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by April Harrison, PA-C, from the Fall 2010 issue

Who doesn’t want bright, refreshed eyes? Now it’s possible with cosmetic treatments at Suzanne Bruce and Associates!

I am often asked what can be done to treat under-eye bags, hollow-looking eyes, and dark circles. Dermal fillers are ideal to use for rejuvenating the eye area. We use hyaluronic acid fillers, such as JUVÉDERM®, and longer-lasting volumizers, such as Sculptra® Aesthetic.

Under-eye bags are caused by fat pads beneath the skin that descend with normal aging or heredity. Fillers are used to fill in the groove between the bag and upper part of the cheek, making the bags less obvious, giving you a refreshed appearance.

Sometimes bags aren’t the problem, but tired, hollow-looking eyes are. We also use fillers here to soften the deep groove that appears as we lose collagen and overall volume in the face. Tiny injections of filler are placed under the muscle just below the eye, lifting the skin and making tired eyes look more refreshed and awake. This technique will also help reduce the appearance of dark circles as the skin is lifted off the vascular bed (blood supply) that shines through the thin skin below the eye. Because this is such a vascular area, there is a higher chance of bruising with this treatment. You’ll love the end result, but you will want to make sure your social calendar is clear for a week or so to allow any bruising to subside. Other common side effects are redness and swelling – both temporary.

For the treatment of fine lines and wrinkles around the eyes and crépey skin texture, the Fraxel re:pair procedure offers a revolutionary option. Fraxel re:pair is a fractionated carbon dioxide (CO2) resurfacing laser that produces remarkable improvement in the surface texture of the skin, especially around the eyes. The laser works by delivering thousands of microscopic beams to the tissue in an even pattern, similar to pixels in a photograph. The treated columns of skin are vaporized, which contracts and tightens the skin. Normal skin is left around the columns, so recovery time and the risk associated with traditional CO2 resurfacing are reduced. The laser penetrates deep enough into the skin to stimulate new collagen production, which results in smoother skin over time. Both upper and lower eyelids can be treated to the lash line after eye shields are placed to protect the eye. For comfort, anesthetic eye drops are placed in the eyes prior to placement of the protective shields. Generally, only one treatment is required. Side effects of the procedure are redness and swelling, lasting about a week.

Eyes by Thermage® is a skin tightening procedure that is great for smoothing and tightening the skin around the eyes. This procedure uses tiny pulses of radiofrequency energy to build collagen in the deeper layers of skin. Similar to Fraxel, a plastic protective eye shield is placed under the eyelid once the eye has been numbed with anesthetic eye drops. After the procedure, some tightening can be seen right away, but collagen builds very slowly in the skin so the best results are seen about six months post procedure. Eyes by Thermage is a one-time treatment; however, additional treatments can be performed if more tightening is desired. There is no downtime with Thermage so you can literally go right back to work!

Smile lines around the eyes can be treated with botulinum toxins, such as BOTOX® Cosmetic and Dysport™. These products are administered in tiny injections around the eye to relax the muscle that causes the lines around the eyes. You can still smile and wink, but no more crow’s feet! Results last about three to four months.

Taking care of skin is what we are all about. We know that using products with Vitamin A derivatives (prescription retinoids or over-the-counter retinols), antioxidants, growth factors, and peptides can rejuvenate tired skin and protect from further sun damage while building collagen. In our office, we carry a variety of beneficial eye creams by Obagi, Revaléskin®, SkinMedica® and VIVITÉ®.

Long, lush lashes are not just a dream, they can be a reality! Latí­sse® is a prescription topical medication that increases the length and thickness of eyelashes. Used nightly, results are noticeable within a few weeks, reaching full-potential in about four months. For those who want a little less expensive, but good eyelash conditioner, we carry Reví­taLash®. With, Reví­taLash you can achieve the natural beauty of longer, thicker, fuller looking eyelashes.