So does Botox help with eye bags or not?
Confused? You're not alone.
Why is there so much conflicting information online about what Botox can do for under-eye bags and what treatments really work?
Read on to learn more...
I know this firsthand because I suffered from eye bags and puffy eyes my whole adult life. So I've done the research and tried many treatments.
Here's what I learned about under eye Botox, what it can and can't do, and what treatments can help...
So why do some websites state Botox can help reduce puffy eyes?
It appears it all started with the jelly roll.
Some people confuse puffiness and bags with a bulging under eye muscle that is noticeable when the person smiles or squints.
This bulging muscle is sometimes called the "Jelly Roll."
While this may sound like a logical solution, as Botox can relax the muscle and smooth the under eye bulge, Dr. Hart is not a fan of using Botox under the eye area at all.
"Jelly roll is a ridge of overactive orbic oculi muscle. Seen more often in Asian patients. I used to inject this years ago but stopped as it can cause bagging of the lower eyelid which is an aging change. I don't ever use Botox under the eye now," she says.
"Eye bags are protrusion of the retro orbital fat as the orbital septum weakens and fluid can also contribute. Filler can sometimes disguise this protrusion but must be used with great caution close to the eye as it can migrate and cause puffiness and Tindall effect."
NOTE: This is just the opinion of one physician. If you have overactive orbic oculi muscle (jelly roll) check with your provider if neurotoxin injections are right for you.
Botox has no effect on treating conditions such as under-eye bags.
If you have large puffy sacs due to excess fat, the best solution is surgery (blepharoplasty) to remove excess fat pads. More about that below.
However, there are situations where injections of hyaluronic acid fillers (dermal fillers) can help.
Here is how:
Small Fat Pads
By adding a small amount of filler in the hollow area, located in between the fat pad bulge and upper cheek area, helps reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and provides a nice smooth look from eyes to upper cheeks.
Sagging Due To Volume Loss
What looks like puffiness, bags, or dark circles could be due to lack under eye volume due to collagen loss.
This could cause the area to sag, giving you the "appearance" of having puffiness.
Injecting dermal filler in the lower lids tear trough can help replace lost volume and lift and smooth the area.
Yes, there are some uses of Botulinum toxins for this delicate area, however, it's considered off-label use in the United States, as the FDA has not approved it.
Anti-wrinkle injections are considered an effective short-term treatment for various types of eye wrinkles, including:
· Frown lines
· Crow's feet
· Forehead lines
Speak with your doctor about some of the other alternatives. There are numerous methods for reducing bags under the eyes, including:
Lower blepharoplasty is the best and permanent solution for large eye bags and fat pads. With this procedure, the doctor may remove and/or reposition the fat under the lower eye skin.
I had the surgery. However, mine was called Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty.
With this surgery, incisions are made on the inside of the lower to expose and remove the fat. This offers a more natural look because there are no scars on the outside of the eyelid.
Make sure you seek a qualified Oculoplastic or Ophthalmic plastic surgeon, who specializes in Oculo-Plastic & Orbital Reconstructive Surgery.
If the bags and puffiness are minor, laser treatments, skin resurfacing and chemical peels could tighten and tone the under eye area.
Ultherapy is an effective, non-invasive option. This treatment heats skin proteins and stimulates collagen production. This tightens and lifts the skin, making the puffiness less noticeable.
If the puffiness is due to allergies, talk to your doctor about prescription allergy medication.
There are a few things you can do at home that might help reduce the severity and appearance of puffy eyes, but nothing short of surgery will actually remove fat from under eye bags.
Firm-up eye muscles
Facial exercises that include under-eye lifts, (muscle contractions of the orbicularis oris muscle) can help reduce the severity of puffiness or bulge.
As we age, our facial muscles weaken, especially the muscles surrounding the eye area.
Weak eye muscles can allow fat pads to bugle out more and droop down, causing the appearance of dark circles, puffy eyes, and droopy eyelids.
However, stronger eye muscles can hold the fat pads in and up. It can also help lift saggy eyelids, lift the corners of the eyes for a more youthful appearance, and reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
In addition, eye exercises increase circulation and blood flow, which helps reduce excess fluid in the eye area and minimize dark circles. Sometimes dark circles are just dark shadows caused by under eye bulge.
Over-the-counter under-eye treatments
There are several options here.
Eye Lift Serums
There are also instant eye lift serums, that help lift and firm up the skin, giving the area a smoother look.
While there are plenty of these eye lift serum products on the market, many are very drying and can irritate sensitive skin.
I know this first hand, because I've tried almost all of them and found just one that works without dryness, irritation and leaving a whitish film... like many do.
Why am I still using eye lift serums after have lower blepharoplasty?
Because I still have slight puffiness, or protruding, in the right eye. Whether it's swelling from allergies or fat, I don't know.
My doctor told me there was a lot of fat in my right eye, and he was worried about taking out too much, as this could cause the opposite problem: sunken eyelid skin.
So, I still use an eye lift serum, especially on days when I'm tired. It helps my eyes look more awake and firmer.
Whether Botox helps with eye bags depends on what's causing the eyes to look puffy, as stated above.
If your ultimate goal is to minimize the appearance of horizontal lines under your lower lids or the muscle which sticks out when you smile, then you may be a good candidate for under-eye Botox treatments; but be sure to consult with your doctor first.
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