The Face of Health Series – Eyelid Rejuvenation

Henry Daniel Sandel IV, MD
Article by
Annapolis Facial Plastic Surgeon

Are the eyes really the windows to the soul?  They most certainly reveal your emotions, state of mind, and quite possibly even your overall health.  Ask yourself:  “What is the first thing I notice when looking at someone?”  Overwhelmingly, when we meet or approach someone, our eyes are drawn to their eyes.  This silent first impression tells us a lot about someone even before speaking to them.

In today’s society, stress, long workdays, and little sleep often impact someone’s appearance.  These changes can be permanent even when the stress has long since passed. There is a disconnection with that person’s inner vibrancy and healthy spirit compared to the look they wish to present to the world.  However, this does not have to be the case. Many technological advances are available to help you restore that youthful, refreshed appearance.

What made my eyes look so tired?

In general, as we age the eyelids go through changes.  The upper eyelid skin begins to loosen and the eyebrows start drooping.  Some people even have the upper eyelid fall so much it interferes with their vision.  This heaviness may also be accentuated by small amounts of fat protruding from around the eye into the eyelid.

The lower eyelids also elongate over time.  The skin laxity can fold over and create “bags” that are also filled with small amounts of fat.  Dark circles form in the skin under the weight of the eyelid giving the classic tired and stressed appearance.  In some patients, the upper cheek contributes to the aged eyelid appearance and makes the lower eyelids appear worse than they actually are.  It is important to not overlook this relationship when examining the eyelids.

How can I get that refreshed appearance back?

In some cases, laser treatments or skin peels may be all that is required.  These patients may have fine lines or dark circles without having excessive amounts of skin or fat.  There are many patients at this stage that simply desire to look less tired.  Using chemical peels or laser treatments, the skin can be firmed and tightened without surgery.  Office procedures such as these are less costly and require less downtime.                                                  

In other cases, surgery is the treatment of choice.  Dramatic and permanent improvements can be made in these patients using relatively simple and inexpensive procedures.  Some procedures require no incisions on the outside of the eyelid.  Others may involve removing fat or repositioning the fat to fill in the upper cheek.  If incisions are required, they are placed just below the eyelash line or in the upper eyelid crease in a manner which produces virtually no visible scar.  In any case, there are many variations in eyelid surgery.  It is important that your surgeon has detailed knowledge and understanding of the relationships between the eyelids, cheeks, forehead, and the rest of the face.