Bags Under the Eyes

Mild swelling or puffiness around the eyes is known as bags under the eyes. As you become older, the tissues around your eyes, particularly some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken, which makes them more prevalent. The lower eyelids may then migrate into the fat that supports the eyes, giving them a puffy appearance. Additionally, fluid may collect behind your eyes.

Usually, only a cosmetic issue, bags beneath the eyes are rarely an indication of a serious illness. Home treatments, such as cold compresses, might aid in enhancing their look. Eyelid surgery could be an option if under-eye puffiness is chronic or unpleasant.

Under-eye Bags: Causes

The tissues around the eye eventually deteriorate and sag as we age. Due to the loss of skin tone, fat can move forward into the lower eyelids, giving them a puffy, inflated appearance. The accumulation of fluid in this region can also cause edema, which contributes to the impression of puffiness.

Also possible are under-eye shadows. They could be caused by aging-related swelling and puffy eyelids.

Under-eye bags may also result from other reasons, such as −

  • Getting insufficient sleep

  • Allergies to cigarettes

  • Keeping liquid (often after waking up, or after eating salty food)

  • Inheriting this disorder (it can run in families)

Even while having bags or shadows under your eyes may make you look tired, they are often unharmful. Visit your ophthalmologist, however, if the swelling around your eyes is uncomfortable, itchy, red, or does not go away.

Under-eye Bags: Symptoms

Mild swelling of the skin behind the eyes is what is seen as bags under the eyes. The severity of eye puffiness is largely determined by the underlying reason and whether or not it is treated. Genetically inherited forms of bagginess beneath the eyes can also be challenging to treat and may even be more persistent.

As long as the underlying cause is not addressed, it may grow gradually over time, present practically immediately, and last for a long period.

  • Slight swelling

  • Loose or sagging skin

  • Shady circles

When to Visit a Doctor?

Although you may not like how they make you appear, bags beneath the eyes are mostly unharmful and don't need to be treated medically. If the condition results in eye issues, discomfort, or headaches, or is accompanied by a skin rash, consult your doctor.

Your doctor may want to rule out any further potential factors, such as thyroid illness, an infection, connective tissue disease, or an allergy, that could be causing the swelling. A doctor that specializes in eyes (ophthalmologist), plastic surgery, or eye plastic surgery may be recommended to you (oculoplastic surgeon).

Under-eye Bags: Risk Factors

The major risk factors include −

  • Aging

  • Fluid retention, particularly after eating or right after waking up

  • Inadequate sleep

  • Allergies

  • Smoking

  • Under-eye bags can run in families due to genetics

  • Dermatitis, dermatomyositis, renal illness, and thyroid eye disease are examples of medical diseases

Under-eye Bags: Diagnosis

When you look in the mirror, you might be able to see that you have bags under your eyes, but only a doctor can determine what caused them. They could do further tests to rule out thyroid conditions, an infection, or allergies in addition to just looking at the skin to identify a bag under the eye.

Your primary care physicians may suggest that you see an ophthalmologist, who will do a more thorough exam if they are unable to identify the problem. Your eye bags may be an indication of a more serious problem other than fatigue or fluid retention if you have any of the following signs −

  • Extreme edema

  • Discomfort near your eyes

  • Itchiness

  • Redness

  • Persistent bags under the eyes that don't get better with therapy

Under-eye Bags: Treatment

The puffiness of under-eye bags caused by edema and the appearance of shadows can be reduced or eliminated with the aid of several home treatments. Here are some pointers −

  • Apply an ice pack to your eyes  Use cold water to wet a clean washcloth. For a few minutes, place the wet towel around your eyes while exerting very little pressure. Sit erect while performing this.

  • Ensure that you receive enough rest  The majority of specialists advise seven to nine hours of sleep per day.

  • Sleep with your head up just a bit  This can prevent moisture from collecting around your eyes while you're sleeping. Add a pillow or raise the head of your bed a few inches.

  • Avoid consuming liquids just before night, and cut back on salt in your diet. That may lessen the fluid retention that occurs during the night and contributes to bags beneath the eyes.

  • Give up smoking  Smoking can hasten the loss of collagen. The thin skin around your eyes becomes even more vulnerable as a result, resulting in more obvious blood vessels.

  • Try to lessen your allergy sensations and refrain from wiping your eyes excessively. When possible, stay away from the things that trigger your allergies. Ask your doctor about taking medication for allergies.

  • Employ cosmetics  To hide shadows around your eyes, try putting concealer on your face.

Skin Treatments for Bags Under the Eyes

To lessen puffiness beneath the eyes, there are several skin treatments. These include fillers, chemical peels, and laser skin resurfacing. These procedures aim to tighten skin, enhance skin tone, and lessen the appearance of bags under the eyes. If you wish to learn more about these treatment choices, speak with your ophthalmologist.

Under-eye Bags after Eyelid Surgery

Depending on the reason for the bags beneath the eyes, a procedure called blepharoplasty may be able to reduce their appearance. The eye surgeon makes an incision inside the lower lid or under the lashes during this outpatient treatment. A little stitch is used to seal the incisions after the surgeon has removed or repositioned excessive fat and, in some cases, additional skin.

Blepharoplasty can treat puffy or bulging upper eyelids in addition to treating bags under the eyes. Discuss the advantages, dangers, and sideeffects of eyelid surgery for under-eye bag removal with your ophthalmologist.

Under-eye Bags: Prevention

You might not be able to prevent inherited conditions if you have them. Utilizing natural medicines and maintaining healthy practices, however, may lessen the risk of their occurrence.

You can do the following things to stop your skin from drooping −

  • Obtain adequate rest.

  • Avoid or abstain from smoking

  • Reduce or stop drinking alcohol

  • Before going to bed, remove your makeup.

  • As part of your skincare regimen, use an eye cream.

  • To lessen UV exposure, use sunscreen and wear sunglasses.


The problem of puffy eyes is widespread. Although it is frequently age-related, it can also manifest for several transient causes. The ailment will often be self-limiting and resolved in a few days.

Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha
Dr. Durgesh Kumar Sinha