Many claim that the eyes are the windows to the soul. Whether or not you believe that to be the case, it is true that the eyes are the place where people’s attention is most focused during any social interaction. We carefully examine a person’s eyes when trying to tell if they are telling the truth, think highly of a person if they can maintain good eye contact, and gaze long into the eyes of a potential love interest. But this heightened scrutiny means that, when the first signs of facial aging being to appear, the first places that people notice them are around the eyes. Fortunately there are several steps that you can take to keep your eyes, and the rest of your face, looking young and vital.
One of the first steps to addressing older-looking eyes is prevention. Constantly shifting facial expressions can, over time, wear out facial muscles and tissues, accelerating the natural loss of skin elasticity. As a result, tiny expression lines and wrinkles begin to form at the corners of the eyes. These common signs of facial aging, generally referred to as “Crow’s Feet,” can often be minimized or even erased for a few months by Botox® treatments, which temporarily relax the facial muscles responsible for their formation. Some physicians have even found that repeated Botox® injections can actually train the muscles of the face to remain relaxed, delaying the appearance of these expression lines even longer.
Unfortunately the effects of time cannot be avoided forever. Eventually, many people begin to notice that their eyes seem smaller, darker, and more recessed than before and that the dark shadows that form in the eye sockets make them look tired, angry, or sad. As we age, our skin gradually loses its resilience and elasticity and starts to sag, and this process can progress relatively quickly in the thin, delicate skin of the eyelids. Ultimately the eyelids start to droop and hang over the eyes or pool in puffy looking bags underneath them. A blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, removes excess tissue and fat from the upper eyelids, lower eyelids, or both, making the eyes appear wider and more youthful, and people who spend time interacting face to face with customers and colleagues need to look as alert and youthful as they feel.
For some patients, however, simply reducing the excess skin and fat from the eyelids may not be enough. If the facial aging process is more progressed, the skin of the upper face and forehead may have started to sag as well, adding deep, horizontal furrows to the brow and making the eyes appear deeper set and even hooded. A brow lift, or forehead lift, can help tighten the underlying muscles while trimming excess skin, giving the whole area a smoother and more lifted appearance. I am even frequently able to perform brow lift procedures using an advanced, endoscopic “key-hole” technique, which can greatly diminish the appearance of scars and speed overall recovery time.
In the final analysis, it has always been my philosophy that facial aging is best approached with graduated procedures, beginning with minimally invasive cosmetic injectables and facial fillers and slowly transitioning to the use of subtle plastic surgery procedures that maintain the face’s natural look. If you are interested in any of the facial plastic surgery procedures I perform, please contact my office, to schedule a consultation. Don’t forget to connect with me, Dr. Fernando Burstein, on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ for the latest facial plastic surgery news.