Dealing with the “Tear Trough”

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Many of us, as we age, will develop a deep hollow running from the corner of our eye and onto our cheek, leaving a puffy pocket underneath our lower lid hanging over this valley.  Due to the thin skin in this area a blue or purple stain may develop on this skin too, making us look over-tired and haggard.  Contrary to what you may think, the pocket beneath your eye has not actually gotten bigger, casting a shadow over the skin below it.  Rather what has happened is that you have lost volume below the pocket of fat directly under the eye, causing what is commonly called a “tear trough”.

The natural inclination is to want to remove the pocket of fat from beneath the eye, and indeed this is a common request heard by doctors dealing with aesthetic procedures.  In some cases this is in fact necessary, but in many correcting the volume loss rather than taking away more volume is the solution required.

There are 2 ways to approach this problem: surgery and non-surgical correction via dermal fillers.  The non-surgical method is incredibly quick, easy and cheap when compared with the surgical method, however surgical methods will always be more dramatic and longer lasting and so your decision should be taken under advice from a qualified doctor and should be based on your individual problems and needs.

The surgical method may include a lower blepharoplasty (an eyelid lift), or autologous micro fat grafting, where your own fat is harvested from another area of your body (for example your tummy) and then inserted into areas of volume loss to refill them.  In many cases a combination of these 2 procedures is recommended.  The benefit of this is that your own fat is used so this is not at all foreign to your body.  Fat feels very natural under your skin and about 50% of it will last for the rest of your life.  Fat also contains stem cells which, once moved from one area of your body to another, get to work resurfacing and rejuvenating the skin in their new home, meaning that the youthful appearance you get is not only from replacing volume but from an improvement in the quality and condition of your skin too.  The downside is that these are surgical procedures which require varying degrees of anaesthesia and recovery time, as well as the expense that comes with surgery.

The non-surgical method is to put a dermal filler into this trough.  Most modern dermal fillers are made of Hyaluronic Acid, which is a naturally occurring substance found in almost all cells of your body.  Dermal fillers are hypoallergenic and come in varying consistencies, meaning that your doctor will chose one specific to your needs.  The procedure of injecting the filler into your tear trough should be quick, easy, “cheap” and relatively painless.  This is a lunch-hour procedure that should result in no downtime at all.  With all injections there is a risk of bruising, however your doctor should be using a needle-free technique which minimizes this risk.

What is important to note is that filling these troughs does NOT take away the stained appearance of the skin.  You will still need to cover the dark circles with make up or consider laser or carboxy therapy to remove this staining after your procedure.

To find out more or book an appointment please contact us on (021) 6833048 ext 1, or email info@capeaesthetics.co.za.  You can also take a look at our new website: www.capeaesthetics.co.za

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