The Eyes Have It

Non-Surgical Techniques That Are “Raising Eyebrows”

By Kimberly Moskowitz, MD

Throughout history, artists, musicians, and poets have overwhelmingly focused on the capacity of our eyes to evoke emotion, mystery, love, knowledge, wisdom, sadness, joy, and beauty. Our eyes are like cameras, they are how we observe the world and how the world observes us. To the careful observer, they will tell the secrets of our heart and our soul. Many a first impression is made by looking into someone’s eyes ….warm, loving, honest, angry, tired, or sad… They reveal our mood, our desires, and also our age.

As we age, collagen and elastin levels decline and the cute dimples and expression lines of childhood eventually become etched into our face as wrinkles, “crow’s feet” and frown lines. Volume loss causes our face to become thinner, exacerbating these lines and wrinkles. Gravity also takes over as our eyebrows descend, “bags” under our eyes become more prominent, and our lids droop, obscuring our vi-sion but revealing our age. These changes in our eyes and face often make us look angry and tired.

Boosting collagen production and replacing volume loss is big business in the cosmetic industry. According to a recent report by the American Society for Plastic Surgeons, there has been an enormous shift toward less costly and less invasive technologies such as laser resurfacing, Botox, and injectable fillers. Cosmetic surgi-cal procedures have seen a decline of 10-20% over the past two years. The FraxelTM lasers are the most sought after laser technology on the market and Fraxel Re:pairTM was recently re-ported as one of the “Best Quality Of Life Break-throughs” in treating wrinkles and sagging skin.

FraxelTM uses a patented optical tracking system that precisely reads the contours of the face to safely resurface skin a fraction at a time. Fraxel delivers microscopic columns of laser energy, like pix-els in a digital image, into the dermis where our collagen resides. These tiny “dots” of laser energy are surrounded by healthy nests of untreated cells that rapidly heal the treated areas. This provides dramatic results without the prolonged down time or complications seen with other resurfacing or surgical techniques. A single 20 minute Re:pair treatment causes immediate contraction and tightening of the skin and formation of abundant new collagen, making overlying skin supple, radiant, and ten years younger, on the inside and out.

FraxelTM has become the “gold standard” for treating moderate to deep wrinkles and sun damaged skin. 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 up- per and lower eyelids and half experienced a 75-100% improvement. Fraxel is doing more than just “raising eye brows”; it softens wrinkles around the eyes and face, and improves dark circles under the eyes without the surgical risks of over-correction, scarring, and asymmetry.

For those of you looking for the quick fix for younger eyes, Botox is the number one cosmetic procedure performed worldwide. Botox may no longer be a secret, but it’s still hot! This FDA approved protein relaxes the facial muscles that cause overlying wrinkles. This 5-minute treatment erases “crow’s feet”, and frown lines and provides a natural-appearing non-surgical brow-lift. A few drops of Botox under the eyes also cures that “squinty” eye look by causing the eyes to widen and brighten when you smile.

As we age, volume loss strikes the lower lid by leaving a hollow skeletonized appearance. While many patients are concerned with “bags” under their eyes, often, this is an illusion caused by volume loss that makes protruding fat pads appear more prominent. In the past, surgical approaches focused on removing these fat pockets, often leaving the patient with even more “hollowness”. To “youthen-eyes”, it is now common practice to carefully re-contour the lower lid by adding back volume, with Restylane or the patient’s own fat, into the tear trough and vacant spaces under the eyelid.

The science of aging medicine continues to evolve in the direction of natural, less-invasive, non-surgical procedures. Surgeons are beginning to lay down their scalpels and rely on lasers to dramatically lift, tighten and improve the quality of the skin. Fraxel allow us to tighten deep wrinkles and sagging skin often preventing the need for a facelift. Some say that “our eyes can never tell a lie” but with today’s technology, we can stretch the truth about our age.

 

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