Tech neck causes wrinkles in the neck beyond one’s age, and it also results in other problems, such as neck pain. Tech neck is basically caused by looking down constantly from over-use of cell phones, iPads and other electronic devices.
One study showed that the average American looks at their phone 80 times a day. We have all seen people dining and looking down at their phones instead of conversing. It has become an addiction. At work, one must constantly look down to view computers.
Other contributing factors of premature neck wrinkles would be smoking, excess sun damage, lack of sun block use and genetics.
There are many modalities that can effectively treat wrinkles from tech neck, all with little to no down time.
First, of course, your treating physician must see and examine you to determine the best treatment. Generally, the simplest treatment would be micro needling with radiofrequency.
There are a multitude of such machines that can be used by plastic surgeons or aestheticians. This can be followed immediately by lasers such as the CO2 Cool Peel laser. This combination stimulates the production of collagen and elastin, and decreases wrinkles significantly.
The PRXT33 peel is an additional option that has no downtime but must be done two to three times as do many of the treatments, because looking down at mobile phones will probably continue.
Another excellent option is the use of PDO threads to elevate the deep creases. The results of these threads will last from 1.5 to 2 years, and the procedure takes about 30 minutes. PDO thread can be used to lift and tighten skin as well, both in the neck and face.
Anesthesia for all these procedures is done with topical anesthetic creams, and the only downside is bruising. Two weeks of not using anti-inflammatories such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, aspirin, and no fish oil or flaxseed oil, vitamin E, garlic, ginseng and turmeric will decrease both bleeding and bruising.
Finally, a good cosmeceutical skin care regimen that contains micro-encapsulated Retinol, hyaluronic acid and other ingredients to stimulate production of collagen and elastic and to hydrate the skin should always be used daily on face and neck, along with a 50 SPF sunscreen.
The pain that occurs with tech neck is from leaning the head forward like a stork when looking down. Surgeons are famous for having these problems as they must look down while performing long surgical procedures, just like those who over-use mobile phones and other technical devices.
I have found the best solution to diminish neck pain is called the “chin tuck,” first written by Robin McKinsey in “Treat Your Own Neck.” This is simply sliding your neck back out of the forward position. This must become a habit to avoid chronic discomfort.
E. Ronald Finger, MD, FACS is a board certified plastic surgeon with offices in Savannah and Bluffton. fingerandassociates.com