The “Jeck” and its “Tweakments”

The “Jeck” is the latest beauty concern that has surfaced in the pandemic.

What is the “Jeck”?

Not heard of the “Jeck’?  Well the fact is that most people over 40 have one as it is an inevitable part of ageing.  What is it? “Jeck” is the new term being splashed around to give a name to that fleshy area of skin, fat and platysmal bands on older persons where the jawline meets the neck that used to be delineated as a crisp border.

So why now the need to give a name to this ‘no man’s land’ of aesthetic facial definition?  This juncture between our face & neck has come more into focus during the time of COVID-19 with all of us looking down at our screens and at ourselves during Zoom meetings, FaceTime chats and the rest.  Never before have we been looking up at our jawlines and indeed realised what others saw when they did.  Now in our virtual world we are subjected to lengthy stints of seeing ourselves as others are seeing us online.  In fact, some are going as far as to say that the additional time we are spending looking down at our screens may be promoting the advent of developing the inevitable Jeck.

As we age, our skin loses elasticity, the fat pads and muscles lose their tone and fullness and the structures of the face give into gravity.  In the early stages of Jeck, “tweakments” (treatments that tweak the problem as opposed to resolving it) as they are called in the Vogue UK article that recently discussed the phenomenon, are a option to improve the contours and definition of the jawline/neck juncture.*

INFINI the “Tweakment” for Persons in their 30’s & 40’s

For persons in their 30’s and 40’s the “tweakment” best suited to treating your sagging jawline is RF (radio frequency) technology, especially RF technology combined with micro-needling.  Plastic Surgeon, Dr Hodgkinson and his treatment specialists in Double Bay use the INFINI system which uses micro-needling to deliver the radio frequency into the tissues at multiple levels to stimulate the collagen growth which gives rise to a subsequent tightening of the skin and lifting of the tissues.  This is a non-surgical treatment for which the skin is numbed and requires approximately 1 hour.  Three treatments are needed 1 month apart to give the improvement required.  Of course, for more advanced stages of ageing, non-surgical solutions such as INFINI are not appropriate, and surgery is required.

Before & 6 Months After Treatment with RF Technology by Dr Hodgkinson

Facelifts or Lower Facelifting for Persons 50 & Over 

Generally, for persons 50 and over who are concerned with their jecks, the time to consider a neck lift or  face lift  has come.  After this point in time, non-surgical options for laxity of the skin and tissues will generally not give rise to a pleasing aesthetic result and should be considered more as an adjunct to surgery to maintain skin tone and quality as opposed to providing facial contouring.  Depending on the persons ageing, a lower facelift may be adequate to re-establish the jawline.  In the lower facelift, the incisions are placed inside and behind the ear.  Normally a SMAS superficial musculoaponeurotic system), ‘deep plane’ facelift is performed to give a natural & youthful contour to the face without stretching the skin or giving a tight or operated on appearance.  In the neck and facelift procedure, the sagging muscles and fat pads of the face are lifted and secured into their previous and more youthful positions before re-draping and removing any excess skin without placing the skin under tension.

Before and after a facelift with upper and lower blepharoplasty, peri-oral dermabrasion and secondary rhinoplasty by Dr Hodgkinson

Early facelifting techniques did not address the jeck or the neck

It is informative in a discussion about facelifting to consider the definition of an area with a new term like “Jeck”.  This especially so as the traditional facelifts of yesteryear were renowned for having a tight appearance of the face with the tell-tale signs of having had  face lift of facial surgery whilst the area of the jeck or neck just beneath the jawline if not the entire neck itself was left sagging and sloppy.  Women who had had a facelift were still seen to be wearing turtle neck tops and scarves around their necks to mask the loose and crepey skin that was incongruous with their more youthful and suspiciously tight faces.

Phyllis Diller Facelifts

Comedian Phyllis Diller joked about her many facelifts but was often seen wearing high-necked collars, necklaces and scarves to conceal her neck & decolletage

Combining facelifting and neck lifting

Today, with the focus being on more natural results, all facelifts have or should have an element of neck lifting combined with the facelifting procedure to give natural definition not only to the jawline but to the juncture with the neck now called the “jeck”. For some persons, however, a modern face lift addressing the jeck alone may not be enough if the ageing extends deep into the neck.  In these instances, a neck lift combined with a face lift is appropriate to give an overall more youthful appearance to the face, neck and jeck.

Before & After Face and Neck Lift by Dr Hodgkinson

Dr Hodgkinson is a leader in face and neck surgery and has published his techniques and results on face lifting combined with neck lifting in major peer reviewed plastic surgical journals.  He is also a member of the ‘Super Neck’ group, an international group of the worlds top plastic cosmetic surgeons who share their results, techniques and innovations in efforts to improve their chosen field of medicine for surgeons and patients alike.

The neck and jeck as defined aesthetic areas in and of themselves are being considered a new frontier in aesthetic treatments and surgery as concepts of pan facial rejuvenation become more and more discussed and understood.   The idea that a youthful appearance is not only in the face or the eyes but is an overall impression gained by the not just the aesthetic areas themselves but where the aesthetic areas converge: areas like the jeck.

Perhaps, it is our new online world only made more important during the lockdowns of the pandemic that have made us aware of our ageing faces but perhaps there is more to it.  Never before in time has a generation like the baby boomers made the ageing process so visible and the desire to feel well in oneself as one ages a prerogative and in developing countries almost an inalienable right.  The baby boomers are not going quietly away but are standing tall and continuing to maintain their positions in society. Only a few decades ago, persons in their 60s were considered old and ready to retire.  We now see persons on the world stage performing vital roles in government, science and myriad of professions well into their 70’s and 80’s and in some instances even their 90’s.

The timeless energy of these people is being sought to be mirrored in many instances not only in their lifestyles but their appearance.  It will be interesting to see if the uptake of popular terms coined during Covid like “Zoom Gloom” & the “Jeck” which ostensibly have sprung from confronting our own image during screen time online continue in the post-pandemic era that we all long for.  Time will tell but perhaps it will be harder to see the affects of time in ourselves.

*https://www.vogue.co.uk/beauty/article/jeck-treatments

 

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