There’s nothing worse than looking into the mirror and discovering new lines and wrinkles. But now more than ever, people are noticing deep horizontal wrinkles running across their necks. While some accept this as a normal part of aging, others are mortified and wonder where they suddenly came from.
Shockingly, these wrinkles might be the result of our tech device usage. Looking down at our phones for hours on end can cause our necks to form creases that can ultimately become permanent. In fact, it’s happening so much that they’ve come up with a name for it: “tech neck”.
But luckily there’s hope. Below you will find everything you need to know about identifying, preventing, and treating wrinkles caused by tech neck.
What is tech neck?
Tech neck is a term used to describe a group of unpleasant symptoms caused by looking down at our tech devices for extended periods. Symptoms may include pain and stiffness in your shoulders, neck, or spine. But there’s another symptom (which for some of us is the worst of all) and that’s neck wrinkles.
Wrinkles forming as a result of looking at our tech devices is still relatively new. But it’s quickly becoming a bigger problem as we spend more time on our phones and laptops. And it’s having an especially hard impact on the younger generation, who are getting neck wrinkles at a much earlier age than they should.
But neck wrinkles are not considered a problem for everyone. In fact, many people don’t notice them and some say they add character. If this is the case, I wouldn’t spend another second worrying about it. But if they bother you, keep reading to learn the best treatments and preventative measures to keep them from getting worse.
How do I treat tech neck?
Tech neck (and neck wrinkles in general) can be treated in several different ways. The goal of these treatments is to stimulate collagen which gives strength and elasticity to your skin, making it look firmer while lessening the appearance of wrinkles. How much your wrinkles can be improved depends on several factors including your age, genetics, and skin condition.
At home Treatments
Chemical peels work by destroying skin cells which then shed themselves in a process known as exfoliation. While this is happening, your skin begins to heal itself by regenerating new skin cells and producing collagen, making your skin look brighter and lessening the appearance of wrinkles.
The best thing about chemical peels is that they are easy to apply and relatively inexpensive. The biggest downside is that you have to start slowly and work your way up to stronger peels, which are much more effective. You also need to have a series of peels over the course of a few months to see significant results.
Microneedling is the application of small needles to areas of your body using a roller or pen-like device (often referred to as a dermaroller). When the needles puncture the skin, they stimulate the healing process and the production of collagen. Not only that, the holes left by the needles, make it easier for your skin to absorb skincare products, making them work more effectively.
Before you begin microneedling, you need to make sure you choose the correct size needle and that you clean your roller properly to avoid infection. Also, keep in mind that it takes a series of treatments to see results and you may experience unpleasant side effects like redness, bruising, and swelling.
Like other treatments here, retinol works by stimulating your skin to produce more collagen. It typically takes 6-12 months of use before you notice a difference and you may experience skin irritation when first starting.
With so many retinol products on the market, it’s impossible to tell you which one will work the best. But there are some things that can help you narrow it down.
Red light therapy
Red light therapy is said to improve the appearance of wrinkles by stimulating collagen. Treatments can either be done at home using a small hand-held device or in a professional setting. Typically, multiple treatments are needed to see results.
Using a hand-held red light device at home can be hard to stick with since it requires some arm work. But luckily, they now have hands-free devices which makes the process much easier, making it more likely you’ll complete your treatments.
Vitamin C products
Products with vitamin C help protect your skin from the sun while stimulating collagen. Like most treatments, it takes time to see results. And not surprisingly, there are tons of vitamin C products to choose from. To help you narrow it down, below are some tips to help you choose the best one.
Many of the at-home treatments can also be done in doctor’s offices. But when done in a professional setting, they can be much more effective (since stronger products can be used). The biggest downside is that many of these treatments are pricey.
A filler is a substance injected into wrinkles to smooth them out. Some of the most popular fillers for the neck include Vollure, Juvederm, Restylane, and Belotero. The good thing about fillers is that you’ll see results immediately. However, the results are temporary (usually 6-12 months). So you will need to have it done repeatedly.
One of the more popular treatments for wrinkles is laser therapy. There are many different lasers to choose from, each with their own strengths and weaknesses. You will have to do some research and speak with a doctor to find the best one for your skin type. Like most treatments, you will need several sessions to see results but there’s usually no downtime and it’s typically not painful.
Chemical peels that are performed in doctor’s offices can be much stronger than those done at home. This includes high percentage TCA and phenol peels. Phenol peels can be especially strong so you will need a local anesthetic or sedative to help with the pain. The recovery is also long but the results can be dramatic and long-lasting.
Microneedling is another treatment that can be done either at home or in a doctor’s office. Some people prefer having it professionally done. This is especially true when using longer needles (which are sometimes needed to go deep enough to stimulate collagen).
Neck lift surgery
A neck lift is a surgical procedure in which the neck skin is removed or pulled back. This results in a tighter-looking appearance and a lessening of both horizontal and vertical neck wrinkles. The best thing about a neck lift is that it can treat many different neck problems at once. And the results tend to be long-lasting. The downside is that it requires surgery and is usually reserved for more severe cases.
How do I prevent tech neck?
Preventing tech neck is easy with a few simple changes to your routine. Doing these things will not prevent all neck wrinkles from forming. But it will lessen the chance of new wrinkles forming or worsening as a result of looking down too much.
Keep tech devices eye-level
The best way to prevent tech neck is to prevent yourself from looking down for long periods at a time. In other words, you need to keep your neck up. When using your phone, for example, hold it so it’s at eye level. Or at least high enough that you don’t need to tilt your neck down to see it.
If you can’t break the habit of looking down constantly, try wearing a neck pillow that prevents you from tilting your head down. Or place a piece of tape on your neck, so when your neck moves down, you can feel it tugging, reminding you to stop.
You may also want to consider purchasing an adjustable phone or tablet holder. This allows you to raise your device to eye level without having to hold it yourself.
If you use a laptop or separate monitor, lift it so it’s eye level. You can do so by adding a laptop stand or getting an adjustable height desk.
Practice good health habits
All of the things that cause face wrinkles, can also give you neck wrinkles. So to keep your skin healthy, try to do the following:
Treat your neck with the same care as your face
And finally, you should always treat your neck with the same love and care you give your face. This means applying sunblock and using your expensive facial serums and moisturizers on your neck too.
Remember, the sooner you start treating your neck wrinkles, the better. And even older wrinkles can look much better with the right treatments.
Have you ever experienced tech neck? Please let me know in the comments!