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What Causes Eye Bags and How to Treat Them

What Causes Eye Bags and How to Treat Them

Do you often stare at the reflection in your mirror wondering what’s giving you that puffy look around the eye area? A lot of people are currently having the same problem, not knowing what to do. They are both perplexed and annoyed at the wide choice of miracle solutions that don’t seem to fix anything. The truth is, no treatment is going to work until you know what causes eye bags in the first place.

On top of that, different types of eye bags require different approaches in treating them. There are so many different triggers that unless you find out the culprit, you will be failing to see results.

Before we can talk about all the types of eye bag removal treatments, we must take a look at the most common causes and their possible solutions.

Cause #1: Aging and Bags under the Eyes

It’s not a secret that we get older, and this reflects on our complexions. Not only does the skin become thinner with time, but we experience fat and collagen loss that are so important in keeping the natural elasticity of the skin. This can leave the area under the eyes looking puffy and darker.

Solution that eliminates bags under eyes:

Unfortunately, you cannot stop the ageing process. There are ways in which you can turn back the clock on your skin cells and slow down the inevitable. You may try various creams with added collagen and hyaluronic acid. Drinking collagen supplements may also help. 

There are some collagen-inducing therapies such as micro-needling where the skin is punctured multiple times with a device that has lots of tiny needles on it. Another option is chemical peels, but it may not reduce puffy eyes as successfully as other treatments.

Don’t forget that your lifestyle is part of the problem.

Cause #2: Dehydration and Bags under the Eyes

glass of water

You don’t often think to yourself: did I drink enough water today? And it’s even less often than that that you find a link between dehydration and puffiness and dark circles under the eyes. But sometimes it can be as simple as that. 

When your body is not getting enough water, it begins to show under your eyes. It happens because the skin in that area is thinner than it is in other places and is in close proximity to the bone. This basically causes your eyes to appear sunken, which adds to the eye bags.

Dehydration is also bad for your health. Swelling is just a minor ailment. It may lead to electrolyte loss, exhaustion, heat cramps, and more.

How to get rid of eye bags?

The solution is simple and easy. Drink more water. Now, although it comes naturally for people to drink water, some find it extremely difficult to stick to this habit and need to be reminded to down a glass of H20 every few hours. If you are not used to this, start small. Take several sips every 10 minutes or so. Repeat this every day. Set an alarm if necessary. 

You will see that as time passes by, you will get accustomed to drinking water, and you will naturally reach for that glass. Don’t forget to eat more veggies and fruit with high water content. This will up your fluid levels.

But that’s not all. If you tend to gulp down a glass of alcohol each night, you may want to cut back on it. Alcohol creates dehydration in the body, which causes bags under the eyes, and may undo all your efforts from above.

Cause #3: Eye Strain, Skin Tone, and Swelling

woman feel pain on her eye

Sometimes, when you spend too much time in front of the computer, this puts lots of pressure on your eyes and may lead to puffy eyes and dark circles. The solution is more rest and adequate amounts of sleep. Make sure to put away your laptop at least one hour before going to bed. Consult your health care provider for some advice, diagnosis or treatment so you can avoid eye strain in the future.

Cause #4: Allergy Symptoms, Dark Circles, and Puffy Eyes

allergy

There are a few reasons why allergies may result in swelling around the eyes. To begin with, they may be the underlying cause. As you know, some allergies affect the nose and eyes, giving rise to redness, itchiness, and puffiness. This is due to the histamine response of the body. Second, when your skin is itchy, people can’t help but scratch it thus aggravating the problem. And third, the blood vessels start to dilate. Since the skin underneath the eyes is super thin, they are more visible.

Treatment to reduce and get rid of bags under eyes caused by allergies:

If your bags under eyes are the result of seasonal allergies, getting a neti pot might help you get rid of them. This is a device that serves to flush debris out of your sinuses. It is quite useful. Just add saltwater to it, set the spout carefully in your nose and follow the directions on the label. Tilt your head sideways, put the neti pot in one nostril and pour some salt water inside. Let it drain over the other nostril. You want to do this over the sink, so you don’t spill water on the floor.

Cause #5: Too Much Sun Exposure

Getting too much sun can have certain health effects. It heightens your risk of skin cancer, may give you sunburn, brings about hyperpigmentation (a change in your skin tone), and also speeds up the ageing process. Yes, we all know that the sun is vital for obtaining vitamin D, but overexposure does more harm than good. While Vitamin D deficiency is a more common cause, overexposure is still something to avoid.

Solution to reduce bags under your eyes:

Hide your face under a wide-brimmed hat and double up on sunscreen products. It is important to wear sunscreen for not just eye bags but to prevent sun damage, pigmentation, and premature wrinkles. You may also reconsider using tanning beds and sitting in the sun for too long.

Cause #6: Fluid Retention and Poor Diet

healthy eating

Poor diet causes a great deal of health issues, and eye bags are just a small example of that. Eating foods that are high in salt can cause fluid retention. When you lie down in bed, blood flow tends to build up around your eyes, which is why you may wake up with puffiness and dark circles around your eyes.

Solution to reduce bags under eyes:

  1. Put down the salt shaker. Watch your salt intake. Avoid fast foods and packaged foods that contain all sorts of bad ingredients. Reduce caffeine.
  2. Cold compress. You already know that cold compresses work on swelling in different parts of the body. Well, they may help reduce swelling in the eye area. Get your hands on a bag of frozen veggies or ice cubes, whatever you have at hand. Don’t put it directly over your skin, though. Wrap it up in a cloth, so you don’t do harm on the face. Wait for 5-10 minutes and then remove.
  3. Teabags work in the same fashion, and only you have to chill them before you put them on your eyes. Steep two tea bags the way you normally would. Let them cool down or toss them in the fridge for 10-20 minutes beforehand. 
  4. Other home remedies to fight eye bags are cucumber slices. Just cut two slices of cucumber fresh out of the fridge and place them over the affected area for 20 minutes. They will minimise the swelling and make your peepers look fresh.
  5. Some people suggest employing haemorrhoid creams as they come with phenylephrine. According to dermatologists, the ingredient can constrict the blood vessels under your eyes (or any other blood vessels for that matter) and help with puffiness. However, it is not a good idea to try this unless it has been prescribed by a doctor. Before you apply haemorrhoid cream on your face, test a small patch of skin to see if it inflicts any unpleasant reactions. Also, note that this remedy does not remove the fat in the eye area.

Cause #7: Genetics, Dark Circles and Bags Under Your Eyes

dna

Sometimes people have bags under the eyes despite a healthy lifestyle. They can notice deep creases under their eyes in their early years which, to their amaze, continue into their adulthood, making them look tired and sleepy. If this is your case, it has nothing to do with lifestyle. It’s anatomy, and it’s hereditary. Your physical features are not likely to change, even if you get enough sleep and eat healthily. 

The natural support under the skin is different per individual. Over time, it starts to get lost due to the ageing process. This usually makes problems like eye bags more pronounced. 

Unfortunately, there is little you can do with home remedies to hide hereditary bags under the eyes. But you can undergo different cosmetic procedures to get the desired results. Before you get there, you need to receive proper diagnosis for your medical condition, so talk to a surgeon or another specialist in the field.

Solutions to getting rid of dark circles and bags under your eyes:

  1. The first one is dermal fillers. It is a minimally invasive treatment that revolves around injecting a liquid in the lower eyelids. It may feel counterintuitive to fill the area with more substance since it already appears swollen. But in reality, some people need just that to blend the puffiness with the rest of the tissue. Dermatology specialists use hyaluronic acid, which is a natural occurrence in the body.
  2. The second option is a little more invasive. It requires actual cutting of the skin and – sometimes – part of the muscles, nerves and other connective tissue. In medical terms, the manipulation is dubbed eyelid surgery or lower blepharoplasty, and it is an outpatient procedure, so no hospital stay is necessary. With the wide availability of other non-surgical options, this one is usually left as a last resort. In many cases, it can be laser-assisted (not to be confused with laser resurfacing, which does not work on bags under eyes).

But if you are not okay with going under the knife or having a needle pierce the skin on your face, your only option is to own your eye bags gracefully. You can camouflage them with some eye makeup to make them less obvious.

Cause #8: Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

This is an autoimmune condition which causes inflammation in the tear glands, eyelids, and eye muscles. As a result, the eyes can appear swollen, red, and even bulgy. The disease is called Graves’ Ophthalmopathy. It cannot be fixed with plastic surgery or eye creams and other products. You need to get advice from a health specialist.

How to remove eye bags caused by thyroid disease

Refer to an endocrinologist or another doctor for more health information on your treatment. They will prescribe various therapies. You have to monitor your hormones closely. Blood tests should be ordered every year. There are eye drops that can mitigate the discomfort in your peepers and partially relieve and reduce the appearance of puffiness. You may also benefit from selenium supplements.

When to See a Doctor or Surgeon

Now, before you try any eye creams, other products, or minimally invasive treatments, you should speak to your doctor. They will provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and rule out possible thyroid disease.

If you are so distracted by the eyes around your bags, then you should probably dig into the matter to find out what the real cause is. Turning to a surgeon is the best way to go. They will recommend the best and most suitable eye bag removal treatment that works based on your health condition, whether it be lower eyelid surgeryfillers, a change in your lifestyle, or other eye products that will reduce the bulging fat under your peepers. 

If you’ve tried all the things you can at home and on your own without results, book a consultation with us to find the right treatment to reduce and remove your eye bags.

Shens Clinic, 3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

Monday – Friday: 09:00am – 06:00pm
Saturday: 09:00am – 02:00pm
Sun and PH: Closed

(Strictly by appointment only)

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