Keep Your Chin Up

Can You Get Rid of Double Chin?

Keep Your Chin Up: Can You Get Rid of Double Chin?If an extra layer of fat under your chin—affectionately known as a double chin—bothers you, we have some good news: While this (usually) harmless feature can be a nuisance, there are a few non-surgery tricks that can reduce its appearance.

What Causes a Double Chin?

A double chin can be caused by weight gain and/or aging, but you don’t need to be overweight to store extra fat under your chin. Genes may be to blame; they are responsible for determining the shape of your face and how you store fat. If other family members have double chins, there’s a chance you may develop one, regardless of diet and lifestyle. Some people, even if they are naturally thin, can be more prone to developing extra fat under the chin.

Aging causes the skin to lose elasticity, and the deposit of fat below the chin can be common as you get older. Thankfully, lifestyle changes and some non-surgical treatments may slow down the sagging, or reduce the appearance of fat.

Diet Changes to Get Rid of a Double Chin

If being overweight has led to a double chin, losing weight through a healthy diet may help. Foods most likely to cause weight gain are high in saturated fat, trans fatty acids, cholesterol, and sugar. Follow these guidelines to get on track with a healthier diet.

  • Avoid processed foods such as chips, cookies, and other pre-packaged foods.
  • Eat a variety of foods.
  • Limit saturated and trans fat.
  • Eat whole grains instead of refined grains.
  • Add healthy fats such as avocados, nuts, and olive oil.
  • Limit red meat.
  • Eat lean meat such as chicken or turkey.
  • Get at least three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit daily.
  • Reduce sugar intake.

Exercises that May Reduce the Appearance of a Double Chin

In addition to a healthy diet, specific exercises can help tone and lift the skin under the chin. According to one study, completing facial exercises every day can help reduce double chins without surgery. Along with cardiovascular exercise such as running or swimming, complete the exercises below to help strengthen your neck muscles.

Keep Your Chin Up: Can You Get Rid of Double Chin?

Cosmetic Surgery

If the above tips don’t improve the appearance of your neck and chin, consider non-invasive injectables for more immediate results. A popular injectable containing deoxychoic acid, a naturally occurring substance in the body, permanently kills fat cells. Injected under the chin, it can dissolve the fat that causes a double chin.

The downside? An inflammatory reaction is very likely for two to three weeks. And although the procedure produces results, most patients need two or three sessions (each session can cost between $3,000 and $6,000).

Liposuction is another alternative to melt the fat away. It’s important to note that while it will remove excess fat, the procedure won’t affect excess skin or increase elasticity.

When to See a Doctor

A double chin is usually a cosmetic problem that doesn’t require a doctor’s visit, but if it is extremely bothersome, you can make an appointment to learn about the best steps for you. In rare cases, a double chin can cause sleep apnea (a disorder in which your breathing pauses for a brief period while you sleep).

Fluid retention around the chin can also be a problem. If this is the case, your doctor may recommend a massotherapist to perform massages to reduce the fluid.

It’s important to note that losing or reducing a double chin isn’t easy; it can take a few months to see a difference. If your double chin is genetic instead of the result of diet or lifestyle choices, it can be more difficult to reduce and may require surgery.

By Danielle Emig

Danielle Emig is a freelance writer and lipstick lover living in New York City. Originally from Portland, she moved to the big city with only a suitcase full of shoes and a mind bursting with dreams. It was her desire for adventure that led her to NYC, and even working unpaid internships and odd jobs to make ends meet — like cocktail waitressing at a pirate-themed bar — wouldn’t deter her from making it as a writer and editor. Two years later, she landed at InStyle Magazine and hasn’t looked back since. When she’s not sipping out of a lipstick-stained wineglass, Danielle loves to cook, make jewelry, and hang out on her fire escape.