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Have you ever looked in a mirror and realized that you have your grandmother’s eyes – complete with crow’s feet, under-eye bags and loose skin? Don’t get out the rocking chair and sensible shoes just yet. Today, you can refresh your eyes’ appearance with innovative, non-invasive, low-cost cosmetic procedures, many of which can be done in your doctor’s office usually with no down time.Best of all, says Joshua L. Fox, M.D., F.A.A.D., Founder and President, Advanced Dermatology and The Center for Laser and Cosmetic Surgery, “The eyes really are the window to the soul. When you rejuvenate the surrounding area, it makes your whole face look more youthful. When people talk to you we are spending most of our time concentrating on the eyes.”
Upper lid droopiness and under-eye bags, under-eye discoloration, and wrinkles can all contribute to making a person look tired and old. Various techniques have recently been approved by the FDA that can provide dramatic improvements – sometimes with just one simple visit to the doctor:
Eliminate crow’s feet. Crow’s feet are the fine lines that appear at the outside corners of the eyes, the result of the loss of elasticity in skin collagen due to aging and from natural facial expressions such as squinting, smiling and concentrating. You don’t have to stop smiling! Instead, try these easy fixes:
Dermal fillers (hyaluronic acid-based products) smooth out wrinkles by restoring volume and fullness to the skin around the eyes with a simple injection. One such product that has been recently approved, Restylane®, is the only one that is non-animal based. This quality limits any risk of animal-based disease transmission or allergic reaction. Results are immediate and lasts up to six months – approximately twice as along as with collagen.
Botox® blocks nerve transmission and relaxes the muscles. Also given as an injection, Botox reduces the facial movement that causes wrinkles to appear and lasts 4 – 6 months. This also treats the frown area very well.
Lasers, such as SilkTouch®, Erbium and Fraxel® often in combination can soften or eliminate wrinkles, and tighten the skin for years. Thermage® – a radiofrequency laser like device can also tighten the skin under the eyes with no down time.
Creams in addition prescription retinoic acid and tazarotene, adapelene, as well as over the counter products such as PrevageMD®, alphahydroxy acid, copper peptide and vitamin c have scientific data to support claims of lessening wrinkles.
Reduce gray under-eye shadow. Blood passing through the large veins close to the surface of the skin can produce a bluish tint, especially if you’ve inherited very thin and transparent skin. Those dark circles can be exacerbated by sun exposure or anything promoting rubbing of the eyes such as lack of sleep or allergies. The effect can be reduced by:
Lasers: PhotoGenica® laser technology and Lyra® removes enlarged blood vessels causing the bluish discolorant. Other lasers like Ruby, Versapluse® or ND Yag can help the irregular brown pigmentation in sun-damaged skin.
Concealers: Green makeup can cover up the red tint from blood vessels; a yellow tint can cover dark pigmentation
Chemical peels: Can lessen the discoloration under the eyes utilizing doctor strength formulations of betahydroxy acid / salicylic acid, alphahydroxy acid or other chemicals.
Fix Drooping Eyes. Eye bags are a common development of aging – the skin and the fat around the eyes start to sag because the skin loses suppleness. Pick them up again with:
Permanent / long lasting fixes: with no down time
Fat transfers are commonly used to firm up the hollow area under the eyes. The patient’s own fat cells are removed from one area, and injected into the under-eye.
Skin rejuvenation through collagen stimulation. With Thermage®, this procedure tightens and contours skin, with improvements in tone, contour, and texture by remodling and stiumlating the growth of your own collagen. With Fraxel® – over the course of 3 to 4 treatments tightens and remodels the collagen creating a softer new surface.
Restylane® can be injected to smooth out the under-eye tear trough, as well. This may last for 6 to 10 months. If you like the look you can then go for the more permanent fat transfer.
“Although the prices vary according to the procedure and the severity of the case, most of these techniques are very affordable,” says Dr. Fox. “Talk to your dermatologist who specializes in this area to tailor a plan that works for you.”