June 10, 2021

The Needle or The Knife? Is there a way to get rid of eye bags without surgery?

Eye Rejuvenation in Vancouver

They say that the eyes are the windows to the soul, the eyes are also one of the first parts of the face that begins to show the signs of aging. So, it's no wonder that people want to rejuvenate their windows, and by that we mean their eyelids, eye bags and crow's feet, as these areas seem to be some of the most talked about treatment areas in medical aesthetics.

Blepharoplasty, Botox for crow's feet, tear trough filler, chemical and laser skin resurfacing, there are so many options to choose from (and yes, 8 West Clinic offers them all), but what exactly is the concern, and what is your ideal treatment? Is it surgical or non surgical? Well, there are many different options depending on if you are seeing the early signs of aging, or more deep wrinkles and lines, and we will discuss them all.

Signs of aging around the eyes
While aging is a natural part of life, there are some factors that can lead to premature signs of aging, such as genetics, sun exposure, and other forms of skin damage. This is common in the eyelid skin area, which can result in the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes. This can cause people to look older than their true age, appear less energetic or like they are perpetually grumpy or sad.

There are a number of options based on treating the signs of aging; which can start at preventative treatments and extend to surgical procedures to take 10-20 years off your appearance. Let's take a stroll down the timeline of aging* and have a chat about preventative, protective and corrective treatments, and when they apply.

* Quick note, this timeline contains the average age groups in which these particular signs of aging tend to occur. Some people age prematurely, and some see a delay in their signs of aging.

Your 20s and 30s: The Early Signs of Aging - Preventative and Protective Treatments.
Very mild signs of aging surrounding the eye area is often a good place to start with eye serums, to help hydrate the skin and increase laxity.

Finding the right serum or cream for you can be a tough process, as everyone's skin is different, and this area of the face is very delicate and different to the rest of your face. Medical Grade eye serums or creams that are specifically developed for the delicate eye area.

Products such as the SkinCeuticals AOX Eye Gel work as a good preventative measure, using a combination of l-ascorbic acid, phloretin, and ferulic acid along with powerful botanicals to protect the delicate eye area from atmospheric skin aging.

Skin resurfacing treatments, while designed to help combat moderate to more resolute signs of aging, can also work to increase the resilience of the skin and to repair and damage that can exacerbate the early signs of aging. Chemical peels, or Broadband Laser therapy (BBL therapy), also known as IPL therapy, are good resurfacing treatments that can be customized to target and treat pigmentation and sun damage, as well as skin laxity or lack of firmness.

Your 30s and 40s: Wrinkles and Fine Lines - Corrective Treatments
As we continue to stroll down that inevitable path that is the aging process, many of us will begin to notice the appearance of fine lines in our early to late 20s. This typically is the result of sun exposure, but also can just be our genetics, and the rate of which these appear differs in every individual.

Wrinkles usually start off as fine lines, come in all shapes and sizes, and the way to treat them depends on two primary factors; whether they are dynamic or static.

  • Dynamic Wrinkles are those which form when you make facial expressions, such as creases in the forehead when frowning.
  • Static Wrinkles are typically etched more permanently in our skin, and will remain during a neutral facial expression.

Treatment is also determined on where they are, how pronounced they are and how much of an improvement that you wish to achieve. There are a variety of ways to treat wrinkles; most popular is the use of neuromodulators such as Botox and Dysport to relax wrinkles, and in more pronounced cases, chemical peels and laser techniques can be used to resurface the skin.

Wrinkle relaxing injections, such as Botox and Dysport, are strategically injected into the facial muscles just enough to erase dynamic wrinkles that form around the eyes and forehead from making repeated facial expressions like smiling or frowning. This can also be used as a preventative measure, to limit the dynamic wrinkles that develop into more static lines.

Your 50s and beyond - Deep wrinkles, puffy eyes and dark circles, oh my! 
As our skin continues to age across our face, including the eyes, the cause now starts deeper in the skin - the dermis layer. This can result in strongly entrenched wrinkles with a more prominent appearance, and with the texture of your skin losing volume and laxity this can result in the skin beginning to sag, and even look hollow or gaunt in some areas.

The options for eye aging we have available at 8 West Clinic, depending on your desired results, can be the use of laser resurfacing treatments, Botox and dermal fillers, Blepharoplasty, or a combination of these.

Laser resurfacing treatments are a highly customizable option that works to treat multiple layers of the skin, and specifically target exactly where your individual causes of aging are located. This is where treatments such as Halo laser, or even ProFractional Laser, can also be used to boost skin laxity, treat crepey skin, stimulate collagen production, and help repair sun damage. These two treatments may also be recommended in tandem for optimal results, and have been known to take decades of a person's appearance.

Botox and Dermal Fillers used in combination is a true art form that can produce what we call a "non-surgical facelift". When targeted specifically to the eye area, Botox (as discussed earlier) will smooth out static and dynamic wrinkles around the eyes, between the brows, and in the forehead, providing a "refreshed" look. Dermal fillers (Juvederm and Restylane) then get to work to plump, restore volume, and contour areas of your face, to make them look more youthful and defined. Dark circles under the eye are a common concern for people, as they feel as though they make them look utterly exhausted. These dark circles in the under-eye area, also known as the Tear Troughs, are often thought to be the result of wrinkles or damaged skin, but are actually caused by hollowness beneath the under-eye area. Dermal Filler is injected into the area to add volume underneath the eyes to reduce the hollowness and therefore those dreaded dark circles.

It is important to note that laser resurfacing, Botox and dermal filler won't remove excess skin (such as puffy eyes) or lift drooping features. So if you are happy with these limitations, you certainly can fully enjoy the rejuvenating results of their nonsurgical option.

Blepharoplasty is where we bring out the big guns, so to speak, and in truth they aren't that big - just super effective. Blepharoplasty can be a relatively tame surgical procedure, being completed within a few hours, and with varying levels of anesthesia.

Blepharoplasty is the gold standard for eye rejuvenation, and is usually suggested to patients who are noticing puffiness and sagging eyelids and/or eye bags. Versions of Blepharoplasty exist for both areas, both upper and lower, and within these they are lifts specifically designed for each patient's individual case.

Blepharoplasty surgery is available to the upper and lower eyelids, and there are small variants of this surgery that can be made depending on your specific concerns and desired results.

Often people will combine Blepharoplasty to remove excess skin, or lift sagging areas with a laser resurfacing or Botox and dermal fillers to create a truly rejuvenated look which takes decades of your appearance.

So what do eye do now?
I think we have said it at least twelve times in this blog post alone, that aging is just part of life, and unfortunately the eyes just show these signs sooner rather than later. How our eyes age however isn't the same for everyone, and for some the hollowness, puffy eyes or wrinkles can be of great distress. For others, it may not be so severe, but it still is in conflict with how they feel and want to present themselves.

If eye rejuvenation is something you want, then it is important to understand not just what you want to improve on, but also what exactly the underlying condition is, and what results are realistic.

That is why it is paramount to not only have a great surgeon, physician, injector and/or skin technician, but also to have options - so that you have all the information, and solutions available to you.

Whatever your skin type, age, skin concern, or desired result, your consultation with Dr. Buonassisi and the 8 West team will help to determine the best approach for you, and present you with a number of options to choose from.

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Tell us what you’re interested in and we’ll introduce you to your dedicated Patient Care Manager who will be reaching out for a pre-assessment call⁠.