The days are getting longer, the birds are returning, and the air is filled with pollen. You wake up with puffy eyes – ah, spring! While medications can help treat seasonal allergies, the puffy eyes may not just be from the allergies. Fatty pockets around the eyes, loss of cheek volume, and wrinkling or sagging skin may require more than a good nights sleep and some Claritin. For eye rejuvenation, we recommend a treatment plan that focuses on restoration, presentation and upkeep.
Specially formulated eye creams can help minimize the appearance of fine lines and improve tone and texture issues over time. The good ones (like Lumiere) contain a variety of peptides, antioxidants, and growth factors to help revitalize skin cells and create the perception of youthful, healthier skin. Revox 7 even minimizes dynamic wrinkles in the skin and Retinoids improve collagen formation, texture, and pigment.
Long, luscious eyelashes create the illusion of a wide open eye, and studies have shown that full lashes can be just as powerful as eyelid surgery when it comes to the perception of youthfulness. The lashes also help increase the contrast with, and emphasize, the whites of the eye, the sclera. While mascaras can thicken and darken lashes, Latisse is the only FDA-approved treatment to grow longer, thicker lashes. Patients begin to see longer lashes after about four weeks; 16 weeks is typically considered the length of full treatment. Latisse is only available by prescription or from a physician’s office.
Skin tightening around the eyes with no downtime can be achieved using ThermiSmooth, which uses Radio Frequency (RF) energy to heat sub-dermal tissue. This causes remodeling deep within the skin for a smoother, taunter surface. A series of six, 20-minute sessions is a typical recommendation for optimal skin tightening results. Broad Band Light (BBL), another no downtime procedure, can also be used to stimulate collagen, improve color, and is typically used as a full face treatment. “Forever Young” refers to regular treatments of about 3 per year and have been shown to wake up genes that slack off as we age, making the skin act more like it did in our youth.
If the extent of sun damage, fine lines, and tone issues need more aggressive intervention, we can offer laser treatments using the Sciton Joule ablative laser that does require some downtime. Fractional resurfacing treatments typically heal in a couple days and can be performed as a series. Full field resurfacing is a stronger treatment that takes seven to ten days to heal over, and there is some residual pink can stick around for a couple months following treatment. Combining laser with Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) injected and applied topically can really supercharge your healing and results.
For some, restoring a youthful vibrancy to the eyes may also require a surgical procedure called a blepharoplasty. Treatment of the upper lids (which can easily be done under local anesthesia in the office) involves removing excess skin and fat, leaving a well camouflaged scar in the lid crease. Elevating the brows with or without the upper lid blepharoplasty may be an important component to brighten the eyes and improve overall expression. Brow elevation can also be improved with Botox, which temporarily weakens the muscles that depress the brows.
Treatment of the lower lid (which is typically done with some type of anesthesia in the operating room), can include a combination of fat removal done through the inside of the lower lid (called a transconjunctival approach), and then skin tightening with the laser or direct removal through an incision under the lower eyelashes. Volumizing the upper cheek with fat injections (or fillers later) is also an important way of improving the look of the lower lids in patients who have lost this fullness as part of the aging process or if their bone structure is a weak in this area. Eyelid surgery can lead to worsening dry eye symptoms, so if you already experience dryness or irritation it is important to be evaluated by an ophthalmologist to be sure you are a candidate for surgery.
If you’re contemplating your own eye rejuvenation, speak with Dr. Folk. During a consultation, Dr. Folk will able to offer a variety of treatments and put together a plan based on your needs and goals. You may wish to discuss blepharoplasty, or may want to know about non-surgical treatment alternatives. The only way to know is to ask – request you’re consultation today.