The Eyes Have It: No Surgery Required Anti-Aging Eye Treatments
Yes the eyes have it. When I think about a person’s beauty I am immediately struck by their eyes and the skin surrounding them. Unfortunately nothing causes a person to show their age like wrinkles and dark circles in the eye area. Case in point, my beautiful mother-in-law passed her genetic material to my husband, who just like she did, bears sunken-in dark-colored eye sockets which magnify the aging skin under his eyes. While (for now) my husband refuses to enhance his eyes with any cosmetic procedure - I figured it wouldn’t hurt any of us to see what options are available in case we decided to gift him with a new “look” for his sixtieth birthday, which happens to be fast-approaching!
So just what non-surgical remedies are there to combat wrinkles, crow’s feet, the so-called “elevens”, bags and dark circles under the eyes? While most of us know about Botox and other neuromodulators as well as collagen fillers to address aging eyes, lasers and radio frequency techniques are also being used. The question is - just how do all of these procedures work when it comes to our aging eyes? Dr. Heather Furnas shares some insights into the latest developments in anti-aging eye treatments, and how we can all get that youthful look without surgery – or at least potentially stave it off for a wee bit.
At what age should women consider eye treatments?
Dr. Heather Furnas: Often patients start to notice early drooping of their upper lids or bags under their eyes in their late 30s or 40s. Younger women in their 20s or 30s also request surgery to improve congenital heavy lids or fatty bulges of their lower lids, as do Asian women desiring deeper upper lid folds.
Which nonsurgical anti-aging eye treatments do you suggest to use for your patients?
Dr. Heather Furnas: Botox can help smooth out crow’s feet and can even give the outer eyebrow a rejuvenating lift. A trichloroacetic acid (TCA) peel or laser resurfacing can improve lines around the eyes while also tightening the skin. A TCA is a non-toxic chemical applied to the skin causing top layers of cells to dry up and peel over several days exposing a new layer of undamaged skin. Heating modalities, such as ultrasound and radiofrequency, can tighten the lower lids as well.
Can Restylane or another filler be used to improve dark circles under the eyes and how?
Dr. Heather Furnas: Dark circles are in some cases the result of shadows beneath lower lid bags. Restylane, Juvederm, or similar fillers can fill out the valley to minimize the shadow. However, fillers won’t improve dark circles that are the result of purple or brown discoloration. The filling of tear troughs should be done judiciously, as that area is sensitive and an error could lead to complications.
What are the side effects and risks of laser treatments when used to treat eye wrinkles?
Dr. Heather Furnas: As long as the person doing the laser is experienced and chooses appropriate settings, the risks are low. It is possible to have scarring or loss of pigmentation, but in the hands of someone with experience and good judgement, the technologically advanced fractional lasers now available should be associated with few and rare serious complications.
Which cream or lotion home remedy do you recommend for your patients besides sunscreen for healthier looking eyes?
Dr. Heather Furnas: Retin-A or a derivative around the bony orbital rim helps combat lines. I also recommend serums with growth factors. None of the products should be applied to the upper lid or near the lash line. Sunscreen isn’t made to go near the eyes, so UV-protective lenses are important when going outside in the sun.
The truth is, anti-aging eye treatments are complex - and with so many options out there this post should be a great resource to use as your starting point! Of course it is always best to defer to the method your board-certified plastic surgeon recommends. Your eyes are the windows to your soul and they deserve pretty curtains!