There’s a reason there are so many thousands of products on the market that claim to minimize, tighten or erase puffiness and sagging around the eye area; at just half a millimeter thick, the skin around our eyes is thinner than anywhere else on the entire human body. These delicate tissues are often the first to show signs of aging. These products have a role and can help the appearance of your skin by hydrating and delivering beneficial peptides that can help, but the hard truth is that no cosmetics, creams, gels, serums, lotions, rollerballs or gentle massages will have a significant long term effect. When it comes to the skin of your face, and especially the delicate tissue around your eyes, no product can come close to equaling the benefits of surgery.
Puffiness around the eyes has no single cause (and therefore no single cure): allergic reactions, water retention, skin irritants and fat deposits can all contribute to that pinhole-in-the-snow look that greets so many of us in the mirror each morning. If altering your sleep position, diet, contact lenses and exposure to irritants (like sun and cosmetics) aren’t able to achieve the effect you want, you may consider eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) as a more satisfying and long term solution.
Some people have naturally drooping upper eyelids, which become more pronounced as they age, and can interfere with vision, movement and tearing. Others begin to notice the effects of gravity only when they look very closely (when applying makeup or inserting contact lenses), but want to address the problem before it becomes more apparent to others. Lower eyelids can develop “bags” and discoloration that appear to cast shadows over your face. In some cases, the dents and hollows under the eyes can be improved with dermal fillers, though if you’re looking for a long-term solution, blepharoplasty may be your answer.
Eyelid surgery can be performed by board-certified plastic surgeons, maxillofacial surgeons and ophthalmologists, though obviously an experienced eye surgeon (oculoplastic specialist) will have the most experience. Dr. Patrick Flaharty is one of the relatively few oculoplastic surgeons in the U.S. who specializes in cosmetic surgery of the tissue, muscle and bone surrounding the eye. He’ll consult with you prior to your surgery to make sure you’re a good candidate and that your appearance goals are consistent with the possibilities.
Before having the surgery, be sure to avoid taking anti-inflammatory drugs or herbal supplements, as these can increase bleeding. You can return to wearing makeup and contact lenses as soon as Dr. Flaharty removes your sutures, typically one week after the surgery. Remember, bruising, swelling and discoloration are all part of your body’s natural healing process, so don’t panic if you don’t see clear results right away. Your bright-eyed new look can be maintained for ten years or more with regular use of sunscreen, sunglasses and diligent skin care (including makeup removal and hydrating eye creams). Occasional non-surgical touch-ups, such as Botox or fillers, can extend the life of your eyelid surgery.
Contact Azul to speak with Dr. Flaharty about whether you may be a good candidate for eyelid surgery, and how this procedure can fit with your personal goals and busy schedule. Open your eyes to the possibility of a younger-looking you!