The Bad News – bags under the eyes are common as we age. The mild swelling and puffiness increase as the tissues around our eyes weaken and sag. The normal fat pads that help support the eye can move into the lower eyelids. This causes the lids to appear puffy and may lead to swelling due to fluid accumulating. The Good News - bags under the eyes are rarely a serious medical condition but more of a cosmetic concern. It is also common to have dark circles under the eyes at the same time, which appear because the thin skin of the lower eyelid can become translucent and reveal the underlying blood vessels.
There are many factors that can cause or even worsen the appearance of under-eye bags and dark circles. In addition to aging, the common culprits are fatigue, allergies, smoking, crying or fluid retention from excess alcohol or salt intake. The cause of bags can even be hereditary.
Store shelves are full of products to alleviate or conceal bags under the eyes and the internet is full of articles on home remedies, but we recommend the following:
Apply a cool compress
Get plenty of rest and sleep with your head slightly elevated
Drink plenty of water and limit sodium intake
Always wear sunscreen to protect the fragile skin around the eye area
Although many creams do claim to treat bags under the eyes, no topical cream can address the structural issue of lower eyelid changes. The creams will make the skin appear smoother and cosmetic concealers can be used to mask the dark circles under the eyes. Also, some articles recommend using sliced cucumbers or frozen tea bags as treatment methods. It is actually the coldness that constricts blood vessels and reduces the swelling and not the cucumber or tea bag itself. Remember, food sometimes contains bacteria and putting a possible contaminated source directly on the eyes can lead to eye infections. We recommend just using a clean washcloth soaked in ice cold water. Also, another home remedy is hemorrhoid cream, which can actually do more harm than good. The cream may contain steroids and when used on the sensitive skin around the eyelids, can cause irritation.
We understand that puffy eyes are not your favorite look. If you are concerned about the appearance of bags or dark circles under your eyes, medical treatments are available at McFarland Eye Care. Our surgeon, Dr. Byron Wilkes, has undergone specialized training in Oculoplastics, better known as oculoplastic surgery, which combines both eye and plastic surgery together. Depending on what is causing the bags under your eyes, outpatient plastic surgery may be your solution. Before pursuing surgery, you may want to rule out other possible causes of under-eye bags such as an allergy, infection or thyroid disease. Cosmetic surgery is 25% off for the month of September only so book your consultation today!
The Best News - even though the bags and dark circles under our eyes make us look tired and older than we really are, the treatments available at McFarland Eye Care can reverse the signs of aging and restore the face we remember in the mirror. For more information, contact us to schedule your personal consultation.