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Platysma bands are the vertical cords that appear in the neck as one of the first signs of aging. What causes platysma bands is still a topic for research. Some studies suggest that platysma bands are the result of sagging skin and a loss of muscle tone, and so treatment should focus on tightening the skin and muscle. Other studies suggest that platysma bands are caused by the muscle, not sagging skin, and so treatment options should focus on denervating the platysma muscle.

What Causes Platysma Bands?

Platysma bands, or vertical bands in the neck, are one of the first signs of aging, especially in female patients. Although current theories posit that platysma bands are caused by sagging skin and a loss of muscle tone in the neck, a recent study suggested that platysma bands are actually caused by the muscular activity during the aging process. In this study, the researchers showed that platysma bands were not secondary to sagging skin as had previously been thought. In clinical trials, the researchers concluded that the activity of the platysma muscle causes these bands and saggy skin then follows.

When it was thought that platysma bands were caused by a loss of skin laxity and muscle tone, doctors treated them by tightening the skin and muscle. With this new data that it is caused by muscle activity and is not due to sagging skin, a new treatment has been suggested. The new suggested treatment is to denervate the platysma muscle, or to cut off the nerve, instead of focusing on tightening the skin around the neck.

Treatment Options for Platysma Bands

Platysma are a thin, broad sheet of muscles, positioned on each side of the neck. It is divided into two separate and distinct sides, which meet in the center. As these muscles become weaker and separate, the unwanted platysma bands develop. Platysma bands can be a source of anxiety for some patients, so fortunately, there are treatments available, both surgical and nonsurgical.

·  BOTOX is a nonsurgical option that can be used to treat platysma bands. Your doctor will apply small amounts of BOTOX in the band to relax the muscle. This improves the appearance of the platysma band with minimal downtime, but it is not permanent. Patients will need regular BOTOX treatments.

·  A platysmaplasty is a surgical method to treat platysma bands. This procedure involves reconstruction of the platysma muscles. Your surgeon will rejoin the separated sides of the muscles and then tighten the platysma.

With more research being done into the causes of platysma bands, treatment options have been able to improve to directly address the causes. If you suffer from cords in your neck as a sign of aging that leave you feeling self-conscious, talk to your doctor about trying BOTOX or a platysmaplasty.

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