Youthful Eyes – Techniques in Restoration

Eyes have their way of saying it all, especially when you don’t want it said. They can be a real barometer for how old you look, not how old you are. Americans are well aware of this. According to the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS), blepharoplasty (eye lifts) was the second-most popular cosmetic surgical procedure performed in 2007. The AAFPRS reports a 7 percent increase from 2006 in the number of procedures performed. According to the AAFPRS Annual Member Survey, the majority of patients who elected to have blepharoplasty were 35-60 years old.

Long considered the gold standard for eye rejuvenation and to remove puffiness or lower eyelid bags, loose skin and hooding of the eyelids, the AAFPRS reports that blepharoplasty on average costs $3,504. In this age of advancing technology, other options are available to revitalize eyes, as long as you trust your face to a facial plastic surgeon.

Fillers, BOTOX® Cosmetic and light therapy. Hyaluronic fillers, including Restylane® and JUVÉDERM™ can help relieve dark under eye circles and make the skin look tighter in areas like the lids, eyebrows and crow’s feet area. These fillers bind to water and fill in the under eye hollows or plump facial folds. Hyaluronic fillers can last up to 9 months.

Botox, another popular non-invasive anti-aging method is able to relax the muscles around the eyes, lift heavy eyelids and open the eyes. It is a popular remedy for the removal of crow’s feet. Botox can last from 3 to 6 months.

Many consumers opt for high-tech offerings, trusting energy treatments like the Fraxel laser. The Fraxel is one of several different non ablative fractional lasers which uses infrared light and other forms of energy to boost and grow new collagen, giving skin an improved appearance. If you undergo three to six sessions, results can last a year or more.

Microdermabrasion, chemical peels and topical retinoids. The process of using micronized crystals to remove dead cells and discoloration helps make crow’s feet and forehead lines look smoother. A less aggressive, less expensive approach is to use a topical retinoid, a vitamin A derivative. Retinoids can lessen wrinkles and discoloration by speeding up cell turnover. Regular, continued use produces the best results, which kick in after 6 weeks. A chemical peel, performed by a facial plastic surgeon, removes a superficial layer of skin, boosting collagen production. Monthly use will ensure a glow and added texture.

Eye creams, or moisturizers with anti-aging ingredients like vitamins C or B5, peptides, or other antioxidants. Moisturizing and hydrating can help smooth wrinkles. With continued use, the eye area will improve slightly with time.

It is safe to say that in 2008 and beyond, plastic surgical eye rejuvenation techniques are better, more effective and safer than ever before, but only when performed by an experienced and certified facial plastic surgeon.

The AAFPRS website, www.facemd.org, is an excellent source for information about board-certified facial plastic surgeons in any area, as well as information about a wide variety of facial plastic procedures. For further information on the AAFRPS, or to talk with the President of the AAFPRS, Vito Quatela, MD, please contact Deborah Sittig to arrange for an interview: Deborah@greenroompr.com or (973) 263-8585, ext. 22.