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Droopy Eyelids after Botox

Have you ever had droopy eyelids after a Botox treatment? Fortunately, it’s temporary and treatable. Read more to learn how.

What is Botox?

Botox is a purified protein used to treat wrinkles caused by facial expressions. Think of the vertical lines you see between your eyebrows when you frown. Or the horizontal lines you see on your forehead when you raise your eyebrows. Botox works by relaxing muscles that cause these wrinkles. For example, you have muscles between your eyebrows that pull them towards each other. When you do this, you see frown lines. You have another muscle on your upper forehead that you use to raises your eyebrows. When you raise your eyebrows, you’ll see horizontal lines. When you have these muscles treated with Botox, these wrinkles will soften or disappear. But it’s important that only a specific muscle or even a certain part of a muscle is treated. Otherwise, you can have side effects like droopy eyebrows or droopy eyelids.

Difference between droopy eyebrows and droopy eyelids

Often times people confuse droopy eyebrows and droopy eyelids. Both can be treated, but they’re treated differently so you need to know which one it is. Droopy eyebrows are when your brows feel heavy and it’s difficult to raise them. Usually, you’ll be able to raise one brow and not the other. A droopy eyelid is seen when your upper eyelid covers more of your eye than normal. Most of the time one eye will look perfectly normal when you’re looking straight. But on your other eye, the upper eyelid is lower than usual and covers the upper part of your eye.

What causes droopy eyebrows?

You can see droopy eyebrows when you have Botox to treat your horizontal forehead wrinkles. It’s important that only the upper part of the muscle is treated. This way you can still raise your eyebrows. If the Botox is placed too low or if it migrates down, the Botox can affect the lower part of the muscle and cause a droopy eyebrow. Sometimes when your eyebrow goes down, it can make your upper eyelid heavy too, making it look like droopy eyelids. It’s important to identify the difference since droopy eyebrows are treated differently than droopy eyelids.

What causes droopy eyelids?

You see droopy eyelids when Botox unintentionally affects a different muscle. This usually happens when treating your frown lines, but it can also happen when treating horizontal forehead wrinkles, especially if you have a narrow forehead. Sometimes the Botox travels under the bone above your eye or through a small hole in the bone. When this happens, the Botox can relax the muscle you use to raise your upper eyelid. This is when you see a droopy eyelid.

How are droopy eyelids treated?

 Fortunately, droopy eyelids are always temporary and can be treated. Usually only a small amount of Botox reaches the muscle that raises your eyelid. Therefore, it will wear off faster than the usual three to four months that Botox lasts; typically two to four weeks, sometimes more sometimes less. You can also get prescription eyedrops called apraclonidine (or Iopidine) 0.5% solution. Drop two to three drops in the affected eye twice a day and you’ll see a noticeable improvement. You’ll only need to use the drops as long as the eyelids are droopy. After two to four weeks (on average), the effects of the Botox will wear off and your eyelid will look normal when you wake up without needing the eye drops.

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