Earlier in the week, we discussed the causes of puffy eyes and dark circles, as well as a few ways to naturally prevent and treat them when they appear. For many people, puffiness around the eye is simply the result of fluid accumulation from their sleep position or diet, and can easily be corrected. Dark circles can also be the result of stress or lack of sleep, especially if youre a smoker.
However, for others, eye puffiness and dark circles are signs of aging brought about by genetics, sun exposure, and gravity. The skin and muscles around the eye weaken as we age, so fat migrates down from around the orbital bone and rests under the eye, creating sagginess and bags. Skin also thins as we age, and the skin around the eye is already the most delicate of the body. This means that it shows thinning very quickly, exposing underlying blood vessels and adding to the shadowed, dark look of under-eye circles.
Luckily, there are a number of effective procedures available that can help you combat the appearance of puffiness and under eye circles when natural methods just arent working. Well go over a few here, and you can call our plastic surgery office in Ashburn at (703) 574-2588 to schedule a consultation if you have any other questions!
IPL For Dark Circles
IPL treatments, or Intense Pulsed Light, is an excellent option for those whose dark circles are caused by pigmentation in the skin. This is usually a genetic issue that you cant fix with over-the-counter creams or DIY tricks. If youre genetically predisposed to pigmentation around the eyes (which is most common in people with olive or dark skin), this is the treatment option for you.
IPL works by focusing light energy at the darker pigmentation in the skin. The lightwaves target and remove the appearance of the pigmentation, leaving you with a more even skin tone, and also restricts the size of the blood vessels to reduce the blue-ish tinge that can come with dark circles. IPL is safe enough for use around the eye area.
IPL treatments also stimulate collagen production in the skin, which is the protein that gives the skin firmness and elasticity. Increased collagen production will tighten up the skin under the eye area, reducing the bagginess or sagging.
A chemical peel is a simple procedure that involves the application of a chemical solution to the surface of the skin to neutralize the appearance of fine lines, blemishes, rough skin texture, and dark circles under the eyes. A chemical peel will remove the upper layer of blotchy, discolored skin to reveal the younger, healthier-looking skin underneath. Some chemical peels are specifically formulated to work on the skin around the eye, and your surgeon will help you select the one that is best for your particular complaints.
Dermal Fillers For Under-Eye Circles
Fat loss is one of the leading causes of the appearance of aging. As we get older, we lose fat volume in the face and around the eyes, giving the face a more sunken, thin look (this is whats behind the term baby face – it just means rounded and plump because of lack of fat loss). When fat loss happens around the eyes, the eyes can look like theyve sunken into the sockets, producing shadows under the eyes and contributing to the dark look.
A dermal filler is an injection of a selected substance into the affected area to increase the volume and fill in any sunkenness. There are a number of types of dermal fillers (surgeons can even use your own fat, taken from another part of your body where you dont want it) so you can be sure to get the filler that is best for your complaint. Dermal fillers are an excellent way to return your eyes to their more youthful appearance without committing to surgery.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)
The least conservative treatment for cosmetic eye issues is blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery. Eyelid surgery can be used to treat sagging skin on both the upper and lower eyelids, and can also be used to remove dropping and excess muscle tissue, and to remove displaced fat has accumulated under the eye. Eyelid surgery is an excellent option for patients with under-eye puffiness and bagginess that is caused by symptoms of aging, and not by temporary lifestyle choices like lack of sleep. If your skin and muscles have thinned and weakened leading to sagging skin and fatty tissue migrating to under the eye, this is the best option for you.
Eyelid surgery is also a great procedure to pair with other procedures like face lifts or even Botox. While the eyelid surgery can correct under-eye bags and sagging upper eyelids, Botox can treat the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Dermal fillers can also be given at the same time as the surgery, to fill in sunken areas around the eye caused by fat volume loss. Your surgeon will help you create a treatment plan that best fits your needs.
If you have any questions about treating dark circles or under-eye bags with cosmetic procedures, please call our offices at (703) 574-2588 to schedule a free consultation with our Board Certified Plastic Surgeon!