Dark circles, puffiness and crow's feet -- your eyes tell the world a lot about you, and they might not be sending the message you want. Although dark circles can develop for a number of reasons, from allergies to thinning skin, what they suggest to those around you is that you're tired. Crow's feet can develop after years of smiles and laughter, but they also add a few years to your appearance. When it comes to dealing with aging around the eyes, you have several options.
The lines that form when you crinkle your eyes to smile, laugh or even cry, can become etched into the skin as time goes on. The more you squint or crinkle your eyes, the more likely it is that you'll develop those lines. Called crow's feet because they resemble the footprint of a bird, the lines form thanks to muscle movement. Since there isn't much, or any, fat in that area, crow's feet are likely to be visible and noticeably long before any other signs of aging.
If you already have visible crow's feet, the best way to treat them is through Botox injections. The FDA approved the injection for use in the eye area in 2013. It works by blocking the signal sent from the nerves to the muscles in the eye area. While you'll still be able to move your face and blink, you just won't be able to make the movements that are responsible for the lines. Botox isn't a permanent fix, but the results last several months. You can have additional injections performed every three months or so to keep the lines from returning.
No one wants to look as though they've been crying for hours, but if you have puffiness around the eyes, that might be how you look all the time. Puffy eyes can occur for a number of reasons, not just because you're getting older. For example, if you eat a diet that's high in salt, don't drink enough water, or haven't gotten enough sleep, fluid can build up in the area and contribute to puffiness. Figuring out the cause of the puffiness is part of figuring out the best way to cope with it.
In some cases, puffiness can take the form of bags that form under the eyelids. The bags form because extra fat is pooling in the area. The most effective way to deal with under eye bags is with blepharoplasty, or lower eyelid surgery. During the procedure, the surgeon will make an incision in the lower eye area and remove extra fat and extra skin, if needed.
If the puffiness is a result of your diet, making a few small changes, such as eating less salt and making sure you drink more water everyday, can help. Changing your sleeping position can also help. If you sleep with your head propped up, fluid has less of a chance to collect in the under eye area, reducing your chance of developing puffy eyes.
Like puffy eyes, people develop dark circles under their eyes for a number of reasons. The circles can form because of pigmentation in the under eye area, for example. Some people suffer from allergies and when their allergy symptoms flare up, the small blood vessels beneath the thin skin in the eye area become more visible. As with puffiness, knowing the cause of the dark circles can help you figure out the best treatment.
While at-home treatments, such as using concealer or taking an allergy pill to reduce symptoms, can be effective for some, others might want to discuss their options with a facial plastic surgeon. In some cases, even the best concealer isn't enough to cover up dark circles.
If the darkness is a result of pigmentation, treatment options include laser skin resurfacing or microdermabrasion. Since the eye area is very delicate, it's important to see a surgeon with experience performing those procedures near the eyes. If the circles are there because of too little fat in the area, one option might be to have a filler injected beneath the eyes. There are some drawbacks to using a filler near the eyes, though, so it's always a good idea to discuss the option with a doctor who has ample experience using dermal fillers.
From surgery to Botox, Dr. Nathan Nachlas, a board certified facial plastic surgeon in Boca Raton, can help you determine the best treatment for your eye area concerns. A consultation before the procedure allows you and Dr. Nachlas to work together to pinpoint the cause of your eye area issues and to come up with a treatment that best meets your needs and wants.
For more information or to request a consult with Dr. Nachlas contact Sandy Friedman, Director of Patient Relations at 561-939-0909.