A Fix for Tired Eyes
You’ve checked your camera angles, achieved the optimal lighting, and even rearranged your bookshelf, but something’s still not quite right. If you spend a lot of time on Zoom or FaceTime, you probably spend a lot of time looking at yourself. And if you’re like a lot of us adjusting to the stress of the new normal, the face you see looking back at you may look a little tired.
Experiencing stress over an extended period of time can take a toll on our faces, says Joseph Serletti, MD, FACS, Chief of Plastic Surgery at Penn Medicine. In particular, stress can take a toll on our eyes. Sometimes, the fix for this is as easy as getting a good night’s sleep. “If people are not well rested, they definitely can show some swelling around their eyes, which will definitely make them look older.” Dr. Serletti tells us. But if a strong dose of shuteye doesn’t do the trick, you may want to look into cosmetic options.
The Zoom Effect
“We have definitely seen a significant increase in patients coming to the office for Botox, fillers, and also to talk about surgical procedures for age-related changes to the face,” Dr. Serletti says. Call it the Zoom effect: We’re spending a lot of time looking at ourselves, and we might not look as bright-eyed as we’d like to. Plus, while we’re home, we’re not necessarily wearing makeup, which can hide age-related changes.
Penn Plastic Surgery, which has offices in both downtown Philadelphia and Bryn Mawr, has seen a high volume of patients seeking all types of cosmetic surgery, but a particular trend has been procedures to reverse age-related changes around the eyes.
Dr. Serletti is seeing more and more patients turn to Botox, which can soften crow’s feet and lines in the forehead. Injectable fillers are another popular option to address this area, helping the lower eyelids, in particular, look better. These two procedures can be done in a cosmetic surgeon’s office.
The Benefits of Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery
For more dramatic changes, you may want to talk to a board-certified plastic surgeon about cosmetic eyelid surgery. This can be done on the upper or lower eyelid or both. In this procedure, called blepharoplasty, skin and fat are removed or recontoured. Eyelid bagginess and puffiness are decreased, resulting in a brightening of the eye area.
Recovery time for cosmetic eyelid surgery is two to three days, Dr. Serletti tells us, with many people feeling back to normal the next day. Slight discoloration or swelling is normal, but in the age of social distancing, you can recover in private, at home.
“The recovery issue is just not an issue right now,” Dr Serletti says. “People who get cosmetic eyelid surgery can recover without going anywhere. Including the grocery store.” Plus, people who work from home don’t have to take the time off they would have pre-pandemic, or spend holiday time recovering. As for those Zoom meetings, Dr. Serletti adds, “They can just turn off the camera.”
Keep an Eye on Safety
Even though these procedures have become more popular, it's still important to take every precaution against the coronavirus. “Any patient who comes to the office, their temperature is taken and they are screened for any symptoms. Anyone who gets same-day surgery will need formal Covid-19 testing 1-2 days before surgery.” says Dr. Serletti. Plus, he says, it’s crucial to use appropriate skin care both before and after surgery. Penn has some of the region’s skin care experts right in their practice.
Zoom meetings and FaceTime calls aren’t going away anytime soon, but you can put your best face forward by rejuvenating your tired eyes.
Penn Plastic Surgery Bryn Mawr
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine
Photography by: Penn Medicine