German Contact Help Login Register

The Platysma

Contents

The platysma is a paired flat, superficial neck muscle.

It is counted among the mimic musculature. The platysma extends from the facial skin slightly above the insertions of the lower jaw to about the height of the second rib. It proceeds upward along the front side of the neck crossing the collar bone.

The platysma is a superficially proceeding muscle and – unlike other muscles – directly connected to the skin. It completely covers both front sides of the neck. Due to the direct insertion to the skin it can change the facial expression along with other facial muscles. The platysma belongs – as all other facial muscles – to the group of cross-striated musculature.

In comparison to humans the equivalent of the platysma (e.g. in horses) has a much more important function. For example the platysma in horses helps to get rid of insects by contraction of the skin muscles – a function a human rather does not have to rely on.

The platysma changes the facial expression which plays an important role in human social behavior. In elderly people – when the skin increasingly loses its elasticity – both inner faces of the platysma form two longitudinal wrinkles on the neck.

The platysma is intensely innervated – similar to the tongue and eye muscles. Damage to the platysma may lead to dysfunction of the facial expression in terms of paralysis (masklike face or amimia).

Get me the rest of this article for free
Create your account and you’ll be able to see the rest of this article, plus videos and a quiz to help you memorize the information, all for free. You’ll also get access to articles, videos, and quizzes about dozens of other anatomy systems.
Create your free account ➞
Show references

References:

  • Benninghoff/Drenckhahn: Anatomie, Band 2, 16. Auflage (2004), S. 525
  • A. Faller/M. Schünke: Der Körper des Menschen, 14. Aufl., Thieme Verlag, S. 202
  • Schwegler S.: Der Mensch – Anatomie und Physiologie, Thieme Verlag, S. 430

Author & Layout:

  • Christopher A. Becker
  • Achudhan Karunaharamoorthy

Illustrators:

  • Platysma - Yousun Koh 
© Unless stated otherwise, all content, including illustrations are exclusive property of Kenhub GmbH, and are protected by German and international copyright laws. All rights reserved.

Continue your learning

Article (You are here)
Other articles
Well done!
Create your free account.
Start learning anatomy in less than 60 seconds.