Having submental fullness, commonly referred to as a double chin, is typically associated with being overweight, but even those who are slim or “skinny” can have this cosmetic concern. There are a variety of factors that can lead to the appearance of a double chin—some of which are in our control, others that are not. The type and cause of your submental fullness will ultimately determine the best double chin treatment for your needs.

Maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and diet can help you avoid developing a double chin, but this is only one contributing factor. Many people may not realize it, but poor posture can also lead to a double chin. From looking down at your phone to sitting slumped over, spending much of your time with your head bent in this position can cause muscles in the chin and neck to weaken. Over time, this can also cause the skin to become more lax.

While people typically have some control over their weight and posture, other factors that are out of a person’s control can contribute to a double chin. This includes a person’s genetics, because having a family history of poor skin elasticity or extra fat storage under the chin can often be inherited. In addition, the aging process makes it more likely that a double chin will form. Skin can start to sag, and fat can buildup or shift to create a fuller under-chin area.

As explained above, a double chin can be caused by either lax skin or excess fat cells, each requiring a different method of treatment. Loose skin, for instance, may be able to be slightly tightened with certain non-surgical treatments, or neck lift surgery may be needed for more dramatic improvement. For those with unwanted fat deposits under their chin, however, non-surgical treatments include CoolSculpting® and KYBELLA®, or liposuction surgery for those with more significant fat reduction needs.