In this article, we look at a number of ways in which people can treat bags under their eyes in order to improve their appearance.
Causes of bags under the eyes
Bags under the eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and do not require medical attention, but their appearance can be bothersome to some people.
Excess swelling and sagging under the eyes, which may cause an undesirable appearance, can be caused by one of the following conditions:
- the movement of fat from the upper eye area down below the eyes
- excess fluid buildup under the eyes
- weakened of muscles below the eyes
- aging, leading to thinner skin and wrinkles, making bags more noticeable
In most cases, bags under the eyes are a cosmetic concern and do not indicate any health problems. However, people should see a doctor if the undereye area is itchy, red, or painful, or changes happen suddenly. This could be a sign of an allergic reaction or illness.
Although aging is the main cause of bags under the eyes, many people are simply prone to them due to their genetics. Often, people in the same family will share this trait, much as having a similar nose or face shape.
In other cases, bags under the eyes are due to lifestyle factors that can be changed to reduce or get rid of this problem.
Although bags under the eyes are usually not a medical concern, their appearance can be bothersome. Some people tend to have severe under eye bags that can cause emotional stress and insecurities.
They may not be eliminated completely with home remedies, but the following tips may improve their appearance.
Getting enough sleep
This is one of the most effective ways to help eyes look younger and to reduce under eye bags and dark circles.
Sleep is important for the immune system, alertness and memory, heart health, and many other functions and needs. Most adults need at least 7 hours per night, according to the National Sleep Foundation.
Picking the right sleep position
Sleeping on the stomach may make more blood and fluid pool to the face during the night. This can lead to a puffier appearance and bags under the eyes seeming to be bigger.
Instead, people should try sleeping on their backs and even elevating the head slightly if possible. Quality sleep is most important, so choose a sleep position that allows you to get sound, restful sleep.
Using caffeine correctly
Consuming too much caffeine can dehydrate the skin, leading to more noticeable bags under the eyes and a parched face. People should watch how much caffeine they consume and drink water to prevent dehydration.
When applied topically, caffeine may have a mild blood-constricting effect that can help with the appearance of bags under the eyes. People who wish to try this approach should look for caffeine listed as an ingredient on eye moisturizers and serums.
Beer, wine, and liquor take water from the body and skin, leaving bags more noticeable after these have been consumed. Drinking alcohol can also interfere with quality sleep, making the problem worse.
When consuming alcohol, people should follow each drink with a full glass of water and stick to moderate amounts. The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends no more than one drink per day for women and two for men.
Getting allergies and congestion under control
People with chronic allergies are more prone to bags under the eyes. Allergic reactions can cause puffiness and itching, which often lead to rubbing and irritated skin.
Treating seasonal allergies with an over-the-counter antihistamine often helps eyes look brighter and healthier. Doing so will also improve other bothersome symptoms such as a stuffy nose and sneezing.
People should drink plenty of water when taking allergy medications, as many can be drying to the body and skin. Neti pots, devices that rinse mucus from the nose, are another option.
Tobacco affects the health of all the body's organs, including the skin.
People who smoke are more prone to facial wrinkling and premature aging.
Smoking may make the eye area more wrinkled and can cause sagging, which will make under eye bags look worse. Quitting smoking is a very effective way to start looking and feeling better.
Using a light hand with makeup
It may be tempting to apply heavy foundations or concealers to the eye area. However, too much makeup can make bags under the eyes more noticeable.
A light application of concealer or makeup is usually enough to help blend the area while avoiding a cakey appearance.
Keeping the eye area moisturized
The skin around the eyes is thinner and often less oily than the rest of the face. When it lacks moisture, wrinkles and bags under the eyes may be more noticeable.
To keep moisture in the skin, people should look for gentle, non-irritating creams and serums designed for the eye area. These should be applied before bed, when skin has a chance to repair itself.
Applying ice to an injury reduces swelling. Similarly, cooling the eye area can calm puffiness, reducing the appearance of bags.
Cooled cucumbers and tea bags are popular options, as well as special gel eye masks that are designed to be refrigerated before use.
Another option is an eye product that features a metal roll-on applicator. The metal can cool the skin, and the gentle massage may help drain the area of excess fluid. This may help with puffiness.
Though genetics cannot be changed and aging is inevitable, following a healthy lifestyle and caring for the skin can help the eye area look its best.
Many dermatologists and plastic surgeons offer treatments for bags under the eyes that can reduce their appearance or get rid of them.
Depending on the person's skin type, age, and lifestyle, the following treatments may be considered:
- Chemical or laser peels, which remove the outer layers of skin, leaving a smoother appearance.
- Dermal fillers, which temporarily plump wrinkles and restore volume or fullness to areas of the face.
- Eyelid surgery, which involves removing excess skin around the eyes and reshaping the skin.
A person should ask their physician which treatments might work for them. They should also discuss costs, recovery, risks, and realistic results to expect.