Part 1: The Upper Eyelids
The eyes are often the first place our focus goes to when we meet someone. We notice the shape, the color and it gives us the impression if the person looks fresh or tired, happy or sad, young or old. That’s why they call the eyes the windows to our souls.
So why are eyes one the first places that start to the show signs of age? Because the skin is so delicate and thin around this area, it is sensitive to small changes sooner than areas in the body. There are several factors that can contribute to a the appearance of the eyes…. anatomy, genetics, the amount of sleep (are your really tired?), allergies, sun exposure and smoking.
With all the different creams, gels, serums, skin tighteners and lighteners, facials treatments and injectables that are available it can be very hard to figure out what will work for you. And finally, when do you know that you may need a little “lift” procedure to freshen things up.
What are some frequent complaints and how to address and how do you address what’s bothering you the most? Today I’ll focus on the upper eyelids. Later I’ll discuss how to improve the appearance of the lower eyelids, eyelashes, and crow’s feet.
As a general rule, using a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated is always good, including on your eyelids. Sun protection is also important. Wear polarized sunglasses and a hat as much as possible when in the sun. Apply a small drop of moisturizer that has an SPF 15 or greater on your upper lids in the morning before going outside in the sun.
Do you have heavy or droopy lids?
Can you can pinch some skin on the lid and see it bunch up after you let go? This is really all extra skin that makes your upper lid heavier and makes you look tired and older. Many women will also notice that it’s more difficult to put on eye shadow because your eyelid drags when you apply it. This can be hereditary and you may notice that your parents, siblings or other relatives have the same problem.
Botox or Dysport
A small amount of a modulator like Botox or Dysport placed just below your eye brow can help lift up the brow enough to pull some of the extra skin on the upper lid up.
Upper Blepharoplasty (Upper Eye Lift)
If the Botox or Dysport is not enough then the next step option is an upper eyelid lift or blepharoplasty. This is a procedure that can be done without difficulty under local anesthesia or with mild sedation to remove the excess skin. First, the eyelid is marked and then a local anesthetic is used to numb the area. The extra skin is removed and often any excess fatty bulges can also be taken care of. You may have some swelling and mild bruising that last a few days. The procedure usually takes about an hour and is often done right in the office.
A brow lift is recommended if your brow has dropped down and the Botox or upper lid lift is not enough to address this. In this procedure the brow is lifted so it no longer droops down over your eyes. Depending on the extent of lifting needed, this can be done under sedation or general anesthesia and often is done together with an upper blepharoplasty. Different techniques can be used and it can be performed through the same incision as the upper eyelid procedure or endoscopically through small incisions hidden in the hair line on your scalp. Recovery time usually is about 4-5 days.
It’s important to see a qualified plastic surgeon to be evaluated and to plan the best procedure for you. Make sure that person can perform the full range of procedures for a complete evaluation of how to best address your specific needs.