Are you beginning to notice that the area around your eyes is making you look older than you really are? Do your eyes appear tired, even on the days when you are well-rested? Despite our best skin care efforts, the eyes are usually one of the first areas of the body to show age. Fortunately, cosmetic treatments like those performed by Dr. Ali Ghafouri of Arizona Oculoplastic Specialists can help in ways that eye creams, serums and moisturizers cannot. Laser resurfacing and blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery, are two excellent options for addressing several age-related problems on the eyelids and around the eyes. They can be performed separately or simultaneously.
If you have questions about whether laser resurfacing, blepharoplasty or a combination procedure are right for your aging needs and goals, Dr. Ghafouri encourages you to continue reading to learn more about your options.
Understanding How the Eyes Age
But first, let’s review how aging affects the eyelids and the area around the eyes.
As you age, your body produces less collagen and elastin, two proteins that are responsible for the skin’s firm and elastic quality. Without these proteins, the skin begins to loosen, making the skin on the upper and lower eyelids droop and causing the eyes to appear “hooded.” In severe cases, the skin on the upper eyelids becomes so heavy that it hangs over the lash line and obstructs proper vision. The loss of collagen and elastin also causes the skin to crease, creating fine lines under the lower eyelids and crow’s feet (branching wrinkles) to form around the corners of the eye.
The passage of time also causes fat to become displaced and muscle tone to disappear, which leads to noticeable and unsightly bulges (under-eye bags) below the lower eyelids. These bulges can cast shadows under the lower eyelids that look like dark circles or half-moons.
What Blepharoplasty Accomplishes
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that addresses moderate to severe signs of aging on the upper and lower eyelids. Upper blepharoplasty involves trimming lax, excess skin and repositioning displaced fat and tissue for a more natural-looking and youthful appearance. In cases where the upper eyelid skin hangs below the lash line, upper blepharoplasty can restore the line of sight. Once the excess skin and fat are removed, the eyelid skin is carefully lifted to create a more open and youthful eye appearance.
Lower blepharoplasty is designed to smooth out puffy under-eye bags, noticeable wrinkles and depressions beneath the lower eyelids. Blepharoplasty can be performed to treat the upper eyelids, the lower eyelids or both. While blepharoplasty can rejuvenate the upper and lower eyelids, it cannot properly treat noticeable crow’s feet and other wrinkles that form at the corner of the eyes. This is where laser resurfacing can be quite effective.
What Laser Resurfacing Accomplishes
Laser resurfacing is a minimally invasive treatment that addresses a range of signs of aging and sun damage on the face. The laser is focused onto the treatment area to heat up the superficial layers of the skin, targeting old and damaged skin cells. This triggers the body’s collagen regeneration process, to promote the growth of healthier and younger-looking skin. Laser resurfacing can gently yet effectively treat the delicate skin around the eyes to minimize the appearance of crow’s feet and other wrinkles on the corner of the eyes. Depending on the laser used, age spots and pigmentation problems around the eyes and on the face can also be treated.
At Arizona Oculoplastic Specialists, we offer the latest technology available in laser skin resurfacing. Investing in the most advanced laser systems allows us to provide personalized treatment and care to our patients. The Lumenis laser — among the most innovative and versatile pieces of equipment available — delivers personalized and effective results. Unlike older lasers, the Lumenis laser uses fractionated beams of energy to treat columns of skin rather than whole areas, shortening recovery time and minimizing patient discomfort. The Lumenis laser can be used to perform:
- ResurFX, a non-ablative fractional treatment that uses fine micro-channels to reach the deep layers of the skin and stimulate new collagen and elastin. It can be used to treat acne scarring, poor skin texture, fine lines and wrinkles, lax skin and surgical scars. ResurFX uses CoolScan, a state-of-the-art scanner that protects the tissue from overheating and provides continuous contact cooling, ensuring a gentle and comfortable treatment at all times.
- ActiveFX, a fractional CO2 laser treatment used to treat superficial layers of the skin to remove hyperpigmentation, promote collagen regeneration and improve fine lines and skin texture.
- TotalFX combines ActiveFX and DeepFX. ActiveFX treats the superficial layers of the skin while DeepFX treats the deep tissues and layers of the skin. In one treatment, TotalFX stimulates new collagen for up to six months to improve the appearance of scars, wrinkles, fine lines, poor skin tone and texture, and hyperpigmentation.
The Benefits of Combining Procedures
So can you benefit from combining blepharoplasty with laser resurfacing? Ultimately it depends on your unique needs. Our oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Ghafouri, can determine whether it is appropriate after meeting with you personally. Generally, a combination procedure is appropriate for individuals who seek the most comprehensive results and want to address multiple cosmetic concerns they have regarding their eyelids and the face. Blepharoplasty can rejuvenate the eyelids while laser resurfacing can minimize wrinkles, age spots and other aging signs on the face.
In addition to offering comprehensive rejuvenation for the eye area, a combination procedure can also cut down some of the costs (e.g., facility and anesthesia fees) and the downtime, as it requires one recovery period instead of two separate ones.
Refresh and Rejuvenate with Dr. Ali Ghafouri
To discuss your anti-aging concerns and goals with Dr. Ali Ghafouri, schedule a one-on-one consultation. Contact Arizona Oculoplastic Specialists at our Scottsdale office today.