Apart from lines and wrinkles, droopy eyelids are also a common skin concern that can make your look older or betray your age. As the muscles supporting the eyelids weaken over time, extra fat and skin can accumulate above and below them. This can then lead to droopy upper eyelids, sagging brows, and under-eye bags.
Eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty can help address the problems mentioned above by removing or cutting excess skin, muscle, or fat. The sad part is not everyone is willing to go under the knife or is a candidate for the procedure. Some are also concerned about the side effects and recovery period, and the time it takes to see the final results.
And even though surgery can tackle severe signs of aging and provide lasting results, it may not be the best option for every patient. If you, for instance, have light to moderate signs of aging in the eye area, non-surgical alternatives are worth considering. These involve injectables and energy-based procedures that can provide a tightening effect.
But first, what is blepharoplasty?
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure for repairing droopy eyelids or minimizing bagginess in the eyelids. It involves cutting skin, muscle, and sometimes fat from the eyelids. Some of the tissues treated might also be moved to other surrounding areas before finally closing the incision.
Eyelid surgery can be performed on both the upper and lower eyelids. Upper blepharoplasty tackles the loose skin and muscle tissue in the upper eyelids, while lower blepharoplasty addresses the saggy skin and pockets of fat below the eyes. The procedure requires anesthesia, cuts, recovery time, and aftercare.
Non-surgical alternatives to eyelid surgery
Here at Cutis, we have several treatments that can help reduce droopiness or bagginess in the upper and lower eyelids. They can make your eyes look more alert and your face more refreshed without incisions or longer downtime.
1. Botulinum toxin or Botox
Commonly used for treating lines and wrinkles on the forehead and between the brows, Botox can also help lift the eyebrows. It relaxes the muscles responsible for saggy or droopy brows, providing a natural-looking lift of about one to two millimeters. You can also use it to treat crow’s feet or fine lines around the eyes for a more well-rested appearance.
Botox is ideal for mild cases. It can make the upper eyelids less droopy, as well as help reduce skin folds around the eye area. Just do take note that it can take about 14 days to see the full effects. The results are not permanent; they last between three and six months, or longer with touch-up treatments.
Further reading: Putting to rest the 5 common fears about Botox.
2. Dermal fillers
Facial fillers are mainly for restoring or adding volume loss, as well as improving facial contours. For the eye area, they can be used to help lift the skin under it and address other signs of aging. They can fill out the hollows (tear troughs) that cast a shadow under the eyes to improve the look of dark circles, as well as smooth crow’s feet.
You can see initial improvements after the treatment, but it can take about two weeks for the filler to fully blend and settle with the surrounding tissues. The results can last between 6 and 12 months or even longer, but do take note that not all types of dermal fillers can be used under or around the eyes. Be sure to work with a trained and experienced injector or have the treatment done at a medical clinic.
Developed as an alternative to eyelid surgery, PLASMAGE® can improve droopy eyelids without cuts or needles. It is a non-invasive medical (pen-like) device that uses patented fractional plasma, delivering plasma energy on the tissues, which helps tighten the skin around the eyes.
The plasma energy heats the skin almost immediately and creates tiny dots of trauma on the upper or lower eyelid. The energy discharge starts when the device’s tip is close to the skin (one to two mm away), but doesn’t touch it directly. It removes the skin through sublimation, evaporating or dissolving the top layer, without incision or any penetration.
The heating from the plasma energy also encourages collagen production and helps with the tightening of skin fibers. You may see the results almost immediately, but the redness and swelling may conceal them. More improvements show within eight weeks and optimum results appear five to six months after the procedure.
The results can last for about one to two years and can be repeated in the future if needed. One session is usually enough in treating the upper and lower eyelids, but this can still depend on your individual profile and goals. Check out our previous post to know what to expect from Plasmage for droopy eyelids.
Considered as a non-surgical alternative to facelift, Ultherapy is US FDA-approved for lifting the skin on the face, brow, chin, and neck. It delivers time-tested micro-focused ultrasound energy that targets specific layers. It triggers the production of new collagen, allowing the treated area to achieve a visible yet gentle lift over time.
The new collagen can help lift saggy or hooded eyelids for a more refreshed look. You can also turn to Ultherapy to treat other areas, like lifting and tightening the jawline or improving fine lines and wrinkles on the decolletage for a more youthful appearance.
You may see an initial improvement after the treatment, but significant results appear over two to three months. Further improvements show up six months following the procedure. Touch-up treatments are recommended to maintain youthful effects.
5. Imperium Deep Cleanse & Lift with RF spheres
This facial rejuvenation treatment combines different technologies to deliver non-invasive anti-aging benefits like skin lifting and tightening. It uses the Sonoblade 25 to cleanse, repair, and nourish the skin, as well as stimulate skin turnover and lighten superficial dark spots.
It features the use of bipolar RF spheres, which generate internal or endogenous heat. These use diathermocontraction (diathermy + deep muscle contraction), along with bio-stimulation technologies to promote new collagen growth and formation. These RF spheres can help with:
- Eyebrow lifting (treatment of forehead)
- Reducing the appearance of lines and wrinkles (periorbital and perioral wrinkles)
- Improving nasolabial folds
- Jawline tightening
- Cheeks and cheekbones
- Improving the general laxity of the face and neck
Collagen formation can take two to three months. And because Imperium Deep Cleanse and Lift is non-invasive, the lifting and tightening effects are not dramatic, but subtle with a natural-looking appearance. A consultation with us will let you know what to expect and the number of sessions you’ll need to achieve your goals.
What you should know about non-surgical alternatives
One main advantage of non-surgical alternatives is that it is more affordable than eyelid surgery. There is also no general anesthesia required and minimal to no downtime needed, which is ideal if you have a busy schedule or can’t take time off work.
Just do take note that not all alternatives can provide overt or dramatic results. They may help lift, tighten, and rejuvenate the skin, but they cannot treat underlying tissues like excess skin or fat. The results are also not long-lasting and you’ll need touch-up treatments to maintain them.
If the bagginess in your eyelids is minor, non-surgical alternatives do help. Seeing a trained and experienced aesthetic doctor will let you know if you’re a good candidate for any of the procedures, as well as the results you can expect.
Book a consultation today
If you’re considering any of the procedures mentioned above, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. Contact Cutis Medical Laser Clinics in Singapore and schedule a consultation with our aesthetic doctor to find out which one is right for you.