Are Your Drooping Brows Giving Away Your Age? Fraxel™ CO2 is still raising Eyebrows

By Kimberly Moskowitz, MD

Eyes…whimsically expressive, as more than 40 facial muscles theatrically dance to reveal every emotion, mood, and desire.  Throughout history, artists, musicians, and poets have focused on the capacity of our eyes to evoke passion love, wisdom, sadness, joy, and beauty.  As we age, their expressive capacity does not diminish, however; those cute expression lines of youth eventually become etched into our face as “crow’s feet” and frown lines.  Crows feet, extend from the corner of our eyelids onto our cheeks when we smile.  Unfortunately, these changes around our eyes give us less to smile about as they are among the earliest signs of facial aging.  Collagen levels decline and Volume loss causes our face to become thinner, exacerbating these lines and wrinkles.  Gravity inevitably crashes the party, forcing our eyebrows and eyelids to droop hence obscuring our vision but revealing our age.  As these changes settle in, people begin to think we look angry, mad, or sleep deprived.  Our expressions become less whimsical and more like permanent fixtures.

A recent report by the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, shows that cosmetic surgical procedures have declined by 20% over the past two years as there has been an enormous shift toward less costly and less invasive technologies such as laser resurfacing, Botox, and injectable fillers.  The Fraxel™ lasers are the most sought after laser technology on the market.  Fraxel Re:pair™ has been shown to be one of the “Best Quality Of Life Breakthroughs” in treating wrinkles and sagging skin. Furthermore, because surgical correction can leave scarring, misshapen eyes, and significant downtime, most people prefer less invasive alternatives.

The Fractional CO2 eyelift aka periorbital resurfacing has only recently become available as a stand-alone treatment. Fraxel™ technology sends precise microscopic columns of laser energy into the skin around your eyes.  These tiny dermal injuries stimulate your skin’s natural healing process, causing immediate tightening while stimulating the production of abundant new collagen renewing your skin’s youthful firmness and elasticity.

As the treated skin heals it grows tighter and the lids naturally lift.  Results generally last as long as surgical correction which is up to 6 years. With Fraxel™ Repair Eyelid lifting, you have two options:  A single intense treatment with about 7-10 days of downtime or a series of three or four gentler treatments, spaced 3-4 weeks apart, each with about 2-3 days of downtime.

How it works:  The eyelids are numbed using a few painless drops and protective shields are gently placed underneath the eyelids so there’s no harm to the eye. The heat-induced collagen stimulation plumps up wrinkles and crow’s-feet, and constricts blood vessels, which reduces dark circles. The procedure is virtually painless around the eyes because the area is completely numb and a mild sedative is provided.  The procedure takes less than 15 minutes and costs only $350 to $450 per lighter session (most people have 2 to 4 treatments) or around $1,250 for a single more aggressive treatment.  The full face and even neck are often performed simultaneously if patients are looking to achieve total facial resurfacing and tightening.  In experienced hands, the risk of scarring is virtually absent compared to surgery and older resurfacing techniques.  You will experience temporary swelling, and redness for a few days.  Fractional technology is quicker to heal, safer, and provides dramatic results without the prolonged down time or complications seen with other resurfacing or surgical techniques.

As Fraxel™ has quickly made its way from trend to “Gold Standard” in skin tightening and resurfacing we are seeing dramatic results especially around the eyes and mouth.  Fraxel™ decreases the amount of excess skin on the upper and lower eyelids, improves dark circles and crepey skin under the eyes. A recent study in Dermatologic Surgery revealed that nearly all patients treated with a series of four Fraxel Restore treatments obtained at least 25% tightening of the upper and lower eyelids and half experienced a 75-100% improvement.

As anti-aging medicine exponentially trends toward non-surgical procedures, creatively combining modalities has enabled us to achieve even greater results.  Thermage® is a non-surgical device FDA approved for all skin tones, that causes skin tightening and lifting by delivering painless radiofrequency energy into the dermis and subdermis.  This causes immediate collagen contraction followed by gradual tightening for up to six months.  Treating the forehead and eyelids lifts the eyebrows making the eyes appear more open, alert and less tired.  Thermage® is also FDA approved for tightening the skin of the face, jowls and neck.

With youth long behind but still close to their soul, I hear many older people say  “I have earned every wrinkle on my face”.  With that, I would neither argue nor disagree.  However, most people admit that they would feel better about their appearance if they could soften and lift just a few of those “rightfully earned” lines.  If your drooping brows are bringing you down, consider Fraxel™ Repairing them to naturally lift and re-open your eyes.  After all, if our eyes are the window to our soul, then we should do what we can to keep our souls from looking tired as we age.


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