News Releases

Crow's-Feet Fly Away

You've heard the jokes. About the woman who went under cover to have her eyes done and came back an immortal surprised look.

Removing facial wrinkles no longer means stretched skin and a plastic look. A variety of new cosmetic techniques now offered at the Emory Eye Center seeks to counteract the effects of aging, not to change the way a person looks.

"We don't want to alter the underlying structure of the face, just to enhance and rejuvenate it, creating a natural look," observes Melissa Meldrum, who joined Ted Wojno in the oculoplastics section of the Eye Center last year. "The type of problem dictates the treatment."

Some of these cosmetic options include:

Fret-lines, furrows and crow's-feet
"Botox is for people, who, thanks to a lot of happiness or sadness in their lives, have developed laugh lines and brow furrows," says Dr. Meldrum.

Botulinim toxin, a.k.a. Botox, has received a lot of press as a miracle wrinkle cure. A Botox patient herself, Dr. Meldrum has received injections to eradicate her horizontal forehead lines, the vertical "fret-line" between her eyebrows, and the crow's-feet at the outer corners of her eyes. Within three days, she saw a "huge difference," with her wrinkles completely disappearing for three to four months, sometimes longer.

Botox injections paralyze the nerves in an isolated area, so, for example, even if you frown, your forehead won't fret. While the injection contains the same virus that causes botulism, Dr. Meldrum notes, "it's FDA-approved and completely safe, because it's used in such minute amounts and not systemically absorbed. It's a medicine that's been used for other medical purposes for over 20 years."

The Eye Center remains at the forefront of Botox use in the eye area, with Dr. Wojno publishing the first groundbreaking research in this area.

Excess eyelid skin
As individuals age, they develop excess skin overhanging their eyelids and lashes, creating a tired or puffy appearance. Women may discover they no longer have a good eyelid on which to apply makeup. During a procedure called blepharoplasty, surgeons remove excess skin and fat is surgically removed and low eyebrows raised.

"My goal is to make my patients look brighter or more awake, to give their face a boost," says Dr. Meldrum. "Patients say to me that after surgery friends asked if they got a new hairdo or lost weight. They say 'you must have slept well last night, you look really great.'"

Fine wrinkles
Dr. Meldrum recommends erasing sun damage, fine wrinkles and other imperfections by literally removing top layers of skin to expose new healthy skin beneath. She is expanding her practice to include the latest in cosmetic resurfacing techniques, ranging from prescription skin creams to laser resurfacing and power peels.

Retin-A causes skin to turn over faster, thus eliminating dead skin and decreasing the risk of skin cancer. Hydroxychloroquine bleaches out dark spots. Dr. Meldrum and Dr. Wojno are also currently developing a therapeutic skin care line.

Laser resurfacing applies a controlled burn to the face to remove the top several layers of skin, while the power peel offers a less expensive, less radical option in which a little instrument bombards the skin with particles.

Media Contact: Joy H. Bell

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