would probably be the first to go away although you may be left with excess loose skin.

3. Skincare to Prevent Skin Laxity

High-quality skincare products designed to prevent ageing contain plenty of essential vitamins and extracts that keep the elasticity of the skin and boost collagen production. It can help prevent submental fat to a certain extent, especially if it is caused by skin laxity. You can find certain moisturisers that are specially formulated to firm the skin in the neck and chin area.

Similarly, you can find plenty of face masks that aim to achieve similar results. Look for face masks that contain ingredients like glycerine, coffee, green tea, egg whites, honey, and lemon juice masks along with chin exercises that minimise the fat around the neck and chin area significantly.

4. Applicators, Straps, and Mouthpieces

You can find plenty of applicators, straps, and mouthpieces that are designed to tighten the chin area over time. They can be helpful in burning submental fat when combined with jaw exercises. However, none of these are backed by science and evidence. Though, they are surely worth a try.

Surgical Options for Submental Fat or a “Double Chin” – Surgery & Procedures

If you are eating healthy and exercising, using the right skincare, and performing facial exercises but you are unable to get rid of your submental fat, surgery may be an option. There are surgical and non-surgical techniques that can help you address the fat underneath the chin area. Let’s consider:

1. Neck Lift Surgery (Platysmaplasty)

Neck Lift Surgery (Platysmaplasty) or a Lower Facelift (Rhytidectomy) may help improve submental fat or jowls and provide a more defined jawline.

2. Chin Liposuction – Submental Liposuction

Submental liposuction is performed with the aim of eliminating the fat under the chin. Most people associate submental liposuction with a facelift (rhytidectomy) or chin implant (genioplasty). However, it can be performed on its own as well. After the liposuction, the aim is to make your jawline more prominent. Once the fat around the neck and underneath the chin disappear, your jawline can become more prominent. It is important for the patient to wear a chin strap or a head wrap to tighten the skin underneath the chin to minimise swelling and bruising.

3. Laser Lipolysis & Tightening – Submental Fat Treatment

If you want to address submental fat, lipolysis is an option as well. It can melt the fat cells and provide some tightening effect with the help of heat energy that is produced by lasers. The common side effects of the treatment include swelling, bruising, and mild pain. These will subside in a couple of days. (NOTE – Dr Hunt’s Clinic does not recommend or offer Laser lipolysis or Tightening devices)

4. Cryolypolisis – Fat Freezing Devices

The idea of cool sculpting is quite different from other treatments mentioned. It focuses on freezing fat cells instead of melting them away. Freezing cells lead to their death and your body naturally gets rid of these cells over time, giving you a more defined jaw and chin. This is typically recommended for patients who have failed to achieve results with any of the other techniques. (NOTE – Dr Hunt’s Clinic does NOT offer crylypolysis)

5. Submental Fat Injections – Fat Dissolving Injections – The Most Common Option

Injectable treatments are used to minimise the fat underneath the chin. It may help give you a more defined jawline. The procedure involves injecting deoxycholic acid underneath the chin that naturally reside in your body. These acids are responsible for the breakdown and absorption of fat.

The Science behind Using Fat Dissolving Injections for Submental Fat

The fat injections are injected just below the skin and the muscle. The acid will disrupt the membranes of fat cells which can lead to irreversible cell breakdown. The procedure results in mild, localised swelling that will resolve within 28 days. The procedure is regarded as a permanent treatment.

How Are Submental Fat Injections Performed?

Injection treatments are performed as per the needs of the patient. The right course of action will be determined during your consultation. Dr Hunt will evaluate your neck, discuss medical history, and skin elasticity, and look into the amount of fat that resides underneath the chin. An individual with loose skin around the neck won’t be a suitable candidate for the procedure.

Treatment will begin by thoroughly cleansing your neck/chin underneath the chin. The injector will begin the procedure by marking your skin for the incision site. She will determine the correct dosage based on each patient. Then, the injections will be administered. After the treatment, ice will be applied to the skin and the injector might ask you to take a painkiller. It is important to stay clear of anti-inflammatory medications/steroids as they can lead to more swelling.

Results and Recovery after Submental Fat Injections

The fat cells destroyed during the procedure are eliminated from the body naturally. The procedure is performed in many sessions to achieve results. Results are long-lasting while fat cells can still accumulate under the chin.

The procedure can be accompanied by side effects such as discomfort, bruising, swelling, redness, numbness, itching or prickly sensation. Avoid massaging the treatment site for 72 hours. The fat cells die gradually and the results can become visible in around 6 weeks after the final session. The results will continue to improve over time. Typically, the second appointment is scheduled after 8 weeks.

Cost of Submental Fat Injections

The cost of the injections is based on the number of sessions required which will vary for each patient. The price per vial will decrease as the number of vials increase.

Find out more details about the price of non-surgical procedures.

FAQs about Double Chin

Here is a list of frequently asked questions we get regarding the submental fat underneath the chin and treatments:

What are the causes of excess fat underneath the chin?

  • There are many causes of excess fat underneath the chin: ageing, genetics, and excess weight gain. Regardless of the cause, the fat can be eliminated with a combination of diet and exercise. Sometimes, people may consider surgical or non-surgical procedures.

What are submental fat injections made up of?

  • Submental fat dissolving injections are usually made up of deoxycholic acid. This acid is naturally found in the body. The injections are meant to destroy fat cells which are later eliminated by our body naturally. Most people will need more than one session to see the desired results.

Can I get rid of my submental fat with a combo of diet and lifestyle?

  • You can help get rid of a submental fat with a combination of diet and exercise if your “double chin” is caused by excess weight gain. However, if your weight gain is a result of genetics, working out and losing weight won’t do anything for you.

How many sessions of submental fat melting injections will I need?

  • The number of sessions depends on the amount of fat that resides underneath your chin. Typically, most patients will need 2 to 6 sessions that are spaced 4 to 6 weeks apart. The results are long-lasting.

Further Reading about Non-Surgical Procedures

Medical References about Submental Fat Injections

About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Plastic Surgeon

dr jeremy hunt

Dr Jeremy Hunt is a specialist plastic surgeon and a member of FRACS & ASPS. He has over 20 years of experience providing plastic surgery in Sydney.

Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education

Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.

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Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.

About The Author

Dr Jeremy Hunt FRACS - Specialist Plastic Surgeon

Dr Jeremy Hunt is one of Australia’s leading specialist plastic surgeons. With over 20 years’ experience and thousands of patients, Dr Hunt is the smart choice for your plastic surgery or non-surgical procedure.

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