How Can I Get Rid of a Lower Eyelid 'Bag' when I Smile? (photo)

I have prominent eyes. I am in my early twenties and I have always had these 'bags' that nearly cover my entire eye when I smile, giving my face a perfect circle around each eye. When I don't smile, the 'lines' appear on my face and they make me look tired when I am not. Is there anything I can do to get rid of them and get like a 'thin lid' or something, because mine are very abnormal (I have no medical problems, and I'm pretty sure its hereditary) Thanks!

Doctor Answers 4

Lower eyelid bag when you smile

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

  That bag that you see is really no bag at all.  It really is due to the orbicularis muscle which is a vital part of the lower eyelid anatomy.  We need to remember that we are all made somewhat differently.  For you, you see this "bag" which may be more prominent on you than on others your age.  But there is no pathology here and nor is it something which should bother you cosmetically.  It looks fine to me.

Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

Lower eyelid bags due to the muscle.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The "bags" you are referring to is due to thickening of the eyelid muscle and this is normal. This muscle is responsible for closing the eye and this explains why your "bags" becomes more obvious upon smiling. This is a sign of youth and it becomes less obvious with aging. Although I generally would not recommend treatment for this normal finding, surgery can reduce the size of the the muscle.

Eric In Choe, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.6 out of 5 stars 51 reviews

That's hypertrophy of your muscle!

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

You are young, and you don’t appear to have fat pockets that are bulging.  Rather, hypertrophy of the muscle can cause this effect, which looks very normal in many people.  If you aspire to reduce that, you can try botox under the eye as it may soften the bulge.  You may not like the result, though the effect will wear off in 3-4 months.  If you like what you see after treatment with botox, you can continue.  Many injectors won’t perform that type of botox treatment, so be sure to choose someone with a lot of experience.  Good luck!

Richard Castellano, MD
Tampa Facial Plastic Surgeon

That is no eyelid bag.

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

That is the orbicularis oculi muscle that is critically necessary for holding the lower eyelid up against the eye.  Take away that muscle and the eyelid will not stay up against the eye.  If that sounds horrible, it should.  Please be careful out there.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.