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Five Non-Surgical Ways to Get Rid of Eye Bags!

To properly address the topic of “Bags” under the eyes, we need to accurately define what we may be seeing. Are they “Bags” or are they “Festoons”?

“Bags” under the eyes are a common process that occurs genetically with the aging process. As we age, the tissues around the eyes, including some of the muscles supporting the eyelids, weaken; and if the skin has been exposed to significant amounts of UV, the layers of the skin can separate and fluid collect within them.

The fat pad that is normally found under the eye may either atrophy (shrink), or may move up into the lower lids, causing the lids to appear puffy.

There is another condition that occurs in the upper part of the cheek that may have the same appearance as bags, but are distinctly different. “Bags” are firm to the touch, cannot be moved from side to side and appear more prominent when you look upward. The problem areas in the upper cheek are called “Festoons”, and they tend to feel soft and squishy to the touch, can easily be shifted from side to side and do not appear more prominent with upward gaze. Festoons are notoriously difficult to treat.

Skin care products, while they may help fine lines and wrinkles and redness, do not improve the look of “bags”.

For those who are not willing to undergo surgery to improve the appearance, there are some conservative options including the following.

  1. Acupuncture
  2. Herbal remedies and Vitamin K
  3. Neotensil (Spandex for the eye)
  4. Dermal Fillers
  5. Lipodissolve

In Chinese medicine, dysfunction of internal organs present themselves on the face; and problems around the eyes are believed to be connected to some underlying imbalance, usually involving the kidneys, adrenal glands, and the liver. Well-trained acupuncturists will take a full health history to pinpoint the culprit and then treat the acupuncture points associated with the imbalance, and in doing so will improve the appearance of bags and dark circles. Holistic acupuncturists may also prescribe herbal medicine or micronutrients, such as Licorice, Angelica, Milk Thistle, or Vitamin K, which will improve the functioning of those organs, bring nutrients to the affected area, and result in improved facial representation of organ function.

Neotensil™ is a new product that can be used on the skin to offer temporary improvement in the appearance of “eye bags”. It involves the application of two layers of product that works to reshape the skin and acts much like Spandex does for abdominal fat. Step 1 involves the placement of a reshaping base layer. Step 2 involves the application of an activating layer that cross links with the base layer; resulting in shaping the skin under the eye, and the improvement seen can last up to 16 hours.

Before & After: Neotensil™ Results

Dermal Fillers can improve the appearance by “filling in” the space below the fat pad thereby blending the fat pad to the cheek curve. Depending on the filler used this can last for at least one year.

Before & After: Eye Bags Removed

Lipodissolve is a slightly more invasive is injecting a solution into the fat pad that essentially dissolves the fat pad. This should be done with extreme caution and can be associated with significant erythema (redness) and edema (swelling) for up to 10 days and may need to be repeated.

Before & After: Lipodissolve

Regardless, if the condition is really a Festoon, and not a bag, all of the above treatments may either not improve the bag, or actually make the appearance worse.

Festoons are usually the result of damage to the layers which may include UV exposure, smoking, or in some people who are genetically predisposed, are a result of aging. Medications like diuretics and steroid injections may provide temporary improvement, but usually they require a combination of eyelid surgery and laser skin resurfacing.

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595 Elm Place, Suite 208
Highland Park, IL 60035