They say when it comes to gauging the attraction factor or wear-n-tear on any face, eyes are the first to speak. Under an experienced gaze eyes can give away the mysteries of our existence, the experiences we live through and genetic directives we carry. Medically speaking as we age our body goes through a myriad of changes and the delicate area around the eye is the first to shows these signs. Some people start showing these signs real early and some don’t, and most of us are left to wonder what factors are responsible for the wrinkling and sagging of eyelids and what we can do to join the league of the fresh eyed forever youthful.
Un-riddling The Enigma Of Aging Eyes
Blepharochalasis, apart from being an oddball mouthful, is also the most commonly used medical term to define extra skin around eyes or heavy eyelids. It is a very common condition precipitated with normal aging, fatigue/being tired, allergies, sluggish lymphatic drainage, obesity, and certain medical conditions. Frequently found in conjunction with skin excess, orbital fat pseudo-herniation contributes significantly to the “tired look” of age-related periorbital changes. Here’s a birds eye view of the factors that lead to periorbital decrepitude and what treatment options modern medicine has to offer.
Recently researchers from Erasmus Medical Center in the Netherlands conducted a study to pinpoint the risk factors associated with sagging eyelids, focusing mainly on genetic factors. They evaluated two groups of people, the first group of 5,578 was comprised of unrelated participants with North European ancestry, in this group 17.8 percent had moderate to severe sagging eyelids. In the second group 2,186 twin participants were evaluated, and within the pairs, 61 percent had inherited their sagging eyelids. These findings published in JAMA Dermatology positively support the fact that the most common cause for sagging eyelids is genetics.
Gender, Ethnicity & BMI
In addition to genetics, the study also highlighted that age, being a male, having lighter skin color, and a higher body mass index (BMI) were all risk factors for sagging under-eye skin. Scientific common sense dictates that person with a higher BMI, typically has more fat accumulated than does a normal-weight person, which means their under-eye fat pads have a greater chance of being larger and more protuberant.
Skin around the eyes is usually thinner and hence ages faster than any other area on the face. The delicate periorbital skin while stretched and weighed down by the fat pads leads to accentuated and droopy-eyed bags. The protrusion of intra-orbital fat, appears as swelling of lower eyelid fat, and is generally accepted as a part of the aging process. Age and other factors can also let the muscles to become lax that can lead to further worsening of under eye bags.
Puffy or swollen eyes, is another common occurrence that may plague eyes regardless of age or gender and are mostly caused by a high-salt diet, oversleeping, smoking or alcohol use. Unhealthy lifestyle also leads to dark circles and early wrinkles.
Conduct Your Own half An Eye Test
If you are curious to know how you’ll age, take a quick look at your parents and you’ll get a fairly good idea on whether or not you’ll develop large fat pads later during your course of life.
You can turn a blind eye to what you see in your folk’s faces or get proactive and try to change the course of genetics and aging with a little help from aesthetic medicine.
Feast Your Eyes On Available Treatment Options
Wrinkles, bags, dark circles, and hooded eyelids are not only unflattering cosmetically, but they can also cause vision obstruction and headaches from straining to keep the eyes open. Fortunately, there are a variety of nonsurgical and surgical treatments for patients with tired, sagging and aging eyelids. Treatment choices to rejuvenate the eye area depend on the type of damage we need to address for e.g. aging upper eyelids often need tightening of loose saggy skin and muscles. Lower eyelids usually need treatment for puffiness and crepe-like skin along with trimming of bags of fat. In addition, dark circles around the eyes might need to be addressed too.
Volume & Hydration
Injectable fillers are one of the easier and most effective ways to smooth the skin around the eyes and provide subtle, natural looking volume to correct hollow eyes. They also help to improve dark circles around the eyes by 15-20%, however, they offer very little help with protruding fat pads. Anteis Esthetis Soft, Juvederm Volbella and Teoxane Redesnsity II are specially designed hyaluronic acid based gels used to diminish both fine lines around the eyes by providing volume while simultaneously hydrating the skin.
Laser Skin Rejuvenation
Laser surgery is a non-invasive way to tighten the skin around the eyes. The fractional CO2 or Fraxel can be used to gently resurface and rejuvenate eyelids gradually and can be used in conjunction with filler or surgical treatments. The lasers causes microscopic thermal damage and the skin responds by rapidly healing and peeling off old damaged cells, replacing old with newer tighter skin underneath the eyes. The C02 laser can also improve the skin’s elasticity, texture, fine lines and deep wrinkles, acne scars, and sunspots.
Surgical Options - Blepharoplasty
When non-surgical treatments do not provide the patient with the results they desire, blepharoplasty or eyelid reduction surgery can prove to be an effective route to achieve cosmetic goals. The procedure entails making tiny incisions in the eyelid and under the eye area, any excess fat is removed, the skin is then tightened and sutures are secured. Removal of the under-eye fat pad significantly decreases any puffiness around the eye. Eyelid surgery can correct droopy upper eyelids, also known as hooded eyes, but does not remove dark circles or lift sagging eyebrows, each of which have be treated separately.
Blepharoplasty is actually the only way to remove protruding fat pads, especially for those who are overweight and have an increased fat accumulation under eye. But for skin tightening, wrinkles and filling in the hollows under the eyes, the variety of nonsurgical treatments work very well.