Skin and Aging
Droopy eyelids, crows feet, and bags under the eyes. These are all common as we age and our skin becomes thinner and less elastic. We also see the signs of a lifetime of UV exposure such as skin tags, blemishes and certain skin cancers. The eyelid skin is always exposed to the sun and is some of the thinnest on the human body. For that reason, it is one of the first places to show the natural signs of aging.
Some of these issues, such as new or changing growths on the skin, are serious. Whereas others are cosmetic due to the natural loss of collagen and elastin in our skin. The first step is to book an eye exam with our optometrists for an assessment. We will treat or refer any serious conditions, but we can also assess your cosmetic concerns. Thankfully, modern aesthetic medicine offers a number of solutions for aging skin including:
- Radio-Frequency treatments to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles including crows feet
- Morpheus 8 microneedling to reduce the size and appearance of bags under the eyes (eyelid festoons) and tighten droopy or hooded eyelids
- IPL (intense pulsed light) treatment for to reduce or eliminate pigment spots and blemishes
- Medical grade skin care products to stimulate collagen regeneration in the skin
Come in for an eye exam and review any of these concerns with your eye doctor and read more about specific treatments below.
Droopy eyelids as age are most often a result of “dermatochalasis” or excessive skin and tissue above the eyelids. This occurs due to the natural breakdown of collagen and elastin in the skin, causing it to fold over itself and create more weight which pulls the eyelids down. It can also be compounded as we lose the structure in the connective tissue that holds back the fat above the eyelids (see diagram below).
If the eyelid drooping is significant enough to reach the top of your pupil, it can restrict the top half of your field of vision. At this point, surgery to remove the skin and lift the eyelid is the ideal treatment. There would be 1-2 weeks of downtime to allow the tissue to heal and to reduce the appearance of the bruising.
However, if the drooping is less severe and treated early, we can avoid surgery with modern aesthetic procedures such as Morpheus 8 radiofrequency treatment. This 15 minute procedure uses microneedles and RF energy that remodels the deep layers of the skin to tighten and lift the tissue around the eyelids. It can be done in office with topical anaesthetic and has little to no downtime. 2 to 3 treatments a few weeks apart are ideal in order to achieve lasting results. The image below shows reduction in both the lid drooping and the appearance of under eye bags.
Loss of Structure from Aging
Before and After Morpheus Treatment
Bags and dark circles under the Eyes
Eyelid bags are a result from thinning of the skin and increased visibility of the fluid retained underneath. Much like other areas of thinning skin, the appearance can be improved by stimulating new collagen synthesis. This makes the skin thicker, tighter, and less apt to retain fluid. This can be done with Morpheus radiofrequency treatments and maintained with the use of medical grade skin care products containing peptides and retinols.
For dark circles under the eyes, often made worse by certain glaucoma drops, products containing hydroquinone may be used. These products must be used under the supervision of a skin care professional in order to ensure safety as they can cause permanent skin color changes.
Before and After Morpheus Treatment
Ocular Rosacea is almost always associated with facial rosacea. It is in inflammatory skin condition that affects the structure and function of the oil producing glands in the skin and eyelids. It often causes the eyelid margin to appear red, and it is the leading cause of dry eye disease.
Facial rosacea results in the appearance of redness, often on the cheeks and nose. Over time, the inflammation can result in scar tissue formation, including enlargement of the tip of the nose (rhinophyma). In the past, inflammation was treated with varying degrees of success with medicated creams and oral antibiotics and/or drugs such as Accutane. However, the side effects profile of many of these medications outweighs the short term benefits.
IPL (Intense pulsed light) treatment is now considered one of the best ways to treat both the inflammation, and the redness associated with it. We use IPL to treat dry eye disease, and if the rosacea is causing facial redness, we treat that as well.