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What is the platysma muscle?

The platysma is a superficial muscle in the human neck, playing an important role in facial expressions and certain movements of the lower face and neck. Here is a detailed overview of the platysma muscle:

Anatomy of the Platysma Muscle


  • Origin: The platysma originates from the fascia covering the superior parts of the pectoralis major and deltoid muscles.
  • Insertion: It inserts into the lower border of the mandible (jawbone), the skin of the lower face, and the muscles around the mouth.


  • The platysma is a broad, thin, and superficial muscle that lies just beneath the skin. It covers the anterior (front) part of the neck and extends from the chest up to the face.
  • It is divided into two sections: right and left, which may meet in the midline or have a small gap between them.

Function of the Platysma Muscle

Facial Expression

  • Depression of the Mandible: The platysma helps to lower the jaw, contributing to mouth opening.
  • Tension of the Skin: It tenses the skin of the neck, which can produce vertical ridges or wrinkles, particularly when expressing emotions such as fear or surprise.
  • Lower Lip Movement: It assists in pulling down the lower lip and the corners of the mouth, aiding in expressions of sadness or frowning.

Clinical Significance

Aging and Aesthetics

  • Neck Aging: As people age, the platysma can become more prominent, contributing to visible neck bands or wrinkles. This is due to the loss of skin elasticity and weakening of the muscle.
  • Cosmetic Surgery: Procedures such as neck lifts or lower face lifts often involve addressing the platysma to smooth out the neck and improve the jawline. Techniques may include tightening or resecting part of the muscle.

Surgical Considerations

  • Platysmaplasty: This is a specific surgical technique aimed at tightening the platysma muscle to reduce the appearance of neck bands and improve neck contour. It is commonly performed during facelifts or neck lifts.
  • Botox Injections: In some cases, botulinum toxin (Botox) injections are used to relax the platysma muscle, reducing the appearance of neck bands and providing a smoother neck appearance.


The platysma is a key muscle in the neck that affects both functional movements and facial expressions. It is also a significant focus in cosmetic procedures aimed at rejuvenating the lower face and neck. Understanding its anatomy and function is essential for both clinical and aesthetic applications.

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