“You look so tired and haggard!” Many of my patients lament that this is all they hear from their family and friends ever since developing eye bags. Even though they had a restful sleep the night before, these eye bags and dark circles make them appear tired, sickly and aged.
It cannot be denied that the way we look is always a great factor that can influence our everyday personal and professional lives. If we have to meet clients and other people for work, eye bags can be a real confidence sapper.
The eyes are the windows to the soul, as the saying goes — and no one likes to go out with those ugly eye bags and dark circles under their eyes. These eye bags will surely have everyone around us wondering if we are getting enough rest — not to mention, how unflattering they’re going to look in photos.
In this article, I hope I’ll be able to use my experience as an aesthetic doctor to elucidate on this rarely talked about condition. Let’s get right into it!
Eye Bags - What are they?
Eye bags or “eye puffiness” is a condition where a slight bump or puffiness form on the orbits (eye tissues) under the eyes. Typically, eye bags are known to be caused by lack of sleep or too much stress and fatigue — but there are a lot of other causes for this puffiness. These may include age, venous fluid build-up, excessive pigmentation, unhealthy lifestyle (alcohol consumption) or can be inherited.
Clinically, there are two types of eye bags that are observed in patients. These are the true eye bags and or tear throughs (dark circles).
- True eye bags
As we grow old, the tissues surrounding the eyes also deteriorate and cause the fat deposits supporting the eyes to “drop” to our lower eyelids, resulting to a puffy and bulging appearance resembling a bag under the eyes — hence the name true eye bags.
- Dark Circles
Dark circles are sometimes called tear throughs which can be caused by different factors such as:
- Volume loss that results in darkening and depression under the eye
- Buildup of venous fluids around the eye
- Excessive pigmentations on the top-most skin layer
What are treatment options for eye bag and dark circles removal?
We all know that make-up and commercial eye creams can only do so much to hide our cosmetic concerns like eye bags. While concealers can be a great help to mask the hollowness and puffiness, cosmetic procedures are the surest way to ultimately say goodbye to those droopy eye bags. The following are the tried and tested eye bag removal treatments available in Singapore.
- Surgical Removal for True Eye Bags
The procedure typically involves surgical removal of the excess fat that causes the “puffiness” under the eyes through a small incision on the eye bag area (lower eyelid).
Important to Know: Only a licensed eye bag, facial plastic or oculoplastic surgeon can perform this specific type of eye bag removal treatment. If you do not have any issues with surgical procedures, surgical removal of eye bags can be a great choice to achieve the best results.
- Fillers for true eye bags:
This procedure involves the use of injections. Fillers are naturally non-invasive and are specially designed for patients who do not want to go under the knife for their eye bag removal treatments but want to see a significant reduction in their eye bags.
Important to Know: A very good and well-experienced filler doctor can deliver a very good reduction of eye bag (about 40-60%).
- Fillers for circles or tear throughs:
Dark circles or tear throughs do not require surgical procedures—only fillers can be enough to treat these dark circles and hollowness under the eye.
Important to Know: There are several types of fillers that are specifically used to treat dark circles caused by different causes and may have a varying cost depending on what type used.
From this point on, I will focus on fillers for eye bag removal.
- Fillers for true eye bags:
How can fillers treat eye bags?
- Fillers fill up volume loss
Eye bag fillers are one of the most effective cosmetic procedure that increases the fullness of the treatment area by filling in the volume loss. The procedure usually involves the use of injectable fillers made up of Hyaluronic Acid (HA) that boost the volume of the under-eye with very minimal downtime.
- Fillers help hydrate the skin
Other than filling up the volume loss under the eyes, Hyaluronic Acid (HA) fillers also hydrate the treatment area causing the skin to stretch and making the dark circles less inconspicuous.
- Fillers help lighten up the skin
Also, venous blood build-ups will be covered up resulting in the lightening of the skin. As a bonus, because fillers stretch the skin, this procedure also helps in the reduction of wrinkles around the treatment area.
What to know before committing to fillers procedure to remove eye bags?
Proper consultation is the key.
As all professionals in this field will advise, only a doctor is qualified enough to diagnose you as to whether or not you are suitable for any cosmetic procedure.
During the consultation, your doctor can properly assess the severity of your condition and determine whether you can be a candidate for the eye bag removal treatment.
Your Choice of Doctor Matters.
Also, the success of your treatment will depend on your doctor’s skills and expertise, so make sure you choose a doctor who has experience in doing fillers. You don’t want to become someone’s guinea pig for their first time performing that procedure.
Combination of treatments may be used.
Each individual patient has different cosmetic concerns. Usually, patients with more severe eye bag conditions may benefit from a combination of treatments available at the doctor’s clinic. Ask your doctor what other treatments you can have with your eye bag removal fillers to achieve the best results.
Are eye bag fillers painful when injected?
When done by a skilled doctor, there will be zero to minimal pain during the whole eye bag filler procedure. As with any injection, you can expect a brief sharp pricking sensation when the needle enters your skin. However, discomfort is reduced with the use of numbing cream in the treatment area. Before the injection step, make sure your face has been properly prepped with numbing cream to prevent a painful experience.
When to expect results with fillers?
Instant results can be observed after eye bag fillers injection. Immediately after the procedure, you can already expect to see the following results:
- the tear troughs will be filled up
- the puffiness will be reduced
- the protruding eye bags will no longer be that obvious
After a few more days, better results and a significant reduction in eye bag will be observed.
Will there be any downtime after eye bag treatment?
Eye bag treatment with fillers is a non-invasive procedure and requires no downtime. Typically, patients can resume doing their everyday routines after the procedure.
What common side-effects should be expected after eye bag treatment?
- Slight swelling
Hyaluronic acid fillers are hydrophilic — meaning they absorb water molecules, and this may cause some slight swelling right after the treatment and can last up to the next couple of days. So, don’t worry about the swelling because this is normal.
Sometimes one side of the eye will look more swollen or bruised than the other. This condition is called asymmetry and a common occurrence with patients who have gone fillers injection as eye bag treatment. There is no need to panic when you develop asymmetry because it will go away after a couple of weeks after the procedure and will be gone just in time for your follow-up check-up.
What are the indications that eye bag treatment was done poorly?
Although very rare, some patients may develop some bruising on the injected area that requires up to a week to resolve. Usually this bruising can occur because of the doctor’s inexperience. In these cases, concealers may help to hide the yellowish or greenish bruising under the eyes.
- Tyndall’s effect:
This is characterized by yellowish or bluish tinge around the injection area that is caused by a superficial injection of the incorrect filler.
- Excessive Filler:
Injection of excessive amounts of filler may result in a sausage-shaped bump on the treatment area making the eyes look puffier than before.
How long will it last until the results from eye bag treatment wear off?
The longevity of the eye bag treatment will depend on the patient’s natural skin ageing and lifestyle. Typically, fillers can last up to 7-9 months after the original procedure. My other patients even say that their fillers lasted up to a year before the felt the effects wearing off.
How much does eye bag fillers cost in Singapore?
Eye bag fillers in Singapore are charged per syringe. Depending on the type of syringe used and the brand, usually, one syringe can cost from $550-$1100.
Different types of fillers can be used by your doctor depending on the severity of your condition. For example, volume loss and under-eye depressions can be treated with fillers with low viscosity while venous blood build-ups and excessive pigmentations can be treated with vitamin-infused fillers and threads.
For the total cost of eye bag treatment, you should also consider the doctor’s fee and other costs of combination treatments you may want to get.
Finally, what are the after-care tips to achieve the best results from eye bag treatment?
- Protect yourself from direct sunlight.
Make sure you have enough sun protection and if possible, stay away from direct sunlight! Apply sunscreen all the time to protect yourself from damaging UV rays.
- Always make sure to get enough sleep.
Getting at least 6 hours of sleep a day is important to have a well-rested body. Practice a regular sleep cycle and avoid distractions (like your phone) to ensure enough and restful sleep.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
An unhealthy lifestyle like excessive alcohol consumption, smoking and an unhealthy diet can greatly influence the longevity of the effectivity of the eye bag treatment. Food items that have high sodium promote fluid retention that can settle under your eyes. Make sure you eat healthily and drink lots of water to keep yourself hydrated.