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The Ultimate Guide on How to Get Rid of Turkey Neck

Women with Turkey Neck


As we age, it’s normal that our skin becomes thinner and less elastic – this occurs as our collagen production drops, and tends to accelerate the older we get. But if the ageing process has left you with loose skin around the neck and jaw – also known as the dreaded “turkey neck” – how do you get rid of it? Let’s take a look.


What is turkey neck?

Known in less colloquial terms as ‘cervical laxity’, a ‘turkey neck’ refers to the appearance of loose, sagging skin on the neck, and the term is commonly used due to the perceived resemblance to the wrinkled, droopy skin seen on a turkey’s neck. While generally more noticeable with age, turkey neck can also occur in younger individuals due to factors such as significant weight loss, which can leave the skin on the neck appearing loose or drooping.


What causes turkey neck?

  • Ageing: As we age, our skin naturally loses its elasticity due to a decrease in collagen and elastin production. This often leads to sagging skin, including around the neck area.
  • Sun damage: Excessive exposure to UV radiation from the sun accelerates skin ageing, breaking down collagen and elastin in the skin, which can contribute to a turkey neck.
  • Weight Loss: Significant weight loss can leave extra, sagging skin when the elasticity of the skin has been surpassed.
  • Genetics: Some people might be genetically predisposed to develop turkey neck. If your parents or grandparents have it, you might be more likely to get it too.
  • Lifestyle factors: Smoking, poor diet, and inadequate hydration can exacerbate skin ageing and contribute to the development of turkey neck.


Will losing weight get rid of turkey neck?

In general, weight loss can often be a double-edged sword when it comes to turkey neck. If you’re overweight, losing weight may slightly improve the appearance of a turkey neck, as fat deposits around the neck area will reduce as your weight goes down. However, rapid or substantial weight loss can sometimes exacerbate the appearance of a turkey neck, as the skin doesn’t have sufficient time to retract, leading to loose neck skin after weight loss.

Gradual, controlled weight loss combined with toning exercises is usually the best way to avoid exacerbating existing turkey neck – but if you’re losing a substantial amount of weight – such as 100 lbs or more – you may find that the appearance of turkey neck increases the more weight you lose. This is where surgical procedures – such as facelift surgery – come in useful.


How to get rid of turkey neck

So, what are the best options if you’re looking to get rid of turkey neck and tighten up skin around your jaw and neckline? Here are some common solutions:



One of the most effective and common methods used to get rid of dreaded turkey neck is the facelift, which is a long-term surgical solution to loose skin. A facelift, specifically a procedure encompassing the lower part of the face and neck, can significantly ameliorate the appearance of turkey neck, and this process is usually achieved by tightening loose muscles, removing excess skin, and possibly performing liposuction to eliminate excess fat. By addressing these elements, a facelift can restore a more youthful, firm appearance to the neck, effectively mitigating the signs of a turkey neck.

It’s critical, however, to remember that a facelift is a considerable procedure requiring downtime and recovery. Also, as with any surgical intervention, there are potential risks and complications that need to be thoroughly considered. Consulting a qualified plastic surgeon, such as Dr. Ivo, is therefore highly advisable – you’ll receive personalised advice based on your unique needs and circumstances, and also be able to discuss price concerns, financing, and recovery guidance before going through with the procedure.


Non-invasive options

Although a facelift can prove to be an effective method to combat turkey neck, it is not the sole option. Depending on the severity of the turkey neck and personal preferences, other less invasive treatments may be suitable, as well as lifestyle adjustments like targeted neck exercises or dietary modifications. In some instances, regular gum chewing can help tone the muscles in the neck and jaw, which could alleviate the appearance of turkey neck.

That being said, it’s important to note that there’s no non-invasive way to remove skin: if you’ve lost weight and been left with loose skin around your neck area, no amount of gum chewing or facial exercises is going to help. This is because there’s no muscle there for you to tone, it’s simply the excess, stretched skin that has lost its elasticity, and is therefore unable to retract back to its original position. In this case, your only real option is to opt for a surgical procedure. You can take a look at our real patients’ facelift before and after photos to see how facelift surgery can permanently and successfully remove loose skin that has a “turkey neck” appearance.



Does chewing gum help turkey neck?

While chewing gum may be helpful for those with minimal loose skin on their neck, chewing gum regularly isn’t going to magically make turkey neck disappear. The only way to permanently remove loose skin is to opt for a surgical procedure.


Why do I have loose neck skin after weight loss?

Noticing loose skin on the neck after weight loss might be alarming, but it’s perfectly normal. During weight gain, your skin has to expand to accommodate your growing body, and this causes the skin to stretch and become less elastic. When you lose weight rapidly, your skin doesn’t necessarily have time to shrink back to its previous size. This is particularly common in people who lose a significant amount of weight, as well as with older people, as skin naturally loses elasticity with age.


How to fix turkey neck fast?

A facelift is a great, permanent solution to turkey neck, but do note that it’s not an overnight procedure: you’ll need to take meticulous care of your skin during the recovery period, which will usually last around 2 weeks. Not an overnight fix, but certainly a quick and effective solution to sagging skin!

Dr Ivo Gwanmesia

Dr Ivo Gwanmesia is one of Harley Street’s most experienced and renowned craniofacial plastic surgeons. With over a decade of professional experience, he has transformed the lives of countless patients from all over the UK & abroad.

Due to his vast and hands-on training in the UK and the US, Dr Ivo now specialises in more than a dozen different aesthetic, craniofacial and transgender procedures. Some of them include face, neck, and brow lifts, upper and lower blepharoplasty, breast reduction & breast uplift as well as facial feminisation surgery, to name a few.

Dr Gwanmesia has also conducted pioneering research, which led to the development of a new technique for the reconstruction of the middle vault of the nose, known as the ‘Fulcrum Spreader Graft’. He was also part of a study comparing the efficacy of the Sheen Spreader Graft and the Fulcrum Spreader Graft. The study has since been published on PubMed and the Journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.