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Tired Puffy Eyes? 5 Top Eye Openers

Written by: Dr Kristie McNealy

The delicate skin around the eyes tends to age faster than any other.

Eye_OpenersAdded to the fact that oil glands, sweat glands and blood supply are at a minimum in this area, the fine skin is subject to much movement, rubbing and general wear and tear.

Keeping wrinkles, puffiness and sagging at bay requires consistent care and maintenance, so we’ve rounded up some of the most effective ways to treat and prevent eye aging.

Surgical Treatments

Though surgery may not be for everyone, it certainly is very effective in treating heavy, sagging lids and puffy-under-eye bags.  An eye lift or blepharoplasty is one of the most popular anti-aging surgical procedures. The operation rejuvenates your eyes, giving you a more awake, alert look by removing pockets of fat that cause bulging in the upper and lower lids. It also removes excess folds of skin.”

The upper lid incision is camouflaged in the skin crease and extends into the crow’s feet as required. The lower lid cut is made either just below the eyelashes (if skin removal is necessary) or inside the id (trans-conjunctival blepharoplasty) if no skin removal is needed. Excess skin, fat and muscle is removed  or repositioned as required and the wounds are closed with a pull-out suture.

A patient can have both lower and upper lids done or if preferred only one of these procedures. The trans-conjunctival  blepharoplasty (the removal of fat from the lower lid) is a suitable procedure for a younger patient with a good skin but sagging lower lids.

Often done independently of other surgery, blepharoplasty can be combined with procedures such as a facelift or forehead brow lift. A forehead lift is advised when the position of the eyebrows and height of the hairline need to be adjusted. This is not, however, a suitable solution to upper eyelids unless the brow is very low.

Blepharoplasty can also be successfully combined with non-surgical treatments like Botox, in order to improve the appearance of the area. But also help with the recovery by preventing tension while the area heals.

The duration of a blepharoplasty is normally one-and-a-half hours. You need to schedule an appointment before the procedure, another approximately a week later to remove the stitches and then one or two check-ups thereafter.

Blepharoplasty is a safe, reliable and very common procedure, which can be performed as day-case surgery under conscious sedation and local anaesthesia. Laser and/or scalpel may be used, but most surgeons opt for the precision of the latter. Discolouration around the eyes and some swelling is normal post surgery and you should avoid strenuous activity while recovering. In most cases, you can go back to your usual activities seven to ten days after the surgery.

Non-Surgical Alternatives

Non-surgical procedures have increased and improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years, resulting in a variety of options that can stave off the ageing process. The concept today is to start with alternative rejuvenation treatments so as to avoid or postpone surgical solutions for as long as possible.


The most popular non-surgical method for treating lines around the eye are is Botox. Although not really suited to the lower eye area, it makes a significant difference to the brow area and horizontal lines at the side of the eye. Botox lifts and opens the eye, giving a fresh, relaxed look to the fact. The most effective spots include between the brows, along the forehead, with a tiny amound placed just under the brow (this gives a very small lift) and just below the temples.

With most non-surgical treatments an incremental strategy is the right way to go: Always start with less, as this allows you to decide how mush is needed. Having Botox is quick (it takes 10-15 minutes), and is almost painless, even though it consists of several small injections strategically placed. You can expect minimal redness and slight local swelling, although this is usually barely perceptible. Having Botox on the lower eye area is not advised, as the lid can sometimes droop away from the eye and bruising is more prevalent in this area. Some controversy comes with Botox, but according  to most practioners, the quantities injected are too small to have a harmful effect. Botox take three to five days to take effect and the effects should remain for three to four months.

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