It’s All in the Eyes

The eyes may be windows to the soul, but they’re also windows into our age.  The delicate skin surrounding your eyes is the thinnest in the body- only one or two cells thick in places.  And baby, does it take some abuse!  Between allergies, squinting in the bright sun, or just a full-on smile, the skin around your eyes has plenty of reasons to develope fine lines and wrinkles.  But delicate skin may not be the only reason your eyes are giving your age away:

courtesy of Office.com

Patients often complain about the sagging skin on their upper lids, but they don’t realize their drooping eyebrows are part of the problem.  Here’s a little test for you: go look in the mirror and stare at yourself while you relax your forehead.  Many people constantly and chronically raise their eyebrows to compensate for a sagging forhead.  So if you have horizontal wrinkles across your forehead, you might be raising your eyebrows without realizing it.  Once your forehead is completely relaxed, reach up and feel where your eyebrows are.  Are they at the edge of the bone at the top of your eye, or are they below it?  For women, eyebrows should be slightly above the bony rim of your orbit.  Men’s eyebrows should be right at the rim.  But with your forehead relaxed, you may find your eyebrows down below this bony rim.

So what does this mean?  If you find your eyebrows are a bit low, it just means that any surgical approach to making your eyes look younger, such as an eye lift (blepharoplasty), may need to take that forehead into account as well.

No another question- do you have bags under your eyes?  Are you tired of people asking you why you’re so tired?  Well once again, you may not have just your eyes to blame.  As we age, the fat and connective tissue that gives us those nice full cheeks begins to descend, resulting in hollowed out cheeks and making those bags under the eyes much more noticeable.  Thus restoring volume in the cheek will actually make the lower eyelid look younger.  There are a couple of ways to do this:

  • With fillers.  Using a filler such as Radiesse to plump up the cheek can really improve the look of the lower eyelids.
  • As part of an eyelift.  When I perform surgery on the lower eyelids, I resuspend that fat and connective tissue back where it was, giving your cheeks a much fuller look.

So now you know how areas like the forehead and cheeks can contribute to aging of the eyes.  In a later post, we’ll explore how the eyes themselves age, and what you can do about it.

 

Do you have any questions about aging eyes?

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

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  1. Pingback: It’s All in the Eyes… Part 2 | Greer Plastics

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