Reviewed by Dr. Hassan Soueid.
When you look in the mirror, everything might seem perfect to you, except that unsightly roll of fat peeking out from under your chin. To hide it, some people posture their heads forward, but that can cause neck pain. So, you may wonder how to get rid of the double chin instead. But to do that, you should know about the different factors that result in a double chin.
The internet is filled with face contraptions and elastic band brands that promise to put your chin back into place. Sometimes, it doesn’t even remain a double chin and ends up becoming a triple chin. In addition, this can make your face appear disproportionate.
Contrary to popular belief and stereotyping of overweight people, skinny people can also have a double chin. Usually, it’s a layer of fat (submental fat) accumulated in the area beneath the chin. Apart from that, your skin may hang and form a double chin as it loses elasticity with ageing.
What Causes Double Chin?
There are many different things that can cause a double chin. Let’s understand them.
That’s usually thought of as the only reason for a double chin. It’s certainly the most common cause of it. A diet high in calories can result in the storage of fat all over the body. It’s true that men and women store fat differently, with the latter having more of it in the thighs, abdomen, and hips. However, a double chin doesn’t discriminate.
It isn’t always the fast metabolic rate; some people gain weight more easily because of their genetics and lifestyle. And there’s no way to tell where the extra fat gets stored in the body. But, if you have a double chin, the chances are that weight gain is to blame.
According to one study, as a person continues to age, the ability of the body to fill up the skin with collagen decreases by 1-1.5% every year. Ageing results in a decrease in the production of collagen, which naturally makes the skin sag. This can end up augmenting the existing double chin or creating a new one.
Another reason why you develop an unsightly double chin with age is the loss of muscle mass. According to Harvard Health, people lose 3-5% muscle every 10 years after the age of 30. As you lose muscle around the chin area, your body cannot adequately support the skin. This also results in sagging. A double chin that forms this way is “wrinkling” in actuality, but due to its location, it ends up appearing like a double chin.
Although ageing is inevitable, some things can worsen its signs. It’s important that you take good care of your skin that, most importantly, includes wearing sunscreen. Avoid smoking and eat healthy foods.
One of the biggest contributors to this is none other than your mobile phone. The way you bend your neck to look down at the screen can result in a double chin. It happens because the muscles in the area are weakened. Then, they don’t support the skin in the area, and it sags.
If you notice that a lot of the people in your family have a double chin, you might also end up with one. It tends to run in families.
It has to do with the structure of your face and maybe the result of genetics, ageing, or overbite. Even a slight excess of skin and/or fat results in a double chin. Keep in mind a receding chin is different and can result from a congenital disorder. However, this, too, can result in a double chin. There are surgical and non-surgical treatments for it.
How To Get Rid of A Double Chin?
These are quite a few things for people who are wondering how to get rid of double chin. Let’s find out.
Diet and Exercise
These can work for you if stubborn fat cells are the cause of a double chin. Doing these together will help you in weight loss. You can begin by making sure that you don’t have processed sugar and “bad fat” in your diet. Make sure to incorporate fruits, whole grains, and vegetables in your meals.
A study published in Obesity (Silver Spring) in 2010 showed that participants who drank water before consuming a diet low in calories lost 2kg more weight than those who didn’t. Therefore, you should make sure to stay hydrated and eat foods high in water content, such as watermelon, cucumbers, peaches, tomatoes, spinach, celery, and zucchini. A healthy diet will help you maintain a healthy weight.
For the exercises to get rid of excess fat, you should consider doing those that work out more than one area in the body. These are known as compound exercises, such as squats, push-ups, deadlifts, lunges, squats, and bench presses. These will help in burning fat all over the body, including neck fat. These can help you say goodbye to your double chins.
An injection containing plant extracts, proteins and vitamins can help in breaking down fat (lipolysis) in a technique known as mesotherapy. Originating from France in the 1950s, originally, it was intended to deal with pain. Now, it can also help you in getting rid of your double chin. However, it can become inconvenient for the person as they may have to come for as many as 15 sessions, one after every week.
It is an FDA-approved minimally invasive procedure for double chin. It contains synthetic deoxycholic acid that targets fat cells in an area. A person can get up to six treatments at an interval of one month. The whole process takes 15-20 minutes. It carries a risk of nerve damage.
In this surgical procedure, the fat in the chin is broken down and suctioned out through a vacuum. It can take place under local or general anaesthesia. Unlike Kybella and mesotherapy, the results from liposuction surgery are permanent. Moreover, the patient doesn’t have to make multiple visits to the doctor’s office. Therefore, it addresses the problem of inconvenience.
Can You Get Rid of Double Chin Through Spot Reduction Exercises?
On many places on the internet, you’ll get recommendations for double chin exercises. There are some bizarre facial exercises that, allegedly, help in double chin reduction. Many of them involve working the neck muscles and jaw muscles by pouting, puckering, jutting (the lower jaw forward) or outright whistling.
There’s also the ball exercise, where you bring your chin down on the ball while holding it between your neck. These are all spot reduction exercises. It means that you’re trying to get rid of fat from a particular spot in your body. In this case, your chin.
Despite all these “promising” exercises on the internet, your body doesn’t burn fat the way you think. It doesn’t have to break down in the area you’re working on. It can “burn” the fat from anywhere in the body. There’s certainly no scientific evidence backing up spot reduction.
In fact, there’s a large consensus that it’s a myth. In one study, 24 participants did abdominal exercises to get rid of abdominal fat for 6 weeks. There was no significant change in the abdominal fat. This is not to say that these are complete hoaxes. Spot reduction exercises for facial muscles can help in increasing their strength and endurance. Moreover, it can help tone them for shape. However, it does not help you with chin reduction.
There are many causes of double chin, of which weight gain is the most common one. Now you know how to get rid of double chin, but it is important to determine the actual cause before getting treatment for it. Weight loss helps when the double chin is because of fat accumulation. However, if it’s because of your facial structure, you may need to look for non-surgical and surgical solutions.
A 2017 survey by Allergen showed almost half of the 1,996 participants were bothered (55% females and 40% males) by their double chin and found it unsightly. If your double chin is also bothering you, Longevita’s team would be happy to help you with a customized treatment plan.