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The Platysma

The platysma is a paired flat, superficial neck muscle and 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.

Platysma - ventral view

Platysma - ventral view

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.

Recommended video: Platysma
Origins, insertions, innervation and functions of the platysma.


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.

Clinical Aspects

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).

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Show 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


  • Platysma - ventral view - Yousun Koh
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Related Atlas Images

Muscles of the anterior neck

Main muscles of the head and neck

Muscles of facial expression

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