Wrinkles are inevitable, but there are many ways to prevent, or even postpone, their onset and decrease their appearance. Eyelid wrinkles appear sooner than any other wrinkle in the face because of the delicate structure of eyelid skin. These wrinkles called expression lines may emerge upon animation, or they can be present at rest (true wrinkles). The former is more common early in life and should not be regarded as a sign of aging.
Expression lines appear because of the pull of facial muscles on the skin when we show emotion. These lines include crow’s feet when smiling or eleven lines when frowning. Expression lines are necessary to convey emotion: imagine smiling without smile lines! In contrast, true wrinkles and furrows around the eyes are a sign of aging, and they appear with changes in the structure of the skin.
Whatever the cause, eyelid wrinkles may be undesirable to some patients. In the following blog, we discuss the leading causes of these wrinkles and how to treat them.
What are the causes of eyelid wrinkles?
Since we have already made the distinction between expression lines and wrinkles, we can now discuss the causes of true eyelid wrinkles.
Eyelid wrinkles are secondary to damage to the anatomical structure and composition of the skin. It occurs when collagen and elastin lose their normal configuration, and the dermis of the skin thins out. Several external and internal factors cause this change in skin structure.
The most important external factor that causes skin aging is the sun or, more precisely, ultraviolet light. Chronic exposure to UV light causes skin cells to lose their capacity to heal themselves and damages the collagen framework of the dermis. Eyelids are most prone to this damage because they are more often exposed to UV light. Consider the texture of the buttocks compared to the aging of eyelid skin. Frequent exposure to UV light also produces unfavorable changes in skin tone and texture. Lastly, smoking and pollution are also external factors that lead to aging of the skin.
Internal skin aging is a product of the genetic makeup of cells. Even without the insult of an external factor, eyelid skin ages because our body also ages.
What is the right treatment for eyelid wrinkles?
When it comes to superficial lines (expression lines), the best treatment available now is Botox and related products. These products relax the muscles of facial expression. This relaxation reduces the pull of the muscles on the skin and decreases the appearance of lines. The muscle relaxation produced by Botox treatment should not lead to total paralysis of the muscles, as this would take away the ability to express emotion, i.e., frozen face. Instead, it should soften the lines and create a smooth facial skin appearance.
For true wrinkles around the eyes, more invasive treatments are necessary. Chemical peels, micro-needles, or surgical procedures may be the best alternative to decrease the appearance of deep wrinkles. Typically, surgical procedures produce longer-lasting results, but they also require more downtime for recovery.
An operation may be the best choice to reduce eyelid wrinkles.
When considering a surgical procedure such as blepharoplasty it is important to know your expectations and the amount of time you can take off work. Consulting with an oculoplastic surgeon that can hear your concerns and desired result is crucial. After examining your face, your oculoplastic surgeon will recommend the best option for you and get you on the way to a more youthful, vibrant look.