The eyes are the focal point of the face and the one feature we most associate with personal identity.  As we grow older, crow’s feet are usually the first wrinkles to form, closely followed by other lines around the eyes and upper face.  That is because the skin around the eyes is thin and dry.   And because we use our eyes to see and to express emotion, the nearby skin is in constant motion.  Just think about all the blinking!  Since the skin near your eyes gets a hefty daily workout, is it any wonder why wrinkles form here first?

There are 8 signs of aging that typically show in the area around your eyes with some eye wrinkles starting in people as young as 25 years old.  By the mid-30’s and early 40’s, most of us (if not all) will exhibit some of these creases.  Dr. Dominic Castellano of Elite Facial Plastic Surgery in Tampa explains the 8 signs of aging eyes in more detail:

1. Brow descent – few people may notice the brow descent because the muscles in the forehead compensate by lifting the brow.  This causes lines to develop across the forehead.
2. Hanging upper eyelids – as the brows droop, they create an overhang above the eye.
3. Excess skin upper eyelids – over time, the combined effects of stretched skin and volume loss results in “loose” skin hanging over the upper eyelid
4. Crow’s feet – Repetitive facial expressions such as laughter and squinting very often cause crow’s feet.  These are aggravated by sun exposure and smoking.  Most people will develop crow’s feet at a relatively early age.
5. Loss of support of the outer angle of the eye – the muscles that close the lower lid are stronger than those that control the outer angle of the eye leading to a downward slant.
6. Scleral show (excess show of the lower whites of the eye) – this somewhat common condition, is caused by weak lower eyelids.  Age increases the laxity of the skin and structures of the eyelid, resulting in droopy and weaken eyelids
7. Fat herniation, lower lids – As we age, the tissues around the lower eyelid move downward and the lateral fat pocket can become more pronounced.  This makes the lower eyelid look baggy and puffy.
8. Malar groove (depression outer lower eyelid) – as we lose plumpness and volume in the upper cheek area, deep circles or bags form below the eye.

These signs of aging can be treated and/or reduced in appearance through several different methods.  Over-the-counter moisturizers, eye creams, sunscreens, and protective sun glasses can help prevent the damage in the first place.  Or some creams and make-ups can reduce the appearance of the lines for some time, but a qualified plastic surgeon in Tampa has many more tools to restore your youthful appearance.  Our next blog will discuss the treatments and cures available to you to erase the signs of aging eyes.

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