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“I Tightened My Turkey Neck Without Surgery — Now I Feel More Confident Than Ever!”

Top M.D. explains how a high-tech microneedling technique gives dramatic results with no downtime

While a surgical neck-lift has long been the standard for removing the crepey skin under the jaw (not-so-affectionately known as a “turkey neck” or “turkey waddle”) a new non-invasive skin-tightening technique called Morpheus8 is quickly gaining ground. And, as you can see, the Morpheus 8 before and after photos are impressive.

Morpheus8 is a high-tech form of laser microneedling, in which tiny needles are used to make microscopic holes in the top layer of your skin to help stimulate the production of collagen and elastin, the proteins keep your skin firm, minimize wrinkles, sagging, enlarged pores and stretch marks. In fact, a study in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery found that patients rated their skin’s appearance up to 80% better after a single in-office session. 

“Morpheus8 uses radio-frequency (RF) heat energy and microneedling, which allows for deeper penetration than other techniques, and that depth can be customized to precisely address each patient’s needs,” explains Beverly Hills dermatologist Jason Emer, M.D. “You see immediate improvements in pore size and skin texture.”

One of the biggest benefits Dr. Emer notes is that there is no downtime, unlike a traditional neck lift, which can take 4 to 6 weeks to fully recover. “Women are finding amazing results at a much smaller price-tag,” he adds.

Case in point: When Mary Wallace turned 60, her sagging neck left her feeling self-conscious. But with expensive neck-lift surgery off the table, she didn’t know where to turn…until she came across Morpheus8 microneedling. Here, she shares her story.

Mary Wallace’s struggle with sagging skin

Gazing at her reflection, Mary Wallace’s eyes snagged on her neck and her stomach sank. “I don’t feel old,” she thought. “Why is my turkey neck all I can see in the mirror?”

When she turned 60, Mary’s sagging neck became a new — and confidence-shattering­ — issue. Self-conscious about the way it looked, she began avoiding pictures and even stopped FaceTiming with loved ones.

“I need to do something about this,” Mary resolved…but her options were limited. Getting a surgical neck-lift was out of the question since her schedule was packed and she didn’t have time for the four to six weeks of recovery. Not to mention that the cost of a surgical neck-lift —which averages about $5,700 nationally­ — was too expensive for her to consider. With various “miracle” creams across the internet failing her too, Mary took to the web…and stumbled across a new nonsurgical treatment that ignited hope in her heart.

What is Morpheus8 microneedling?

Called Morpheus8, the procedure used a special microneedling device that combines radio-frequency energy to contour and tighten skin. As Mary learned, the device penetrates the skin in three passes, starting 4 mm deep and moving up to 1 mm deep, to generate collagen production and melt away fat while tightening the skin through muscle contraction and skin retraction. Best of all: no recovery time! 

“I’ve got to try it!” Mary decided, signing up for three treatments, spaced about a month apart. Though the procedure was not covered by insurance, Mary was pleasantly surprised to find that she would see results after her three sessions, and that each cost around $500, about a fourth of the cost of a surgical neck-lift.

During her first treatment, Mary was also pleased to find Morpheus8 was minimally invasive with only brief pain around her jaw and forehead. The practitioner applied numbing cream to her face an hour before the procedure and Mary also took Tylenol before, which helped with any discomfort.

Morpheus8 before and after

Right after her hour-long treatment, Mary felt red and hot, like she had a sunburn, but wore makeup to cover it until it died down a day later. And after two days, her face looked almost back to normal.

But the change in her neck was the real kicker. With just one treatment, Mary saw her jaw looked more defined and her skin was tighter. Today, after all three treatments, she feels more confident than ever. “I feel so good,” she beams. “It was such a lift to my neck—and my spirits!” 

Morpheus8 Mary Wallace
Mary’s neck before (left) and after (right) Mary Wallace

Is there an at-home option?

Dr. Emer says that while Morphius8 is safe and effective for most patients, it may not be for everyone — so consult your doctor before scheduling an appointment. He also adds that inexpensive at-home microneedling devices, called derma rollers, may be a good option. These small handheld roller devices are covered in rows of tiny needles that lightly puncture the skin, which works to build the collagen and elastin.

Because the needles do not puncture as deeply into the skin as in-office high-tech procedures, the results aren’t as instantly dramatic, which is why dermatologists advise using these three to five times a week and to be very gentle.

How to do microneedling at home

“Medical microneedling uses needles with a length of 0.5mm — 1.5mm on the face, neck and chest, or 1.5mm — 2.5mm on the body,” explains Hiba Injibar, BSc, MD, consultant dermatologist and founder of Dermasurge. “Therefore, microneedling with needles of greater than 0.5mm length should not be used at home.” One to try that’s just 0.25mm in length: Derma Roller Microneedle 6 Piece Kit Face Roller (Buy from Amazon, $26.97).

Microneedling gizmo
Anna Efetova/Getty Images

“To achieve the best results, make sure that you prepare your skin for the derma rolling session,” advises Dr. Injibar. “Wash the specific area with soap and water. Then, you may cleanse and exfoliate the area using a mild over-the-counter chemical peel for a better result. Cleansing and exfoliating increases the faster absorption of the skin.”

To do: “Take your derma roller and gently roll it over your skin vertically, horizontally, and diagonally, rolling twice over your cheeks, forehead, chin, lips, and neck,” explains Dr. Injibar. Your skin should heal — and become tighter — in a few days.

This content is not a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always consult your physician before pursuing any treatment plan.

For more skin-tightening secrets, keep reading!

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