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Bags under eyes

  • Overview


    As we age, the tissues around our eyes weaken, including some of the muscles that support our eyelids. This often leads to mild swelling or puffiness under our eyes, commonly known as bags under the eyes. These bags are caused when the fat that helps keep our eyes in place moves into the lower eyelids, making them appear puffy. Additionally, fluid may accumulate below our eyes, contributing to this condition.

    Bags under the eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and seldom a sign of a severe medical condition. However, it can be bothersome. At-home remedies such as cool compresses can help improve the appearance of under-eye puffiness. If the problem persists, eyelid surgery may be an option to consider.

  • Symptoms


    Symptoms of bags under the eyes can include:
    Mild swelling
    Saggy or loose skin
    Dark circles

  • When to see a doctor


    Although bags under the eyes may not be aesthetically pleasing, they are typically harmless and do not necessitate medical attention. However, if they cause visual impairment, discomfort, migraines, or skin irritation, it is advisable to consult your healthcare provider.

    Your healthcare provider will thoroughly evaluate to eliminate other potential factors that may cause swelling, such as thyroid disease, infection, connective tissue disease, or allergies. They may refer you to an ophthalmologist, plastic surgeon, or oculoplastic surgeon for specialised eye care or plastic surgery.

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  • Causes


    The appearance of bags under the eyes occurs when the muscles and tissue structures that support the eyelids weaken, causing the skin to sag. Fat, typically located around the eyes, can then move into the area below the eyes. Additionally, fluid can accumulate in the space beneath the eyes, resulting in puffiness or swelling. Various factors can cause or worsen this effect, including ageing, fluid retention (especially after waking up or consuming a salty meal), lack of sleep, allergies, smoking, genetics (under-eye bags can be hereditary), and medical conditions like dermatitis, dermatomyositis, renal disease, and thyroid eye disease.

  • Risk factors


    Bags under the eyes are a common cosmetic concern that can make individuals appear tired and aged. The risk factors associated with this condition include genetics, allergies, sleep deprivation, and ageing. Genetics plays a significant role in determining whether an individual is predisposed to developing bags under their eyes. Allergies, particularly food and environmental allergies, can cause fluid retention and inflammation, leading to bags under the eyes. Lack of sleep can also cause fluid retention and puffiness under the eyes. Ageing causes the skin to lose its elasticity, leading to sagging and bagginess. Other factors such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and sun damage can exacerbate these risk factors.

  • Prevention

  • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

Content Details

Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

Last updated on: 07/08/2023