I see many posts about how fraxel (or other lasers) can help loose skin around the eyes. When I went for my first treatment, they put eye patches over my whole eye, including eyelids. It did improve the rest of my face, but of course not my eyelids or bags. I don't think I'd want the laser any closer?
How Do You Protect Eyes from Lasers when Treating Loose Eyelid Skin?
Doctor Answers (12)
Eye protection is critical with lasers
Laser (or other device) treatment of skin of upper and lower eyelids is very common. Eye protection for patient and operator is necessary to avoid injury from direct or indirect exposure. There are different types of eyewear used depending upon laser (device) and proximity to eye. Most of the time we use external metal shields that look like eyeprotection one would wear in a tanning booth. For use closer to eyelashes we would use an internal shield - basically a metal contact lens.
Mode of Eye Protection during laser treatments to Face and Eyelida
Eye protection is obviously extremely important. the closer we come to the eye, the tighter and more secure the eye protection must be. The best way to protect the eyes from scratches or the laser is to use specially designed stainless steel contact lenses. The eye is numbed with a drop of topical anesthetic. Once numb, these specially designed corneal protection shields are placed on the eye, much like a contact lens, and cover the surface of the eye for the duration of the procedure. once the procedure is done, the protective shields are removed.
This allows the Plastic surgeon to safely treat the eyelids which are frequently the reason many people seek laser treatments.
Laser Skin Resurfacing For Eyelid Skin
For laser skin resurfacing around the eye, modality specific eye shields are utilized much like a contact lens to protect the cornea, sclera and conjunctiva. For laser skin resurfacing (utilized to tighten, smooth, and enhance the skin) around the eye we use a metal shield that is reflective. This allows the skin being treated by the laser to be treated safely without hurting the delicate eye structures. During a blepharoplasty a plastic shield or contact is commonly used as well. Plastic is chosen in this situation as it is non conductive. Once the fat, muscle and excess skin have been addressed through a blepharoplasty the laser can then address the skin. A different eye shield is selected depending upon the laser. The main point being that the eye needs to be protected from injury and there are many different ways to do this safely.
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Eye protection from lasers
If the eyelid is treated up to the eyelashes, there are different types of eye protection that doctors can use depending on the energy source. Radiofrequency such as Thermage involves the use of plastic sterile eyeshileds placed by the physician similar to the manner in which contact lenses are placed. For many lasers, sterile smooth metal eyeshields are placed in lieu of the plastic mentioned above. There are other ways in which it can be done. The physician should discuss with you the procedure they will use.
Metal shields are standard for laser resurfacing of the eyelids
When performing laser resurfacing of the eyelid skin, I insert metal eye shields to protect from the laser. First an anesthetic drop is used, followed by careful placement of a metal eye shield that is coated with eye lubricant. The eye is then flushed with BSS solution after their removal following the laser treatment. A properly fitting eye shield is excellent protection from laser injury.
Laser rejuvenation of the eyelids
Treating the eyelid skin with a laser is generally the best way to improve texture, lines, wrinkles and the crepe paper appearance of the skin. It is essential to protect the eye by placing a shield over the eye. It's like a large contact lens, but for comfort an anesthetic drop is placed in the eye and a lubricating ointment is spread over the inside of the shield. It's completely comfortable. Once it's in place the laser procedure can be done all the way to the eyelash line to rejuvenate the lids. After the procedure the shield is easily removed and we flush the eye with a saline solution to remove any remnants of the ointment. In our office, once the shield is in place, our patients are never left alone. It only takes a few minutes to perform the laser so for those who don't like the thought of the shield (which can't be felt) removing their sight temporarily, the shields are out in no time.
Laser resurfacing of eyelid skin
Fractional resurfacing of eyelid skin can give great results. To treat the eyelid skin properly, you need internal eye shields. They are made of non-reflective metal material and are inserted inside the eyelids, in a similar way as contact lenses, although these are much larger.
Some anesthetizing eye lubricant must be placed in the eye prior to putting in eye shields to protect the eye and reduce the reflex to flinch when the eye shields are being inserted.
Make sure you have the procedure done by a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon with proper training and experience in this procedure. It is a procedure that can give great results but must be done an experienced physician.
Laser Treatment around eyes
In order to treat within the orbital rim (inside the bony rim around the eye) you need to place special laser protective eye shields. This is quite simple to do. A few drops of an eye anesthetic are placed in they eye, followed by a lubricant and then the eye shield. The biggest problem patients have is the anxiety associated withthe physician putting the shields in, but most find it much simpler than than they imagined. Any experienced laser surgeon should have these readily available, as they are a must for treating close to the eyelid margin. Be sure to consult with your experienced, board certified aesthetic surgeon, such as a Dermatologist or Plastic Surgeon. You will be pleased with your results.
There are special laser eye shields that we use to protect the eyes. We place a topical anesthetic on the eye, lubricate the eye and insert the shield. It is a painless procedure. After the procedure the shields are removed and the eye is irrigated with a balanced salt solution much like contact lens solution.
Safety and loose skin around the eyes
it is imperative that any treatment involving the eyes utilizes what we call intraocular protection. This involves putting some numbing drops in your eyes and place a very large contact lens to protect it from the laser beam. We use this on all of our eyelid treatments.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.