Where To Go When Age, Sun Affect Your Skin

Oculoplastic surgeon provides array of treatments to enhance your facial appearance.

First impressions are made at eye level. The look of the eyes and face says a lot about a person, which is why it’s essential that people take special care of these areas.

When age, genetics or sun exposure affect the eyes and face, fellowship-trained oculoplastic surgeon Robert J. Applebaum, MD, MBA, at Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute’s Brandon and South Tampa clinics, goes to work.

Dr. Applebaum discusses his evaluation with one of his patients.

“Puffy or drooping eyelids can make people look old, tired or even mean,” Dr. Applebaum states. “While puffy eyelids are often hereditary, they become more pronounced with age.”

To treat sagging eyelids, Dr. Applebaum often recommends blepharoplasty, a safe, effective and cosmetically appealing eyelid surgery. Blepharoplasty involves removing excess eyelid tissue. It can be done on the upper and lower eyelids and can make a dramatic difference in the appearance of the face.

“With upper blepharoplasty, excess skin is removed from the upper eyelids, which can drop due to age, sun exposure and genetics,” Dr. Applebaum explains. “The repairs we perform help functionally as well as cosmetically because the excess tissue can get in the way of vision and endanger the patient.”

Lower eyelid surgery, or lower blepharoplasty, can also make a big difference in the appearance of the face, Dr. Applebaum asserts.

“Most people are born with five ‘bags’ of fat around the eye to protect it and hold it in the socket,” he states. “But with aging, that fat can come forward and manifest itself as puffiness under the eye. Lower blepharoplasty can diminish the look of tiredness and aging by decreasing excess fat and skin beneath the eyes.”

Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays can lead to skin cancer, including cancer of the face and eyelids. The eyelid skin is especially sensitive because it’s so thin, and UV rays don’t have to penetrate very deep to reach the lower levels where many cancers begin.

Mohs surgery, which removes cancerous tissue one layer at a time, is generally effective. But it can leave large, open wounds on the surface of the skin. When these wounds are near the delicate eyelid area, the surgeon must perform reconstructive surgery.

“We perform reconstructions after we remove skin cancer ourselves, as well as when patients are referred to us by our dermatologic colleagues,” Dr. Applebaum notes. “In those cases, the dermatologists remove the skin cancer, but we perform the reconstructions because the operative areas are so close to the eyes.”

Clarifying Cosmetics

Dr. Applebaum commonly uses intense pulsed light, or IPL, to rejuvenate the skin of the face and around the eyes.

“Skin problems typically begin when people are in their 30s,” Dr. Applebaum says. “That is when production of collagen and elastin, the building blocks of skin, starts to decrease and skin cell turnover begins to decline. These conditions make it more difficult for the skin to recover from the effects of aging and injury caused by exposure to the sun and elements.”

“Using a product such as JUVÈDERM, people not only get the benefit of a more youthful appearance, but the results are also very natural looking.” – Dr. Applebaum

These conditions result in the formation of brown age spots, discoloration of the skin, visible blood vessels on the surface, uneven skin tone, and fine lines and wrinkles. They also make small scars, such as those from acne, more visible. IPL can improve these concerns.

“IPL is not a laser-resurfacing technique,” Dr. Applebaum stresses. “Instead of a laser, IPL uses high-intensity light at multiple wavelengths. The wavelengths and frequency of the light can be adjusted to address various skin conditions. IPL does not damage the surface of the skin, which can occur with laser techniques.”

In addition to IPL, Dr. Applebaum offers other nonsurgical facial cosmetic services. These include BOTOX® Cosmetic injections and a variety of facial fillers. These options can help reverse changes associated with aging.

“BOTOX Cosmetic is a synthetic toxin that is altered so it is nontoxic to the body of a healthy person,” Dr. Applebaum informs. “It blocks the release of neurotransmitters that trigger muscle contractions, leading to wrinkles.”

Among the fillers used by the physician are JUVÈDERM® VOLUMA and Restylane®. Many fillers contain hyaluronic acid, a substance found naturally in the body that helps restore volume and hydration to the skin.

“Over time, materials in the skin, including the collagen and base membranes, break down, so the face begins to sag. We use fillers in the cheeks to add volume and give the face a nonsurgical lift,” Dr. Applebaum describes. “We also use fillers in areas slightly lower on the face to decrease the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles around the nose and lips. Often, we use them in the lips to give the lips more fullness.

“Fillers can also enhance the appearance of the jawline, to give people a more angular jawline. For men, a jaw enhancement can really masculinize the face, and it can give women a slimmer appearance to the face and a more defined jawline.”

Another injectable, KYBELLA®, is used to decrease the appearance of a double chin. It is injected into the fatty tissue of the chin, where it breaks down fat cells.

“Using a product such as JUVÈDERM, people not only get the benefit of a more youthful appearance, but the results are also very natural-looking,” Dr. Applebaum assures. “Patients don’t look like they’ve had anything done.”

People with any face or eye condition can rely on Dr. Applebaum for their care. Plus, the oculoplastic surgeon is supported by the skilled staff at Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute’s Brandon and South Tampa clinics.

© FHCN article by Patti DiPanfilo. Photo by Jordan Pysz. Before and after images courtesy of Florida Eye Specialists & Cataract Institute. mkb


As seen in Brandon/Sun City Edition of Florida Health Care News.

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