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Monolid Eye Shapes: All You Need to Know

Monolid eyes do not appear to have a crease. This type of eyelid is also known as single eyelids. A monolid eye shape is most commonly found in people of Asian heritage.

The skin on the top of your eyelid is called the epicanthal fold. It extends to the inner corner of the eye. 

Monolids can make the eyes look smaller and decrease the opening between the upper and lower lids. It is considered a natural genetic trait. In some cases, monolid eye shapes may be characteristic of genetic conditions, such as Down syndrome. 

Causes 

Most commonly, monolid eye shape is caused by genetics, and it occurs as a standard facial characteristic. About 50 percent of people of Asian descent share this trait. 

The monolid or epicanthal folds may also appear in connection with congenital abnormalities. This characteristic is present in several genetic conditions, including these:

  • Down syndrome: Epicanthal folds can occur in people with Down syndrome
  • Turner syndrome: People with Turner syndrome are born female, have monolid eye shapes, shorter stature, and specific developmental delays.
  • Williams syndrome: People with this rare condition often have distinctive facial features, including monolid eye shape. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, a portion of chromosome 7 is missing at birth. 
  • Noonan syndrome: Genetic changes associated with Noonan syndrome can cause monolid eye shape, unique facial structure, and heart issues.
  • Triple X syndrome: People with Triple X syndrome are born as females and have an extra X chromosome. They also commonly have monolid eye shapes.

Monolids vs. Hooded Eyes

Hooded eyelids refer to a condition where excess skin folds down from the brow. It may be due to genetics or aging. 

Some people find that hooded eyes are cosmetically unattractive, and they want a permanent solution. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that can improve the eyelid appearance in cases of hooded eyes. 

Hooded eyes are sometimes mistaken for droopy eyes, also called ptosis. This is an abnormal condition that creates a drooping eyelid, often over one eye. This may need to be corrected with surgery. The treatment enhances the aesthetic appearance and can improve vision, as a drooping eyelid may sometimes affect vision. 

Monolids vs. Double Eyelids

Monolids do not have a visible crease between the eyelashes and the eyebrows. 

Double eyelids have a crease on the top eyelid when the eye is open. This type of eyelid is more common in people who are not of Asian descent. 

Genetics determines whether you are born with both monolids and double eyelids. The crease in the eyelid helps to make the eye look more open and wider.

Transforming Monolids to Double Eyelids

If you have monolids, you may be considering how to transform your eyelids to appear that you have a double eyelid. The main methods used to achieve that are makeup, tape, and surgery. Makeup and tape are temporary solutions, while surgery is a permanent commitment.

Makeup

Some people transform monolids to appear as double eyelids by using makeup. Online tutorials and makeup videos offer solutions for using makeup such as eyeliners and eye shadows to create the visual effect of a crease. 

Brighter makeup may enhance the eye and make it appear more open. 

A darker shadow on the lid can alter the eyelid appearance. Lighter eye makeup on the inner corner can brighten the eye. Mascara and false eyelashes can also enhance the size and make eyes appear fuller and larger. 

Tape

To create the appearance of a double eyelid without surgery, some people use tapes and adhesives. Double eyelid tape creates the appearance of a natural crease on the eyelid. 

There are downsides to using tapes and glues. They can be time-consuming to apply. These products can also be uncomfortable, create irritation, affect eye health, and make it hard to blink. This can contribute to or cause eye irritation and dryness.

Surgery

Blepharoplasty is a surgical operation to create a crease in the eyelid. This surgical procedure is common in Asian countries, as monolid eye shapes are a more common characteristic. 

Double eyelid surgery is sometimes called Asian blepharoplasty. This procedure augments the natural anatomy to create an eyelid crease and the appearance of a larger eye. 

According to recent studies, several complications can occur, including these:

  • Patient dissatisfaction with the outcome
  • Eyelid crease issues
  • Eyelid height variations
  • Complications with sutures
  • General eyelid surgery complications, such as bleeding, infection, eye muscle injuries, difficulty closing the eyes, and discoloration of the eyelid

By understanding the potential risks, you can talk with your doctor to evaluate if this surgery is best for you. 

You may be a good candidate for this surgery if you meet these criteria:

  • Your eyelid drapes over too much of your eye.
  • You are dissatisfied with your eyelid shape.
  • Your eyelids are puffy or have extra fat.
  • Your eyelid folds inward when you open your eyes.

If you are considering this surgery, evaluate your reasons. In many communities, there is social pressure to look a specific way. Many people are bucking against societal pressure and opting to embrace their eyelids as a part of their heritage and ethnic characteristics.

References

  1. Monolid Eyes. Cleveland Clinic.

  2. What Are Monolid Eyes: Epicanthic Fold. (March 2020). Science Trends.

  3. Facts About Down Syndrome. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

  4. Turner Syndrome. Cleveland Clinic.

  5. Williams Syndrome. National Organization for Rare Disorders.

  6. Noonan Syndrome. Cleveland Clinic.

  7. Triple X. Cleveland Clinic.

  8. Eyelid Surgery Blepharoplasty. American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

  9. Ptosis (Drooping Eyelid). Cleveland Clinic.

  10. The Evolution of Looks and Expectations of Asian Eyelid and Eye Appearance. (August 2015). Seminars in Plastic Surgery.

  11. Double Eyelid Tape Wear Affects Anterior Ocular Health Among Young Adult Women with Single Eyelids. (October 2020). International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health.

  12. Asian Double Eyelid Surgery. Stanford Medicine.

  13. Complications of Asian Double Eyelid Surgery: Prevention and Management. (October 2020). Facial Plastic Surgery.

  14. The Asian Eyelid: Relevant Anatomy. (August 2015). Seminars in Plastic Surgery.

  15. Monolids. Korean American Story.

  16. Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty). Cleveland Clinic.

  17. The Beauty of Monolids, as Told by 5 Beauty Bloggers. (December 2017). Allure.

  18. How I Learned to Love My Monolids. (May 2021). Vogue.

  19. The Prevalence of Double Eyelid and the 3D Measurement of Orbital Soft Tissue in Malays and Chinese. (November 2017). Scientific Reports.

  20. The Asian Eyelid: Relevant Anatomy. (August 2015). Seminars in Plastic Surgery.

Last Updated January 10, 2023

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