BY MARTIE EMORY
Behind all the masks we’re wearing these days, we may be missing lots of big, beautiful smiles and hugs, but we’re definitely not missing those eyes that still manage to mirror our souls! With a more intense focus on the eyes you’re seeing above those masks – and with more time spent in Zoom meetings where we can’t help but scrutinize how we look on the computer screen – it’s not surprising that many of us are taking a closer look at what we’re facing in the mirror.
“During COVID-19 and this period of face mask wearing, our eyes have been the only part of our faces most people see,” says Dr. Neal Goldman, of the Goldman Center for Facial Plastic Surgery. With so much of our faces now regularly covered, the center has definitely experienced an increase in questions about procedures to improve both the upper and lower eyelid areas.
Plus, with so many people continuing to work from home now, the increase in cosmetic procedures makes sense.
“Our patients are realizing they can recover at home with more privacy, and not worry about missing days off work,” explains Dr. Goldman.
So, besides noticing our own eyes – are we also analyzing others and, dare we say, making comparisons?
“The most typical comment I hear from patients is that friends or family members are telling them they look more tired than usual, or worse, that they look angry all the time, when they aren’t,” says Dr. Goldman. No one enjoys hearing negative comments about their appearance, but sometimes that not-so-subtle hint nudges us to research how we can improve ourselves, and what issues we might be ready to explore.
“As we age, the diagonal drooping of the eyelid occurs (often called lateral hooding), and it’s easy to see why that makes us appear so tired,” he explains. “The upper eyelid procedure – known as blepharoplasty – can usually be done in our office, in about 45 minutes, with local anesthesia and very little discomfort. Most patients only require Tylenol afterwards, and there are also some good new medications to help with bruising, which is a positive thing.”
If you’re contemplating your lower eyelids, know that what you’re seeing is really three little pockets of fat in each lower eyelid. This corrective procedure is known as transconjunctival blepharoplasty.
“The baby fat on our cheeks simply deflates over time,” says Dr. Goldman, explaining that’s what makes the most difference in our eyes. “You can often avoid surgery by treating the area where the fat deflates.”
Dr. Goldman also says many patients combine eyelid surgery with a brow lift. “If the patient actually lifts their eyebrow to show me exactly what’s bothering them about their eyes, that’s a very good sign they may also need a brow lift.”
If you are troubled by textured or “crepey” skin, even an improved skincare routine that includes Retin A can tighten the skin on the eyelids.
“We can actually see pretty significant results with just changes in skincare at home,” Dr. Goldman explains, pointing out that surgery is not necessarily the best solution for every situation! During COVID-19, the center has made an effort to perform most procedures in the office, but if a hospital setting is required, it takes place in a very private setting, through a hospital that does not also treat COVID-19 patients.
Ultimately, those casual comments we hear from others are typically not forgotten – and we often look in the mirror and see our parents – or grandparents! – staring back at us. Options are more readily available, and more successful than ever, as looking and feeling your very best is always worth the effort!
The Goldman Center for Facial Plastic Surgery is located at 108 Dornach Way in Advance, NC, 336-245-9595, with a satellite office at 717 Greenway Road in Boone, NC, 828-278-9230. Get to know their philosophy on cosmetic and reconstructive services by visiting FacialPlasticSurgeryNC.com. Dr. Goldman is double board certified, from both the American Board of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, and the American Board of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery.