How often does an eyelid laser treatment need to be maintained and other questions?

Dear Dr. Irwin, Thank you for your wonderful website. I have bad under eye wrinkles when I smile and I am considering laser. I have a few questions: 1-Approximately what does maintenance cost and is the downtime for maintenance the same as for the initial treatment? I can maybe squeeze in time to stay indoors and deal with the downtime and expense once but I can't repeat that on an annual basis 2-What happens if I skip the maintenance? 3-Are Fraxel and Fractional laser interchangeable? If I do one for initial treatment can I switch to the other for maintenance since I see that Fraxel has less down times. 4-Finally, how strict is the rule of not doing it in the summer If I stay indoors for a week after. That is when I have the most time. Also, wondering if a peel might help for the wrinkles and be cheaper. If I haven't reached my question limit: If I wear sunglasses do I also need sunscreen on my eyes area or are the sunglasses sufficient? Thank you!

The minute we recover from a laser treatment, or plastic surgery for that matter, we start to age again!!   And that rate of aging is determined by genetics, sun exposure, skincare products, life health habits, your current age, and then a few more things.   Generally as we get older, the rate of aging of our appearance increases unless we do something to reverse it.   I know that seem obvious. 🙂

A few guidelines:

  • For eyelid laser treatments that have down time, consider maintaining them on the off-year with the Thermage eyelid tip treatment.  It helps maintain the extra collagen and is a no down time treatment;
  • If you are over 50, you may need a treatment yearly ……and some filler around the eye area to maintain volume (experts only please).    But again, that treatment could, at least some years, be a no down time Thermage for example;
  • If your eyelid area is really droopy, surgery may be more cost effective;
  • Usually peels are not very effective around the eye area, and there is a risk of getting peel solution in the eyes;
  • Your skincare products matter –  use a good eye cream and an eyelid area sunscreen if you are outdoors a lot.  Sunglasses are a must also and ideally you’d use both;
  • You need a month out of the sun, or very well sunscreened and a hat, after a laser treatment.   Think 6-8 weeks if your skin tone is darker.

Fraxel and fractional are not interchangeable.  A Fraxel is just one brand of many different fractionated lasers.  🙂

Lot of good questions!   🙂  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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