A commonly asked question about the under eye area is “Why is my skin around my eyes so crepey?” We’ve often referred to the eyes as the window to the soul and the frame of the face. It is this area that thirty and forty-something women begin to focus on as they age. The eye area begins to experience many changes not only in the shape but also the texture of the skin.
The wrinkles and fine lines around the eyes tend to be the most obvious and disliked of anywhere on the face. As we age, sun damage (photodamage), leads to thinning of the epidermis and skin laxity (drooping). Sun damage also leads to a decrease in the skin's collagen and elastin, two components of the skin that are responsible for repairing sun damage in the epidermis. The outcome of collagen breakdown is a decrease in the resilience of the skin. It is this change in resilience that decreases the ability for the skin to retain its original shape and causes the crepiness around the eyes mentioned above.
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What are effective treatment options for wrinkles around the eyes? Besides topical regimens, ablative and non-ablative laser treatments are extremely valuable in softening fine lines and promoting collagen stimulation. Botox Cosmetic and Dysport are effective in minimizing the repeated muscle contraction that leads to wrinkling at the sides of the eyes (crow's feet). And using fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm help to add volume to the lower eye area which may improve skin texture as well as minimizing the darkening effects (dark circles under eyes). Upper and lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may also be a good option when the above laser and injection treatments for the eyes are not appropriate or effective enough.
An experienced practitioner will see the value of using a combination of treatments to tailor a plan to help you meet your goals. More importantly, what one does on a daily basis (sunscreen, sunglasses, and good, affordable skin care products) will go far in protecting the delicate area around the eyes.
Lori Haney, RN, MEP-C
Certified Medical Laser Safety Officer