It may not be aesthetically appealing but bags under the eyes are usually harmless. It is a result of swelling and sagging of the lower eyelids and sometimes there are dark circles around the eyes as well. Most of us experience bags under the eyes every now and then – be it after several days of very little sleep, after long bouts of crying, sometimes with hormonal changes in women and occasionally due to changes in weather. For some people it can be a long lasting problem especially if it occurs with allergies or due to heredity factors. Remedying bags under the eyes may sometimes be as simple as doing nothing. At other times these bags are permanent and can only be corrected with surgery.
Cool Compress And Cucumbers
It is not a beauty myth. A slice of cucumber or cold pack over the eyes and particularly on the lower eyelids can help with the bags. Even a cloth soaked in cool water can do the trick. The cold application helps reduce puffiness especially when it is due to inflammation and swelling. But never apply ice directly to the skin. The eyelids are very thin and you could damage your eyes. However, cold applications are will do little for you if puffiness is due to heredity factors and the skin has become permanently loose.
Sleep More And Soundly
Not sleeping enough is one of the known factors that contributes to bags under the eyes and dark circles. The obvious remedy is to sleep more. You should sleep between 7 to 8 hours daily as an adult. Although you may think that you are doing fine with 5 to 6 hours, it eventually takes its toll on the body. But it not just about the length of time that you sleep. The quality of sleep is equally important. Here are some tips to fall asleep an stay sleeping throughout the night.
Elevate The Head Slightly
Sleeping flat or on your side can worsen bags under the eyes. The fluid accumulates underneath the lower eyelids and does not drain out easily due to the action of gravity. By sleeping with your head slightly elevated, you can take advantage of gravity to reduce the swelling. But there is no need to use too many pillows or sit up. Sleeping in an uncomfortable position will lead to a poor quality sleep or difficulty staying asleep which can worsen the bags under the eyes. Just a slight elevation can help remedy the problem.
Try A Hemorrhoid Cream
Over the counter (OTC) hemorrhoid cream has been used for decades as a treatment for bags under the eyes. Most of these preparations work by reducing inflammation in the area. Although it is not indicated for bags under the eyes, many people swear by it. Hemorrhoid cream should be used carefully and first speak to your doctor or pharmacist. There are other similar ointments and creams that can have the same benefit and may be better suited for the eye area. Your doctor will be able to advise you accordingly.
Sun, Alcohol And Cigarettes
There are number of environmental and lifestyle factors that can affect the skin and make is sag. This contributes to bags under the eyes. Sun exposure is one major factor that can be avoided by using sunglasses with good UV protection and sunscreen. Alcohol is another fact to consider. It causes dehydration that can give the eyelids a sunken appearance. Smokers may also be at a greater risk of bags under the eyes. It reduces the tautness and elasticity of the skin. Therefore moderating alcohol intake and stopping cigarette smoking may help with bags under the eyes.
Moisturize Around The Eyes Daily
You may have seen ads about eye creams that can take away the bags within a few days. Or heard from friends who swear by some of the expensive cosmetic creams on the market. But a regular inexpensive moisturizer may be sufficient. The skin on the eyelids need moisturizing just as the skin elsewhere on your body. A moisturizer will assist in hydrating the area but only on the surface. Make sure you drink enough water daily to hydrate your entire body internally. Dehydration can contribute to a sunken appearance of the eyes.
Take The Allergy Meds
One of the common causes of puffiness and bags under the eyes is an allergy. It is a common symptom of allergic conjunctivitis (outer eye lining), rhinitis (nose) and sinusitis (paranasal sinuses). If you do have allergies then taking the allergy medicines prescribed by a doctor can help reduce the bags under your eyes. The puffiness is a common symptom of allergies in children but do not try treating it without first speaking to a doctor. Home remedies like cool compresses should not be used on children, especially when they have allergies that need to be treated.
Consider Cosmetic Skin Treatments
There are a number of different treatments that you could possibly try for bags under your eyes. Some of these treatments like chemical peels and laser resurfacing may help reduce the prominence of bags under the eyes but cannot cure the condition. Dermal fillers may help to bulk up the area and reduce the severity of the bags but it largely depends on the cause of the bags. Always speak to a doctor and preferably a dermatologist before considering any of these cosmetic treatments. If done by unskilled personnel, it can do more harm than good.
Ask Your Doctor About Surgery
The sagging of the skin under the eyes can be surgically corrected. This type of eyelid surgery is known as blepharoplasty. Excess fat is removed and the skin is tightened. However, surgery is not recommended in every case of puffy eyes and sagging of the lower eyelids. It should only be considered when other measures have not helped. Surgery is not suitable for people with allergies causing the bags under eyes. Procedures like a blepharoplasty should only be done by skilled professionals like a plastic surgeon.
Makeup For Covering The Bags
Many of these eye remedies will take a few days to several weeks to yield the desired results. Often you may need a quick fix. Makeup may be the way to go every now and then. Concealers and foundation can cover up the dark circles. When applied correctly, it can alter the appearance of the skin so that the bags do not appear as prominent as they are. However, makeup is a short term solution. Be careful about the type of makeup you apply to the eyelid. The skin is thin and harsh products can affect the eyeball. Excessive makeup can irritate the skin and cause even further darkening in the long term.