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What Causes the Eyelid to Wrinkle?

author image Nicki Howell
Nicki Howell started her professional writing career in 2002, specializing in areas such as health, fitness and personal finance. She has been published at health care websites, such as HealthTree, and is a ghostwriter for a variety of small health care organizations. She earned a Bachelor of Science in business administration from Portland State University.
What Causes the Eyelid to Wrinkle?
Close-up of a wrinkled eyelid. Photo Credit miriamvandamme/iStock/Getty Images

Developing eyelid wrinkles is common during the aging process. Genetics also plays a role in developing these wrinkles, according to Medline Plus. Wrinkles aren’t usually a health concern; however, if the wrinkles are a cosmetic issue, there are treatment options. Modifying lifestyle factors, such as exposure to cigarette smoke and harmful sun rays, reduces your risk for developing these wrinkles.


There are many different causes of eyelid wrinkles. Decreased production of natural oil as you age makes the eyelid skin appear more wrinkled. Deep layers of fat also decrease, making lines more obvious. Smoking also causes eyelid wrinkles. It creates changes in the blood supply, causing premature wrinkles.

Repeat facial expressions around the eyes also leave fine lines and wrinkles. As a result, skin loses flexibility and has a difficult time returning to its place.

Nonprescription Treatments

Retailers sell dozens of eye wrinkle products; however, these products aren’t all effective. Select an effective cream by choosing products with the active ingredients retinol, kinetin, hydroxyl or coenzyme, recommends MayoClinic.com. Antioxidants and copper peptide ingredients may also provide some benefit.

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Prescription Treatment

If over-the-counter medications aren’t reducing eyelid wrinkles, visit your dermatologist. She can prescribe vitamin A products, such as retinoid creams. These retinoids include tretinoin and tazarotene. Topical medications make your skin sensitive to sunlight, so wear a sun protection of at least 30.

Light treatments are also used to treat eyelid wrinkles. A laser beam destroys the top layers of skin, stimulating new skin growth and diminishing the appearance of wrinkles.


Protect your eyes from the sun to minimize additional eyelid wrinkles. Wear a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30, even on cloudy days. The sun’s harmful rays penetrate through clouds, damaging skin. Some under-eye creams have an SPF built into the product. Wearing dark sunglasses also provides some protection. Also, use a moisturizer under the eyes, which makes wrinkles less obvious. If you smoke, quit. Discontinuing smoking improves the tone and texture of skin and prevents additional eyelid wrinkles.


The Food and Drug Administration doesn’t evaluate over-the-counter eye-creams for safety and effectiveness. Monitor the eye skin carefully when using the creams. If you experience an adverse reaction, such as irritation or rash, discontinue use and consult your dermatologist. She can provide other options for treating wrinkles on the eyelids.

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