Learn How to Get Rid of a Double Chin


Jill Daniels, Freelance Medical Writer

Jill Daniels is a freelance health writer based in New York City. She spent several years writing for WebMD, including their Weight Loss Clinic and Fertility Center programs. Jill has also written/reported for publications including InStyle, People and Women's Own. She received a degree in journalism for Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.

August 07 2008

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While a double chin is often associated with aging or weight gain, sometimes a double chin appears simply because of heredity. Your genes play a significant role in all parts of your life, and your likelihood of developing a double chin is no exception. For those people who don't have heredity to blame, different factors may be at fault. Your chin, like other parts of your body, can accumulate fat. And loose skin and fatty deposits under the chin can cause a double chin – even in normal-weight people. Regardless of how a double chin comes to be, the question remains the same: What can be done to get rid of it?

Charlatans Abound
Don't fall prey to intriguing gadgets advertised on the Internet or TV that claim to hold the key for how to get rid of a double chin. There is a thriving market for devices and at-home remedies that promise a quick fix. Sadly, these easy solutions likely won't do the trick. Double chin exercises involving opening your mouth a certain way and specialized chin exercisers like chin straps may improve your muscle tone in the problem area, but they usually won't get rid of the fat.

The Effects of Diet and Exercise
Adhering to a balanced diet and exercising regularly is a good way to keep your whole body in shape and functioning properly. It is also a beneficial way to prevent the build up of fat deposits, including in your chin region. Diet and exercise can help you battle a double chin, but although the combination is healthy, it is not a guaranteed antidote. As mentioned, heredity may be the culprit. Plus, fat in the chin area can be incredibly difficult to eliminate.

Double Chin Surgery
Not that long ago, face lifts and neck lifts were the main methods used by doctors to get rid of a double chin. A neck lift can be performed as part of a face lift or on its own. These procedures, while still used, are complex and carry a variety of possible side effects stemming from both the surgery and the anesthesia. In addition, recovery time can be quite lengthy. 

During a traditional neck lift, a surgeon makes incisions under the chin and around the ears. The skin is lifted off the neck and repositioned, and excess skin from the area is removed. A neck lift can eliminate loose neck skin, sagging jowls and fat that has settled under the chin; the procedure can help tighten and redefine the neck and jaw. However, recovery from a neck lift can be painful and a person can expect significant swelling and bruising, and some scarring. It can take up to a month before normal activities can be resumed.

Losing a Double Chin with Liposuction
The methods for getting rid of a double chin have definitely evolved beyond a face lift or neck lift. Now, chin liposuction can help you get rid of a double chin and improve the contour of your face with minimal pain, scarring and recovery time. During chin liposuction, fat deposits from under the chin are removed with a wand-like instrument called a cannula. Cannulae can be very tiny, so the incisions that need to be made are also tiny – and are typically hidden in hard-to-see places. The chin liposuction procedure usually leaves no scars and doesn't require stitches. If you are considering chin liposuction, you should talk with your doctor about the various types of liposuction available and what is right for you.

  • Tumescent Liposuction - With the tumescent liposuction technique, local anesthesia is typically used, there is very little bleeding and there is usually only minimal trauma to the tissue. Moderate swelling and bruising can be expected. Because general anesthesia is avoided with this technique, the side effects and potential danger associated with local anesthesia are not an issue, and people are generally up and around soon after the procedure.
  • Ultrasonic-Assisted Lipoplasty - A recent technique called ultrasonic-assisted lipoplasty (UAL) involves high-frequency sound waves that liquefy fat beneath the surface of the skin, making it easier to remove with gentle suction. This method has been used on common fat pockets including the chin, hips, neck and thighs. UAL has been touted as an enhancement to the tumescent liposuction method, but the jury is still out on whether it will replace existing liposuction techniques.

Stand Tall and Other Things You Can Do to Help
While you're weighing your options on how to get rid of a double chin, there are small changes you can make to improve your appearance:

  • Make sure to sit and stand up straight, and try keeping your jaw slightly jutted out
  • Opt for a haircut that doesn't hit you at chin level
  • Don't wear choker necklaces that will draw attention to the chin area
  • Wear longer necklines that draw focus away from your neck and chin
  • Smile with confidence. Make people focus on your grin – not your chin!