Your skin surface contains several layers of muscles, connective tissues, fat and ligaments that give your face its natural look. When the ageing process starts, the collagen and elastin production decreases, making your skin loose, saggy and puffy. Although it’s tempting to grab an under-eye cream for some immediate relief, these treatments are not often permanent. So what can you do?
Reasons behind the formation of under-eye bags
Most under eye bags can be a sign of some underlying diseases. Therefore, it’s crucial for you to get it assessed by a professional to rule out any significant health problems. Sometimes sodium-rich diets can cause water retention in your body, and the puffiness around your eyes can signify that. A balanced diet is vital. Try to cut your salt intake and add foods rich in Vitamin C to your diet. The bromelain in pineapples can prevent swelling and puffiness under your eyes. Fluid retention can also be caused by alcohol consumption, so cutting back on alcohol will also help.
How to permanently remove under eye bags?
There are some home remedies and products you can use to alleviate your puffy eyes. You can start by applying cold cucumbers or chilled green tea bags over the eyes for five minutes every day. The cold temperature in the product can act as an anti-inflammatory compressor for your eyes.
Products containing tetrapeptide-5 and heparin sulfate as active ingredients reduce puffiness under the eyes. Some other ingredients you should look for in an under-eye cream includes caffeine, tea extract, cacao extract and coffee seed extract. You can also use mild retinol to restore the collage around your eyes.
If products or home remedies don’t work, you can go for a lymphatic drainage procedure to drain the fluid retention in the area. Another popular option is using a jade roller to promote lymphatic drainage under the eyes.
Sometimes a change in diet or creams won’t be enough to reduce under eye bags and patients will need to consider surgical options such as an eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty.
What is blepharoplasty?
Anyone with excellent physical and mental health can get a blepharoplasty or eye bag removal surgery to fix their puffy eye lids or remove excess skin from their upper or lower eyelids. The surgery also helps eliminate sagginess or droopiness from eyelids.
However, the eye bag surgery is not for individuals who are pregnant, lactating or having health problems such as diabetes, thyroid disorder, immune system disorder, heart disease and circulatory disorder.
An eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is an effective treatment for removing under eye bags. Also known as the eye bag removal surgery, blepharoplasty involves the process of removing excess fat around your eyes by making an incision in the natural crease on your upper and lower eyelid. It is a safe and painless procedure conducted under local anesthetic in an outpatient setting where you can go home right after the surgery.
Besides treating your eye bags, blepharoplasty surgery can also help with:
- Reducing baggy or puffy upper lids
- Eliminating excess skin from upper eye lids that may be hindering you see clearly
- Fix droopy lower eyelids causing whiteness below the iris
- Reduce excess skin on lower eyelids
Function blepharoplasty is conducted to rectify a medical issue. An upper eyelid can sag for several reasons, such as excessive pressure or impaired vision. In such cases, an eye bag removal surgery can help you remove the extra skin around your eyelid to restore a healthy vision.
Cosmetic blepharoplasty is conducted with the aim of improving the aesthetic of one’s appearance. Ageing can make some profound physical changes that include weakening the muscles around your eyes, making the skin stretchy and saggy. It makes your eyelids droopy and puffy, making you look even older. An eye bag removal is a cosmetic surgery to manipulate the skin, fat tissues and muscles around your eyelids to give you a fresh and younger appearance.
How is blepharoplasty done?
An eye bag removal surgery or blepharoplasty is a simple procedure that takes 1-3 hours to complete, which is why it is considered a day-case cosmetic procedure. It is an outpatient treatment where you can go back to your daily routine once the surgery is completed. However, the recovery time may vary based on whether you go for upper lids or lower lids or both together.
Blepharoplasty surgery or eye bag surgery can last for around ten years. However, when conducted under an experienced surgeon with proper planning, the surgery can be permanent. However, its permanence depends on several factors, such as the individual’s genetic makeup, ageing and medical conditions.
Upper Eyelid Surgery
The upper blepharoplasty is conducted under local anesthesia and is a mild surgery. Your surgeon will make a small incision around your upper eye lid (approx. 1cm above the lash line). After carefully lifting the underlying tissue, the plastic surgeon will reposition the fat and tighten the muscles around your eyelid. Then the incision will be stitched back or glued back, ensuring a smooth, firm and wrinkle-free appearance.
Lower Eyelid Surgery
There are three surgical approaches to conduct a lower eyelid surgery determined based on:
- Amount of fat to be removed
- How tight you want your eyelid to be
- The location of the fat
Transconjunctival Lower Lid Blepharoplasty
This is recommended when your surgeon thinks they can achieve your desired look without removing any skin.
Transconjunctival Arcus Marginalis Release
This is a process where the surgeon manipulates the fat within the lid to correct the volume in the soft tissue. It is conducted on patients with very little flesh covering their faces, making their eyes appear hollow and bony.
Eyelid or eye bag removal surgery is a completely painless plastic surgery conducted under local anesthesia. The surgery is usually over within 1-3 hours, followed by which your doctor will apply an antibiotic ointment on your eye. You will also have to take some antibiotics for a few days.
You can expect some bruising or pain for a week, which can be controlled through painkillers. The symptoms will subside within a week or two.
How you prepare for a blepharoplasty treatment for bags under the eyes?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that can only be conducted with the approval of an eye specialist or a board-certified surgeon. You need to schedule an appointment with a specialized surgeon for blepharoplasty. During the assessment, your surgeon may ask for:
A vision examination: Your surgeon or doctor will test your vision, including peripheral vision.
A physical examination: Your doctor will test related to tear production and eyelids.
Eyelid photography: It includes a process where the surgeon will photograph your eyes from various angles to assess the immediate and long-term effects of the surgery.
You may have to:
Quit smoking: Nicotine reduces your body’s ability to heal better. You may have to give up smoking several weeks before the surgery.
Stop taking certain drugs: You may have to stop taking certain blood thinners such as warfarin, aspirin and anti-inflammatories such as ibuprofen, naproxen, naproxen sodium and other medication and supplements that increase risks of bleeding. Only take medications approved by the surgeon.
What can you expect after a blepharoplasty (eye bag removal) surgery?
After the eye bag surgery, your surgeon may ask you to spend some time in the recovery room to monitor your condition for any complications. After some time, you can leave the hospital after the surgeon’s approval.
After an eye bag surgery, you may experience some temporary discomfort such as:
Puffy and numbness in eyelids
Swelling and bruising around eyes
Mild to moderate pain
Some post-surgical care tips:
- Use ice packs on your eye area for 10 minutes per hour for the whole night after the eye bag surgery. Use ice packs on eyes 4-5 times a day on the next day of the surgery
- Clean your eyes gently, followed by using eye drops or ointments as prescribed by your surgeon.
- Avoid smoking, rubbing your eyes and doing heavy work such as lifting, swimming or jogging.
- Wear tinted sunglasses to protect your eyes from sun and wind
The bruising and swelling generally subside within 10 to 14 days, while surgical scars will take a couple of months to fade completely.
The results of a blepharoplasty treatment for bags under the eyes are almost immediate once the swelling and bruising subside. The surgery often lasts for a lifetime for some people, while some people may have to redo it after ten years.
Should you go for a surgery?
Surgery can seem like a daunting option, but the truth is a blepharoplasty is a safe and minimally invasive procedure. However, you can expect some common side-effects such as dryness in eyes, bruising, numbness, and scarring, etc.
These side effects are often short-lived, and others can be treated through medications.
In very rare cases, some patients may be left with a permanent condition where they have difficulty closing their eyes while sleeping.
Another rare case of side effects includes over exposure of lower eyelids where the inner surface of the eyelid faces outward. This condition can be corrected with additional surgery.
The area around your eyes is very sensitive and delicate. Therefore, before trying out any treatment for your under-eye bags, you must consult a healthcare professional. While surgical treatments offer permanent results, they should only be done by a board-certified surgeon with specialisation in the treatment of the eyelid area.