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Wrinkles under the eyes – How to prevent ageing

What can I do, I have noticed a wrinkle under my eyes? I am 24 years old, and I want to know what it is and if there is any treatment?

A patient asked me this question this week.

Young adults are getting increasingly more aware of their appearance. They are often very concerned when their first wrinkle appears under their eye.

I had such an inquiry this week from a young lady who noticed a horizontal line just below her lashes on her lower lid, which got more profound when she looked downwards. She also saw some early dark shadowing under her eyes and had some freckles. She wanted to know what I could do about this new wrinkle under her eyes.

She very kindly sent me a photograph, and so I was able to write back to her and advise her that she does not need any treatment at the moment!

The wrinkle she was noticing was, in fact, a natural dynamic line between a spiral band formed by a muscle called the orbicularis oculi and the lower lid tear trough area by a very fine membrane which pulls the lower lid down a little bit when you look down.

If that membrane called the capsular palpebral fascia did not exist, we all would not be able to see very well because our eyelid would stay up when we look down.So by this I mean it was a dynamic line related to the muscle pull and a little membrane pulling up to the skin to form that horizontal line. I reassured her that this was quite natural and she did not need surgery, and she did not need injections. 

Protect your skin from UVA and UVB

However, at the same time in her photograph, I did notice that she was developing dark circles under her eyelids. She was still quite young, aged 24, so she did not have wrinkly skin under her eyes.

She just had the one thick line, which was the dynamic line and so she did not need injections or surgery. Because of her tear trough hollowing, she could be thinking about having a little bit of hyaluronate dermal filler into the tear trough called TearFill by cannula though. 

Because of her freckles, she should start to protect her skin from both UVA and UVB to prevent ageing with pigmentation and wrinkles from UV damage in her under eye area. 

At Clinica London, I specialise in oculoplastic surgery which is the surgery and treatment of conditions of the eyelids and around the eyes.That includes aesthetic cosmetic procedures and surgery from the age of the early 20s through to the mid-70s. I am acutely aware of how much pressure there is on young people in their 20s to look beautiful and be attractive. 

They are the first to notice when they first get a wrinkle under the eye, and they are hungry to know more about the possible treatments in the under eye area for under eye wrinkles and also tear trough hollowing or dark circles.

The young lady who is aged 24 did not need surgery on this occasion, but she is now going to go away more informed and more educated about how her eyelids function and what treatments may be suitable and possible for her in the future. For her tear troughs as well as being able to take preventive measures to reduce ageing as she gets older by use of a suitable SPF 30 or 50 UVA and UVB blocker.I am hesitating to call this sunscreen, and the reason for this is that both UVA rays and UVB rays cause damage. 

UVA & UVB age your skin

We have long concentrated on avoiding sunshine because of the risk of skin cancer such as melanoma and basal cell carcinoma, and so we have focussed on sunscreen.However, both UVA and UVB age your skin. UVA penetrates through clouds causing wrinkling and premature ageing in the under eye area.UVA causes skin ageing, and wrinkling is known as photoaging and can contribute towards skin cancer.

UVB does not penetrate so far into the skin but is the chief cause of skin reddening and sunburn. It has a crucial role in the development of skin cancer as well as tanning and photoaging.Most UVB is around between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.However, UVA, although being a perfect tanner penetrates deeper into the skin causes more DNA damage and also causes ageing.  I recommend a broad spectrum anti UVA and UVB sunscreen for the face and mainly the under eye area to prevent under eye wrinkles as we age.

So, don´t worry if you see the first wrinkle under your eyes, it may be just a dynamic line. It is always good though that you are aware of your changing appearance as there is a lot that you can do to prevent an aged look, with fillers and protecting your delicate around the eye skin from damaging UV light.


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