How Can I Remove These Wrinkles Around My Eyes?

Q: Dr. Eppley, I am 37 yrs old and I have some wrinkles under and around my eyes I would like to get rid of and not sure if I should just do Botox or try and have surgery to remove them. I have attached some pictures for your review.

A: There are basically three treatments for aging eye issues, Botox, blepharoplasty surgery and skin resurfacing. (chemical peels vs. lasers)  Botox is the only treatment for wrinkles that occur OUTSIDE of the eyelid area. (e.g. crow’s feet area) Blepharoplasty (eyelid) surgery is the only treatment that can remove excess skin and fat of or ON the eyelids. Skin resurfacing using either chemical peels or fractional laser resurfacing can be used for fine wrinkles ON and OUTSIDE of the eyelids. Given the nature of aging around the eyes, many people need a combination of these approaches to get the best result…not to mention the need for maintenance therapies such as Botox injections, topical skin creams and the avoidance of smoking and extreme sun exposure.

What I see in your pictures is hooding of upper eyelid skin and a roll of skin underneath the lashline of the lower eyelid. These are definitely surgical (blepharoplasty) issues. I suspect there is wrinkling beyond these areas but the quality of the pictures does not permit that assessment. These pictures are also only smiling which creates animated rolls of skin on the lower eyelid which may or may not be present when not smiling.

The short story is that you are likely in need of surgery for major improvement but I would not use the term ‘remove’ when it comes to eyelid aging changes as that is not realistic. You need to think improvement of them that is not going to be a permanent cure to them.

Dr. Barry Eppley

Indianapolis, Indiana