We've all been there — waking up to puffy, baggy eyes that make us look tired and older than we actually are. While under-eye bags are common, folks have many misconceptions about what causes them and how to prevent them.
Robert A. Guida, MD, has extensive experience treating prominent under-eye bags and drooping upper lids with blepharoplasty, a safe surgical procedure that corrects cosmetic eyelid issues. Here, he explains the common and less common causes of under-eye bags and offers advice on how to treat or mitigate their appearance.
What causes under-eye bags?
Temporary under-eye bags typically stem from poor sleep or a salty diet, but chronic under-eye puffiness may point to more complicated issues.
Unfortunately, some people are simply more prone to under-eye bags than others due to genetics. If your parents have them, you may also be more likely to develop them.
When fluids accumulate in the tissue under the eyes, it can cause puffiness and bags. Dehydration, allergies, sinus problems, and hormonal changes could lead to fluid retention all over your body, including your eye area.
As you age, the skin around your eyes becomes thinner and less elastic, causing it to sag and form bags.
We mentioned that certain lifestyle factors could cause temporary eye puffiness, but they can also lead to chronic under-eye bags if your habits are lifelong, such as smoking, consistently getting poor sleep quality, and frequently consuming excessive alcohol and salt.
How to prevent under-eye bags
Although age and genetics are beyond your control, there’s much you can do to ward off eye bags.
Staying hydrated is essential to preventing under-eye bags caused by fluid retention. Drinking plenty of water and avoiding excessive amounts of caffeine and alcohol keep your eyes right and tight.
If you want to keep eye bags at bay, hit the hay. Try to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep every night and avoid sleeping on your stomach or side, which can cause fluid to accumulate under your eyes.
Watch what you eat
Under-eye bags are a form of inflammation, so if you want to prevent them, eat a diet that discourages inflammation — think more fruits and vegetables and fewer salty, processed, fried foods.
Do your eyes a favor by pampering them with a cool compress for 10-15 minutes to reduce puffiness and improve circulation.
There’s no shortage of creams and ointments designed to target under-eye bags. Products that contain caffeine, hyaluronic acid, retinol, vitamins, or peptides may temporarily reduce inflammation and improve skin elasticity.
Blepharoplasty for lasting results
If and when home remedies and lifestyle changes don’t produce ideal results, there’s still hope. Dr. Guida is double-board-certified and highly experienced in blepharoplasty, an eyelid surgery that enables him to remove the excess fat and tissue causing your under-eye bags.
You’re under general anesthesia while Dr. Guida performs the quick surgical procedure, and he makes a small incision on the inside of your lower lid, so you’ll have no scar afterward.
If your upper lids are droopy, he can also perform an upper eyelid blepharoplasty to solve both problems at once.
You can expect some swelling and discoloration for a few days, but your eyes should heal quickly, and your results will be visible soon.
To schedule a consultation with Dr. Guida about permanently eliminating your under-eye bags, call either of our offices in Staten Island and New York, New York.