Dermal Fillers Westport, CT

Dark Circles: Why You Have Them and How to Get Rid of Them

Dermal Fillers Westport, CTWhen discussing cosmetic concerns, we tend to place a lot of focus on the eyes. Age-related changes around the eyes are nearly impossible to hide, so it makes sense that there is a strong demand for solutions to problems like drooping brows, frown lines, and undereye bags. But there is also a concern shared by patients of all ages: dark circles. Here, we want to discuss why dark circles develop and what can be done to correct them.

What causes dark circles?

Dark circles are problematic for as many men and women in their twenties as they are for individuals well past middle-age. Though age can exacerbate the appearance of dark circles, it is not usually the cause of initial darkening in the delicate skin under the eyes. It is possible that some people have a bit of extra pigment in this area of the face. However, one of the primary reasons that this skin may appear dark is because there is insufficient volume in the fat tissue under the eyes. Subsequent to this hollowing, we see shadowing that may be intensified by superficial blood vessels and the shadows of our eyes and eyebrows.

Correcting Dark Circles in an Instant

Dermal fillers represent a significant advancement in aesthetic medicine. Products that fill lines and plump lips have become the new norm for facial enhancement. Appropriate filler products have also demonstrated safety and efficacy in the correction of dark circles. Using expert injection techniques, Dr. Levin applies dermal fillers to smooth the transition between the lower eyelid and the upper cheek. Volume is added to areas of hollowness to eradicate shadowing. Additionally, the cheeks may also be treated in order to support three-dimensional contouring across the mid-face.

It is common to use dermal fillers to treat a variety of cosmetic concerns. However, the undereye area may be challenging and needs to be handled thoughtfully. To obtain the best results from dark circle treatment, receive care from a board-certified physician with clinical experience that complements education and training. Dr. Levin is very familiar with the use of dermal fillers for dark circles and can help you love the way you look by administering conservative treatment tailored to your needs.

Learn more about dermal filler treatment for dark circles by scheduling your consultation in our Westport office.

brow lift Westport, CT

Are Your Brows in Need of a Lift?

brow lift Westport, CTThrough our interaction with patients, we have come to know that, while many people realize they need treatment to refresh their facial appearance, they are unsure of the most suitable way to reach their desired result. They know they want to look younger, and they know their eyes are a primary part of the problem. The question we often hear is whether or not a person needs a brow lift or an eyelid lift. We’ll try to answer that question here by offering details of the brow lift procedure.

What is a brow lift?

A brow lift may be referred to as an upper facelift. This is because the procedure can raise the eyebrows and also reposition the superficial tissue on the forehead to reduce the appearance of horizontal lines on the upper face. Brow lift procedures involve one or more incisions that are placed discreetly behind the hairline. Dr. Levin performs brow lifts using an endoscopic technique that minimizes the size of each incision and makes the scars much less visible. An endoscope camera is inserted for observation, and small surgical instruments are used to manipulate superficial tissue and skin. The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under mild sedation or general anesthesia.

Is a brow lift the answer to aging eyes?

Because the brows and the upper eyelids are closely connected, the appearance of hooded eyelids may stem from a drooping brow. This may be the result of being born with low-set eyebrows, or the result of aging and gravity.

Today, conservative approaches to the standard brow lift are the norm. Botox is a prime example of a non-surgical brow lift. While this approach is not right for every patient, injectable treatment is advantageous for the temporary correction of mild eyebrow drooping.

For long-lasting rejuvenation and the correction of more apparent brow descent, the endoscopic surgical brow lift is ideal. The lift technique that is used by experienced surgeons like Dr. Levin doesn’t merely raise the brow; it enhances the arch of the brow line to align with the bony ridge of the upper eye. Not every patient needs a full brow lift. In some patients, only the tail of the brow needs to be raised to re-establish the youthful contour and give the outer eyelid a lift to improve the hooded appearance. Recognizing differences between male and female ideals, as well as each patient’s desires are critical to a natural and long-lasting result.

Do you think you may need a brow lift? Schedule a consultation in our Westport office to learn more about your surgical and non-surgical options.

Ptosis Surgery Wesport, CT

Why Blepharoplasty is Not the Answer to Ptosis

Ptosis Surgery Wesport, CTThe eyes are more than the windows to the soul, they are a central feature of the human face. We look at a person’s eyes to observe sincerity, trustworthiness, enthusiasm, and so much more. The prevalence of eyelid rejuvenating procedures is evidence that most people are very aware of what their eyes say about them. Usually, blepharoplasty is sought when the upper or lower eyelids become heavy with sagging, loose skin, bulging fat pads and loss of the youthful eyelid appearance.

However, it is critical to recognize the presence of ptosis, in addition to the aging eyelid skin. Ptosis is the true descent of the upper eyelid, with loss of the normal eyelid contour and the eye appearing smaller. Most patients are aware of the droopy eyelid but see it primarily as the excess eyelid skin.

What Causes Ptosis

It is commonly assumed that the eyelids are a compilation of tissue and tiny blood vessels and nerves. The upper eyelids also have two muscles that enable the eyelids to rise: the levator muscle and the Muller’s muscle.  There are various reasons why ptosis develops. Most commonly, it is the result of the muscle stretching.  Other causes include congenital where the muscle does not develop normally from birth, trauma, or a neurological condition that weakens the muscle. Various surgical techniques exist to correct ptosis. The underlying cause and degree of eyelid droop determine which surgery is best for the individual patient.

Ptosis Repair vs. Blepharoplasty

Blepharoplasty is the surgical technique that removes excess skin from the upper (or lower) eyelids. It is performed to correct the sagging that results from the loss of collagen and elastin in the skin.

It is very important to recognize when ptosis is present. Failure to do so may result in an unsatisfactory result in a patient who undergoes only blepharoplasty but needed ptosis surgery, or both.  Often ptosis surgery is done together with blepharoplasty but this is determined based on each individual patient’s needs.

Drooping eyelids can alter your image and may also affect your field of vision. Learn more about the techniques used to correct ptosis. Call our Westport, CT office at 203-557-6464.

Dermal Fillers Westport, CT

Dermal Fillers: How Much Do You Really Need?

Dermal Fillers Westport, CTDermal fillers have become the most popular means of facial rejuvenation. The products that have been developed in the last 15+ years have made it possible for more men and women to address their age-related cosmetic concerns without plastic surgery. While Dr. Levin is a recognized oculoplastic surgeon who understands the value of certain surgical procedures, she also realizes the benefits of dermal fillers and routinely performs non-surgical facial rejuvenation in our Westport, CT office.

How Dermal Fillers Fight the Signs of Aging

There are several signs of aging that we used to correct with facelift surgery but now are able to treat non-surgically. Some of the common uses of dermal fillers include:

  • Lines around the mouth
  • Lines from the nose to the mouth
  • Lines from the mouth to the chin
  • Loss of volume in the mid-face
  • Undereye hollows and puffiness
  • Hand rejuvenation

The Big Question

The question that most patients have when they begin their journey with dermal fillers is “how many syringes will I need?”

Did you know that each syringe of dermal filler (1.0 mL) product equates to about 1/5th or a teaspoon (5 mL) ?

When you look at it like that, you may imagine that you’d need numerous syringes of product to achieve your desired result. That may not be the case. Remember that products like Juvederm, which are based on hyaluronic acid, will expand exponentially due to the bond that occurs with water molecules. The function of filler product within tissue is one factor. Others include:

  • Area being treated
  • Patient’s individual needs
  • Extent of volume loss
  • Skin type

Whereas one syringe maybe enough for one patient or a certain area, someone else or other areas may need more.  However, just as aging is a gradual process, the process of rejuvenation does not have to happen during a single appointment. On the contrary, it’s a gradual, continuous effort, and that creates the most natural, long-lasting results.

There is a good reason to obtain injectable treatments from a board-certified physician who also performs facial plastic surgery. Patients of Dr. Levin can expect professional care in a friendly environment. At all times, the focus is on the achievement of desired results in a manner that suits preferences related to timeline and cost.

Learn more about facial rejuvenation with dermal fillers. Call our Westport office at 203-557-6464.

Botox Injections Westport, CT

Botox or Dysport: Is This Your Question?

Botox Injections Westport, CTBotox cosmetic has been one of the most recognized aesthetic treatments to date. It feels as though this original injectable led the charge in a new era of aging gracefully. Two decades ago, when Botox was first developed, approval was limited to frown lines. In time and through proven safety and efficacy, this particular injectable expanded its reach into the realm of crow’s feet reduction, neckline treatment, and even correction of a downturned mouth. We love to love Botox, that’s obvious. And yet, we also offer Dysport. Here, we want to discuss why the two can coexist, and how you may be able to choose which approach to wrinkle reduction is best for you.

How Neuromodulators Work

Botox and Dysport are both within the neuromodulator category of facial rejuvenation. This means that they affect the muscles that are responsible for various facial expressions. It is the frequent contraction of the muscles located across the upper face that leads first to what we call dynamic wrinkles (those that are only visible during facial expression) and then to permanent lines on the face. Clinical research has demonstrated that small doses of neurotoxin have a positive effect on these muscle contractions. Both Botox and Dysport are derived from a minute, purified form of botulinum toxin A. However, there are slight variances between the two.

How Dysport Differs from Botox

Ultimately, these two wrinkle-reducing treatments share more similarities than differences. Minor differences include:

  • Slightly faster onset with Dysport; approximately 5 days versus 7.
  • Potentially faster metabolism of the Dysport product, meaning retreatment may be needed sooner.
  • Wider expansion from the injection site may occur with Dysport. This could be advantageous depending on the area of concern.
  • Dysport treatment involves a greater amount of product, though costs are usually comparable between the two.

Botox and Dysport both have the capabilities to treat common areas of concern, including the forehead and brow, the outside of the eyes (crow’s feet), the mouth, the jawline, and frown lines, to name a few. Furthermore, both drugs can be safely combined with others, such as soft tissue fillers, to make a more dramatic impact on facial aging.

In the end, the choice between Botox and Dysport comes down to preference. During a consultation with Dr. Levin, you can consider the advantages and disadvantages of each choice and move forward in the way that best meets your needs.

Contact our Westport, CT office at 203-557-6464 for personal care that helps you reveal your best self.

Removal of Eyelid Skin Cancer

EYELID CANCER & RECONSTRUCTION Westport, CT

The eyelids get a lot of suns. This makes them susceptible to developing skin cancer. Eyelid skin cancers account for up to 10 percent of all skin cancers. Fortunately, most of them are non-melanoma forms of skin cancer, basal cell, and squamous cell carcinomas.

Dr. Levin works with numerous dermatologists who diagnose the skin cancer and then send the patient to Dr. Leven to remove the tumor and reconstruct the eyelid.

Most common types of eyelid cancer

About 90% of all eyelid cancers are the basal cell skin cancer variety. Basal cell carcinomas, like squamous cell carcinomas, are the result of the amount of sun exposure over time. While not nearly as dangerous as melanoma, basil cell carcinomas still need to be removed as they continue to grow and begin to impact the function of the eyelid.

• Basal cell carcinoma— Under the squamous cells in the lower epidermis are round cells known as basal cells. Overall, around 80% of skin cancers come from this layer in the skin. Basal cell carcinomas usually appear in the lower lid and most often in people with fair skin.

• Squamous cell carcinoma— The top layer of the epidermis consists of mainly squamous cells, and up to one-third of skin cancers form in this part of the skin. Although less common than basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma grows more aggressively and can spread more easily to nearby tissues. Squamous cell carcinomas are rare on the eyelids.

Surgery to remove eyelid cancer

Eyelid skin cancer usually occurs on the lower eyelid, but it can be found elsewhere. If possible, Dr. Levin prefers to use Mohs’ surgery to remove the tumor. This surgical method has the advantage of removing the least amount of tissue, a critical element in an area such as the eyelids.

In Mohs’ surgery, the visible tumor is removed along with a small area around the tumor. Then, with the patient still under anesthesia, the tissue taken is examined under a microscope, with particular attention paid to the margins. If the margins are clear of any cancer cells, the procedure is completed. If additional cancerous cells are found in the margins, additional tissue is removed until the margins are clear.

Mohs’ surgery for eyelid cancer has a very high success rate, with five-year cure rates of up to 99 percent. Plus, it has the advantage of taking only the smallest amount of skin beyond the tumor.

Reconstruction

Reconstruction of the eyelid after removal of the skin cancer can be straightforward or very challenging, depending on the individual situation. Dr. Levin’s options are usually dictated by the size of the tumor is removed. The complexity of the reconstruction is unique to every procedure, but the main goal is to fully restore the function of the eyelid, brow, and corresponding facial tissue and muscle.

If your dermatologist has found a skin cancer on your eyelid, have the doctor refer you to Dr. Levin for the surgery and reconstruction. Her expertise in this area is second to none. Call 203-557-6464 if you have any questions about eyelid cancer, or if you need to make an appointment.

Blepharoplasty Westport, CT

What you need to know about eyelid surgery

Blepharoplasty Westport, CTEyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is performed to remove extra skin and fat deposits in the lower and upper lid. It is more common after the age of 35, but some elect to get the surgery earlier if they have a genetic disposition to drooping eyelids. Here are four factors to consider if you are exploring the idea of getting eyelid surgery.

Eyelid surgery can give you a more youthful appearance

Often, skin bulging or wrinkles on or near the eyelids make a face appear to droop. During eyelid surgery, delicate incisions are made to remove this excess fat and skin. The result is a more youthful and refined appearance.

You need to be healthy to get eyelid surgery

If you are thinking about eyelid surgery, you need to be in general good health to be considered. The healthier you are, complications are less likely, and the healing process will proceed more smoothly. Eyelid surgery can give you a smoother and more energetic appearance. However, consider if your expectations are in line with what the eyelid surgery can realistically deliver. Schedule a consultation with your doctor to discuss your goals and voice your concerns.

You will see results soon

Within two to three weeks after surgery, you will see the dramatic difference that eyelid surgery makes to your look. Patience is important during those first few weeks as the incisions and bruising are allowed to heal.

Eyelid surgery is temporary (for the upper lid)

As we age, so do our eyelids. Even with eyelid surgery, your upper eyelid will eventually develop wrinkles and begin to sag again. This is completely normal and part of the aging process. Fortunately, the effects of eyelid surgery on the upper lid can last up to seven years. In contrast, surgery on the lower lids rarely needs any upkeep. Before your surgery, you will have a consultation with your doctor. During this time, be sure to discuss your goals with your physician. Be mindful of your expectations versus reality and if eyelid surgery is the best option for your needs.

To find out if eyelid surgery is right for your needs, schedule an appointment with Dr. Flora Levin. You can reach our office at 203-557-6464.

Botox Basics: 4 things you should consider before you get Botox

Botox Westport, CTEvery year, millions of Americans benefit from Botox treatments. Botox can temporarily remove fine wrinkles and deep creases, provide a smooth and even look. Here are four factors to consider as you contemplate getting Botox.

  1. Botox has side effects, but they are minimal: The most common side effect you will experience after a Botox treatment is bruising. Bruising is a normal and expected part of Botox and will disappear within a few weeks. Headaches are rare but sometimes happen, lasting 24-48 hours after the procedure. 1% of patients develop a drooping eyelid, but this will dissipate within a couple of weeks.
  2. Be mindful of your medications: During your Botox consultation, your doctor will discuss how to prepare for your treatment, and what substances to avoid will likely be part of that conversation. Certain medications alike aspirin, ibuprofen, and other anti-inflammatory medications can thin the blood, causing bruising. Be sure to stop taking these medications two weeks before you go in for your Botox treatment. Also, tell your doctor if you are on any herbal supplements as well. Vitamin E, fish oil, and gingko can also cause the blood to thin. Last of all, avoid alcohol one week before your treatment.
  3. Get Botox from a board certified physician: Botox “parties” and spas are trendy, but not the place for Botox injections. Dr. Flora Levin is a board certified Oculofacial Plastic Surgeon and specializes specifically in cosmetic eyelid surgery and non-surgical facial rejuvenation. Board certification is proof of your doctor’s outstanding knowledge and expertise in a particular medical specialty. With an area as visible and delicate as your face, be sure you choose the best to get the results you want. You can find out if your doctor is board certified by looking at their bio or contact page on their website. If you can’t find it there, call into the office and ask.
  4. Botox injections last 3-4 months: Botox treatments are temporary. Using a fine needle, Botox is injected into the muscles to block nerve signals. This creates a relaxed and smoother look. Within three months post treatment, you may notice the reappearance of some wrinkles. As you regularly get Botox, the muscles are trained to relax more, and the treatments may last longer.

Let us know if you have any additional questions about how Botox works. Call Dr. Flora Levin today at 203-557-6464. We look forward to helping you reach your facial cosmetic goals.

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