Are Eyelash Extensions Safe?

Do you want fuller longer lashes? Here are a few things to consider about eyelash extensions safety:⠀

1. What are eyelash extensions?

They are individual fibers that are glued onto your own lashes to enhance the appearance of length and fullness. Most eyelash extensions are made from synthetic fibers, such as nylon, and are bonded using glue. Silk is another fiber used. There are even mink lashes, made of natural fur. ⠀

2. Are lash extensions and glue safe for eyes?

The main ocular risks include trauma or infection of the eyelid or cornea, allergic reactions to the glue, and permanent or temporary loss of eyelashes. ⠀

  • Ingredients in the glue can cause allergic reactions. This can cause pain, itching, redness and swelling. It may temporary interfere with vision. Eyelash extensions and glue are not currently regulated by the FDA. ⠀
  • Rubbing, tugging or pulling can fracture your natural lashes and even cause damage to the hair follicle. ⠀
  • Some ophthalmologists believe that eyelash extensions may increase your risk of dry eyes. Longer, fuller lashes create a fan-like effect with each blink, increasing air flow on the surface of the eye that can cause dry eye symptoms.

3. How to do eyelash extensions the right way?

Carefully look at the salon, the aesthetician and the ingredients of the products. You don’t need a degree to apply eyelash extensions but the procedure requires a lot of skill, often compared to microsurgery. ⠀

  • Does the salon have a good reputation? How long have they been in business and do they practice good hygiene? Read reviews and look at before-and-after photos of their customers. ⠀
  • What training, certification and experience does the aesthetician have in lash extensions?⠀
  • Ask about the glue’s ingredients list and check for allergens. Confirm that the expiration date has not passed. Request a spot test on the inside of your wrist before the glue is applied to your eyes.

4. If you have an allergic reaction, do not try to remove them yourself, as this could damage your eyes. See an ophthalmologist. ⠀

5. Go natural – as with other cosmetic procedures, nobody else should know that you have had something done.

Questions? Call Dr. Flora Levin today for more information on eyelash extensions.

Why You May Need to See a Doctor About Those Watery Eyes

EXCESSIVE TEARING & LACRIMAL SURGERY Westport, CTWe naturally expect to get somewhat teary when watching intense movies or when slicing onions. However, watery eyes are not something that we ever expect to be the norm. The eyes usually have a sufficient tear film to keep the ocular surface moistened and comfortable, but not so much that tears spill over the eyelids. If excessive watering is something that you struggle with frequently, even daily, you have an excellent reason to see a qualified eye doctor. Solutions exist, and we can help you find the right one.

Correcting excessive tearing is not a simple matter. There are several reasons why the eyes may water. Therefore, there must be solutions for each one. To begin the exploration of watery eyes, we may first look at the tear film itself.

Tears are not only produced when we cry; the lacrimal glands in the upper, outer corner of the upper eyelids are always at work. Here, three components come together to make tears: oil, aqueous fluid, and mucus. For tears to be useful, each element must exist in balance to the others. Upon exiting the lacrimal gland, tears cover the ocular surface when we blink. Blinking directs the tear film across the eye to the inner, lower corner, where natural drainage tubes call puncta are located. This journey sounds simple, but there are enough steps for misadventure to happen.

What Causes Excessive Tearing?

We can’t presume that excessively watery eyes stem from an overproduction of tears. There are a few other reasons this problem may occur. For example, eyelid inflammation called blepharitis can cause over-watering. Eyelid malposition is another common reason for unreasonable tearing. Eyelid malposition may involve:

  • An inward turn of the eyelid. We refer to this as entropion. When the eyelid turns inward, the eyelashes come into contact with the ocular surface, causing inflammation.
  • An outward turn of the eyelid. This is referred to as ectropion. When the eyelid turns outward, irritation stems from overexposure to the environment and the natural drying that results. Additionally, an outwardly-turned eyelid changes the position of the punctal drains that usher tears out of the eye.

Chronic watery eyes create numerous problems. Get help for excessive tearing in our Westport, CT office. Call (203) 557-6464 to schedule a consultation.

How to Safely Remove Eye Makeup

How often do you go at your skin with the force of a tornado to remove make-up, when all you want is to crash after a late night out? Unfortunately, not properly removing eye makeup, can devastate the delicate eyelid area from either the harsh chemicals left behind or rubbing too harshly. Here are a few tips to get the job done without collateral damage:⠀

1. Don’t rub too hard. The eyelid skin is the thinnest in the body. Rubbing can cause stretching and worsen fine lines & wrinkles. Never go back and forth. Use a soaked cotton pad (clean one for each side) to gently wipe the skin and eyelashes starting from the inner corner and moving outward. Then gently wipe the edge of the eyelid and the lashes moving from the inner corner out, top to bottom. ⠀
2. Don’t use a regular facial cleaner or an eye cream/lotion to clean the eyelids. Many facial cleansers have harsh ingredients that can irritate and dry out the eyelid skin. Oil based products and those harsh chemicals can also clog the tiny oil glands in our eyelids and cause irritation and dry eyes.⠀
3. Remove eye makeup first, then wash the face. This will remove any residual residue left behind on the cheeks. ⠀
4. Don’t forget the eyebrows.
5. So what products do I recommend? For very sensitive eyes, baby shampoo may be the gentlest product to clean the eyelids and remove makeup. Otherwise, oil-free, hypo-allergenic, ophthalmologist tested, and minimal chemicals. ⠀

Tips for Sensitive Eyes

Do you have sensitive eyes that get easily irritated or tear and make your makeup run? Here are some tips that may help.

1. Pick hypoallergenic eye makeup without fragrances or irritating chemicals (ethylene brassylate, denatured or SD alcohol and parabens).

I like eyeliner, waterproof mascara and eyeshadows from these brands:

  • Origins
  • Beauty Counter
  • La Roche-Posay
  • Dr. Hauschka

2. Creamy eyeshadows may work better than powder ones as they don’t flake

3. Avoid lining the eyelids inside the lash line with eyeliner

4. Fake eyelashes or eyelash extensions may be further irritating to the eyes

5. Wash makeup brushes once a month

6. Throw away mascaras and eyeliners 4-6 months after opening

7. Use anti-allergy drops or an oral anti-histamine if wearing heavy eye makeup for a special occasion

8. Consult your ophthalmologist or eye care provider if your eyes are constantly red and irritated for diagnosis & treatment

Questions? Contact our Westport office today to learn more about sensitive eyes.

EYELID REJUVENATION Westport, CT

Should You Have Cosmetic Eyelid Surgery?

EYELID REJUVENATION Westport, CTEyelid surgery is commonly performed to improve the overall appearance of the face. The way that eyelid rejuvenation surgery, or blepharoplasty, achieves this is by removing excess skin and fatty tissue from the upper or lower eyelids. The outpatient procedure can usually be performed with light sedation and a local anesthetic to numb the nerves in the eye area, even if both upper and lower lids are being treated.

If your eyes are making you look tired or angry, or if sagging tissue is affecting your vision, you may be wondering if blepharoplasty is right for you. Here, we point out a few of the common frustrations that can be improved with cosmetic eyelid surgery. You may be an excellent candidate for blepharoplasty if you have:

  • Dark circles or puffiness under your eyes
  • Creases or folds on the lower eyelids
  • No crease left on the upper lid due to sagging tissue
  • Good general health
  • Realistic expectations of what blepharoplasty can achieve

Blepharoplasty is a safe and efficient procedure that is performed routinely. However, it is not right for everyone. Good health is necessary to facilitate adequate healing. Smokers are not good candidates for surgical procedures because the chemicals that transfer from cigarettes into the body inhibit healing processes. People with existing eye disease, such as glaucoma, or eye infection, may also not be good candidates for blepharoplasty. A thorough consultation and examination are conducted to determine the extent of improvement that may be attained based on individual needs and expectations.

Who Will Perform Your Blepharoplasty? It matters!

Because so many people are seeking eyelid rejuvenation, doctors and device manufacturers are working hard to meet demands. This means that cosmetic surgeons, plastic surgeons, and even some general physicians and dermatologists are learning how to perform blepharoplasty. Device manufacturers are continually developing laser and light platforms that seek to tighten skin without surgery. Having more options doesn’t make it easier for you to decide that you should have your eyes treated. We want to help.

Dr. Levin is a board-certified oculoplastic surgeon specializing in cosmetic eyelid surgery. Her in-depth training enables her to adjust the eyelids without altering the natural appearance of the eyes. Whether the focus is the upper or lower lids, or both, the objective is to create a noticeable, yet discreet transformation.

We are proud to serve patients from the Westport, CT area with professional, friendly care. Learn more about eyelid rejuvenation surgery at (203) 557-6464.

Botox Westport, CT

Are Botox and Fillers Appropriate Summertime Treatments?

Botox Westport, CTNon-surgical cosmetic treatments are the current go-to for men and women wishing to slow down the progression of the aging process. Treatments like Botox® and dermal fillers  work in different ways when introduced into the facial tissues, but the goal is similar: a younger looking face with better contours and fewer lines. If you’ve been considering Botox, you may stop short of making your appointment if you believe that sun exposure will have an adverse effect on your treatment. Here, we discuss how Botox and dermal fillers may interact with sunlight.

Botox vs. Sunlight

Many people are under the impression that Botox and sunlight do not mix. This idea, which is false, by the way, may have originated with doctors’ orders to refrain from direct sun exposure after injectable treatment. The ultimate reason for this recommendation is to minimize the side effects that may occur after minor injections. In some instances, the slight swelling and redness that stem from injectable treatment may worsen if the skin is exposed to direct UVA and UVB light. However, being in the sun shortly after a Botox treatment will not degrade the results of injections.

What about dermal fillers?

Botox and dermal fillers are frequently used to reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles. Filler products are also introduced into areas that have lost volume, such as the lips, cheeks, and hands. The way that fillers work is by adding particular biocompatible products to superficial tissue. One of the most common products found in dermal fillers is hyaluronic acid. This is important to know because, unlike Botox, which is a chemical that binds to neuro-receptors, the hyaluronic acid in dermal fillers can degrade due to UV exposure.

It isn’t necessary to avoid sun exposure altogether if you undergo dermal filler treatment. It can help to consider a few suggestions, though:

  • Avoid sun exposure for one week to two weeks after dermal filler treatment, especially if you have mild bruising.
  • When you do spend time outdoors, wear sunscreen with a high SPF. If possible, wear a hat, as well.
  • Add a reputable antioxidant cream or serum into your daily skincare routine to continually fight free radicals that age the skin.
  • Get your glow on using a spray tan – just give yourself at least one day of space in between your filler treatment and tanning session.

Dr. Levin is a board certified oculofacial plastic surgeon who routinely performs surgical and non-surgical procedures to rejuvenate the face. To learn more about our services, call our Westport, CT office at (203) 557-6077.

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.

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.

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