Double eyelid tape and glue – an Asian lid crease without surgery

Double eyelid tape creates an Asian crease without surgery

double lid NY








How do you get an eyelid crease without going under the knife? You use tape or glue.  There have been countless times here in my cosmetic eyelid surgery practice in NYC that patients have come in with lid tape to achieve a double eyelid or to create symmetry between the two eyelids.  Many of them will eventually have surgery which is more permanent.

How does eyelid tape work ?

There are many different types of eyelid tape on the market, some using thinner strips, some more tranparent, and some are barely noticeable.  They work by forcing the eyelid skin to crease and at the same time they expose an area of eyelid platform, framing the eyes and making them appear to be more open.

Some varieties of eyelid tape come with an applicator so the tape can be evenly applied at the desired level with consistent a consistent pressure and shape:

wand lid tape








Is lid tape only for Asians ?

Anyone can use eyelid tape to attempt to raise the fold of upper eyelid skin.  I’ve seen it used successfully to reduce sagging of extra skin in non-Asians.

Tape vs. eyelid surgery

Eyelid tape has some downsides.  The adhesive on the tape can become an allergen, causing redness and itching of the eyelid skin.  It can also fall off during the day, and it can sometimes be visible to others.

Using eyelid glue also has risks, including getting glue in the eyes which can lead to an injury.

Surgery has it’s own set of risks but in general, eyelid surgery is safe although it does have a recovery period which can be a week or more.  I’ve seen an increasing demand for Asian eyelid surgery in my NY practice as there is a large Asian population in New York City.

What about creasing tools?

Because there is such a popular demand for double lids in Asia there is a big market for gadgets that are meant to create a more defined lid crease. Some of these gadgets look like medieval torture instruments but made in colorful plastic hues.

There is no evidence that repeated pressure with a creasing tool will help to define an eyelid crease.  If anything, they could induce eyelid ptosis, or a droopy eyelid if there is excessive, repeated pressure on the eyelid.


If you are interested in improving your  eyelid crease definition and tape just isn’t doing it anymore, seek a consultation with a cosmetic eyelid surgery expert that is experienced with double eyelid surgery.



The most popular Asian cosmetic surgery

Asian double eyelid surgery

More Asians have double eyelid surgery than any other cosmetic procedure, including rhinoplasty, liposuction, and breast augmentation.  It has become such a trend that non-medical personnel at salons have been found using “quick stitch” procedures, frequently with less than perfect results.

What is a double eyelid?

The vast majority of “western” or occidental people have a crease across the upper lid that divides the lid into two parts, thus the double lid.  Approximately 50% of Asians lack this crease or have a poorly visible crease, giving the appearance of a single eyelid, or a “monolid”.

double eyelid drawing

Double eyelid






Why is double eyelid surgery done?

The eyelid crease frames the eye opening and makes the eyes appear to be more open, an often desired aesthetic feature for those without a crease.  The procedure is generally aimed at preserving the Asian shape and features of the eyes, so it is not meant to Westernize the lids.

 Is it only done in Asia?

The double eyelid procedure is extremely popular in China, Korea, Thailand, and Japan, but Asian-Americans have the surgery in the United States as well.  As an oculoplastic surgeon in New York, I see a relatively large Asian patient base who are interested in double eyelids.

asian eye surgery

Immediately after double eyelid surgery






How the eyelid crease is made

There are 2 main methods of creating an eyelid crease.

1. The suture method: Disintegrating stitches are passed through the desired crease location and the lid is compressed in this area, allowing a scar to form as the skin heals.  This method is less permanent than the second option.

2. The incision method: A fine cut is made across the eyelid crease and stitches are placed from the skin to the deeper eyelid and back to the skin.  This approach has a longer scar but the surgeon has more control over the result.

Does this procedure have anything to do with those large contact lenses?

No, the circle lenses that have become a trend in Korea, Japan, and Singapore make the iris look larger (and often change the color of the iris) were inspired by anime characters and don’t actually change the eyelid shape.  Circle lenses seem to be more of a pop-culture trend while double eyelid surgery has been around for decades and is unlikely to wane in popularity in the near future.

anime contact lens

circle lenses






What type of crease do you have?

I’ve compiled an ebook on double eyelid surgery that includes a section to help determine what type of eyelid creases you have. You can download the free pdf file here.