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African Americans Show Facial Aging in Eyes Earlier Than Caucasians
Date:2/27/2008

Often a Decade Sooner, ASPS Study Says

ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill., Feb. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While it is no secret African Americans' skin may keep its youthful appearance longer than other ethnicities, many people don't know African Americans show facial aging in the outer corner of the eyes earlier than Caucasians, according to March's Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery(R) (PRS), the official medical journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS). In fact, African Americans require extra attention to their eyes because of their particular ethnic characteristics.

"African Americans have a slight slant to their eyes, much like Asians do but not as pronounced," said Julius Few, MD, ASPS Member Surgeon and study co-author. "During aging, we found not only do the outer corners of the eyes of African Americans droop lower than Caucasians, they also droop sooner."

In the study, the median eye slant for African American women aged 45 years or younger was 3 degrees and decreased to 1 degree for those older than 45. The median eye slant in Caucasian women aged 45 years or younger was 1.3 degrees and decreased to 0 for those older than 45. While the forehead and eyebrow areas of Caucasian women tend to drop a decade earlier than African American women, the aging effects to the outer corner of the eye is exactly opposite.

With aging, the outer corner of the eye droops down, making under-eye bags more noticeable, lower lids looser and aging more evident. During an eye lift, if the outer corner is not raised up enough to recreate the slant, many African American patients will feel their ethnically unique features have been changed.

"On top of honoring their ethnic uniqueness, one of the biggest concerns African American women have is their tendency to show scars," said Dr. Few. "By going through the inside of the lower eyelid and hiding a small scar in the upper eyelid crease during a lift, the scarring will
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SOURCE American Society of Plastic Surgeons
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