As you age, structural changes in facial skin may cause sagging, thinning and discoloration under the eyes. The result is a weary look that can make you appear old beyond your years. Here, experienced Montreal plastic surgeon Dr. Arie Benchetrit discusses causes and solutions.
Lifestyle Choices and DNA
Sometimes bags under the eyes indicate a lack of sleep or a stressful lifestyle. Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, sudden weight loss and even allergies can also trigger the emergence of this unattractive facial feature. Sometimes the fault lies with your genetic inheritance, however: Your genes control how much fat will accumulate under the eyes, how elastic your skin will be as you age and how much volume you will lose in your cheeks.
As under-eye bags deepen, they often take on a darker appearance. Loss of volume and thinning skin expose blood vessels under the skin. One way to treat this loss of integrity in your under-eye skin is to use a dermal filler. Injectables rejuvenate the face by building volume to fill lines and hollows, while stimulating the production of the revitalizing natural proteins collagen and elastin.
Using dermal fillers to provide a cushion that compensates for thinner skin and loss of fat is sometimes referred to as “tear trough treatment.” This area, between the lower eye and the cheek, often begins to darken and lose volume sometime in our mid- to late 30s.
Although temporary solutions, dermal fillers are fast and convenient, requiring just a few office visits, or sometimes a single injection session. Juvéderm Volbella, Juvéderm Vollure, Belotero, Bellafill, Perlane and Restylane are among the most effective ways to improve skin around the eyes.
As types of dermal fillers proliferate, they are eclipsing in popularity some older techniques, such as Botox.
While dermal fillers fill lines and hollows, build volume and often stimulate collagen production, Botox and the newer relaxants Xeomin and Dysport work on the deeper muscle, preventing frown lines by making the injected muscle too relaxed and lethargic to frown. The same problematic muscles that wrinkle your skin can also brighten your face with a broad smile, however; and so Botox sometimes limits the range of natural emotions your expression can comfortably display.
In the case of more noticeable dark circles, blood vessels and pigment can be directly targeted with laser treatment. Laser is also very effective in treating so-called “crepey” skin under the eyes.
More invasive procedures include eye lift and fat transfer. Eye lift, or blepharoplasty, reduces bagginess from lower eyelids, as well as removing excess skin from upper eyelids. It improves sagging, thinning and discolored skin under the eyes with a permanent, surgical solution that tightens the skin surrounding the eyes and raises drooping eyelids. Unlike dermal fillers, the results of blepharoplasty are permanent.
Fat transfer is another long-lasting solution. That is because the fat cells that will add volume to facial areas are extracted, using liposuction, from areas of the body where you have an abundance. These fat cells naturally accommodate themselves quickly to their new location.
For more information about improving the appearance of the eyes and brow, Dr. Benchetrit invites you to schedule a consultation at our practice. Call or email us today to request an appointment.