Does Botox Help with Eye Bags

Learn what treatments available to remove under-eye bags and puffy eyes and how to tell which one is right for you.

Confused whether Botox can help reduce under eye bags?

You're not alone.

There's a lot of conflicting information online about what Botox can do for the under eye area and what treatments work for puffy eyes.

A woman wondering if Botox can help with under eye bags.

I know this first hand because I suffered from eye bags and puffy eyes my whole adult life. So I've done the research and tried many different treatments. 

Here's what I learned about under eye Botox, what it can and can't do, and what treatments can help...

How Botox works for the under eye area

When you smile, speak, or laugh, facial muscles contract, which can cause wrinkles, fine lines, as well as other skin changes over time.

Botox works as an anti-aging treatment because it relaxes the facial muscles, minimizing these effects, and smoothing your skin. It does this by blocking the release of a chemical called acetylcholine, which is involved in muscle movement. 

Injecting Botox into the lower eyelid will reduce fine lines and smooth out your under-eye area.

Is Botox effective for the under-eye area?

Injecting Botox to treat fine lines under the eyes is usually an off-label use in the United States, and the FDA has not approved it.

Botox is generally considered an effective treatment for various types of eye wrinkles. Many people seek short-term treatment for:

· Frown lines

· Crow's feet

· Forehead lines

What about using under eye Botox for jelly roll?

Some people confuse eye bags with a bulging under eye muscle that is noticeable when the person smiles or squints. This is sometimes called the "jelly roll." 

Does Botox help with this and is it a good idea?

I've consulted with Dr. Sahra Hart, Cosmetic Doctor and International Trainer.

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 about 15 years ago 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."

What About Botox Injections For Under-Eye Bags?

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

If you have small, minor fat pad bulges, you can reduce the "appearance" of eye bags with dermal fillers.

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 eye bags or puffy eyes is really a lack of under eye volume.

The appearance of eye bags can also be caused by a lack of volume due to collagen loss. This could cause the under eye area to sag, giving you the "appearance" of having puffy, baggy eyes.

Injecting dermal filler in the lower lids tear trough can help replace lost volume and lift and smooth the under eye area.

Other treatments that can help puffy eyes

Speak with your doctor about some of the other alternatives. There are numerous methods for reducing bags under the eyes, including:

Surgery

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. 

Medication

If the puffiness is due to allergies, talk to your doctor about prescription allergy medication.

Treatments

Laser treatments, skin resurfacing and chemical peels could tighten and tone the under eye skin.

Is there a non-surgical way to get rid of bags under eyes?

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.

How?

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 are able to 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. 

You can find eye exercise samples Here and here.

Over-the-counter under-eye treatments 

There are several options here. Under eye rollers and massagers like Gua Sha or Kansa Wand can help stimulate circulation and reduce excess fluid in the eye area and the whole face, providing a more contoured slimmer look.

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.

Click here to read a review of the best and worst ones.

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.

The takeaway

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.

FAQ's: Does Botox help with eye bags

Q: Is Botox or filler better for under eye bags?

A: The use of Botox is effective for wrinkles and lines under the eyes and in the crow's feet area. Fillers can help reduce the appearance of mild swelling by adding volume to the little hollow area between the lower eye and the upper cheek.

However, this may not work if your eye puffiness is major. A more effective permanent solution might be removing fat - a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty.

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