:by Kate Dee, MD
What can you do to Improve the Under Eye Area (Tear Troughs)?
The area under the eyes suffers a double-whammy when it comes to aging. This skin is the thinnest in the body, so as the dermis thins out, the first place you notice it is under the eyes. Often we notice in our 30’s and think “wow I look like I’m really tired.” On top of that, as we age we lose the little fat pads in our face that make us look so round and youthful as kids– and the first one to go is that fat pad under the eyes. The result can be an angled divot under the eye covered with wrinkly skin, long before the rest of the face shows signs of aging.
So what can you do about it? That’s the number one question that brings people into our office. After years of experience, we have put together the treatments that work best. Here I’m giving you the low-down on these common treatments:
For volume lost in this area, filling it back up with hyaluronic filler can be a dramatic improvement. When you see that depression or divot, not only do you see a hollow with a shadow across it, but the overlying skin has less volume to cover and thus looks more wrinkly. We use a cannula technique to gently fill the volume lost. The effect is immediate. There is always some swelling with fillers that lasts a few days, but less with this area than others.
PRFM (Platelet-Rich Fibrin Matrix)
Many people have heard of PRP (Platelet-Rich Plasma). This is serum derived from your own blood, rich in growth factors. It has been used in orthopedics for decades, and we have been using it for facial rejuvenation and hair growth for about 6 years at Glow. PRFM is activated PRP, same growth factors but the platelets are activated with calcium. When injected, it forms a gel that concentrates the factors in one place. PRFM has been used to build up the natural tissues in the under eye area as well as elsewhere in the face. We use a similar cannula technique to place the PRFM in this area. Several treatments are needed, and the results happen over several months.
Fractional non-ablative lasers can resurface the skin to make it smoother. In addition, the laser heats up the skin, triggering it to make its own collagen. The laser also lifts pigment in the skin to help get rid of dark circles. Laser resurfacing can be a key part of treating the under-eye area because it is important to build collagen in the skin and smooth out the fine lines and wrinkles. Treating the volume loss alone is just half the battle. The laser treatments help address the skin itself.
Eye creams and serums
The skin under the eyes is special because it is so thin to start with and is in a very sensitive area. The skin here often needs more moisture than other skin in your body, and sometimes even develops pigment that isn’t present elsewhere. We offer several eye topicals that have different anti-aging ingredients. Adding eye creams to your regimen will provide antioxidants and ceramides to protect the skin and ingredients to plump the skin, trigger collagen and decrease dark circles.
What does Off-Label mean?
As with many aesthetic procedures, the use of filler and PRFM for the tear trough area is off-label. What does off-label mean? It means that the FDA has approved the product or treatment for some other indication. Then doctors develop new treatments with an FDA-approved product. For example– a certain filler is FDA-approved for placement in the cheeks and it is then used to fill hollows elsewhere in the face. Once these new treatments are developed and in use, rarely does the company that makes the product pay for studies to get official approval for an already FDA-approved product. Thus there are many products and procedures in use by doctors that are “Off-label.”
What is the best sequence of treatments for the under-eye area?
At Glow Medispa, we have been working on developing an under-eye package that includes all of these treatments. This new package includes a filler treatment, two PRFM and LaseMD Ultra treatments and our favorite eye serum from Sente. As with everything that we do, we customize treatments to meet the specific needs of each patient.
Think you might be a great candidate? Call us or come in for a consultation if you think you might be interested.