Eye Bags: What are they? Treatment and Prevention

under eye dark circles

We have been conditioned to recognize certain characteristics as signs indicating an underlying issue and this is especially true when it comes to our appearance and skin condition. Under eye bags and swelling have always been the signs which give people away, betraying their inner exhaustion.

So much so that bags under eyes and dark circles have become synonymous with fatigue. Although true to an extent, there are other influences which cause under-eye bags that many people are unaware of.

Bags formed under the eyes are usually mild swelling, commonly referred to as “puffiness”. They are a common site, especially as you age. This is when the tissues and muscles existing around your eyes begin to weaken and slack. When combined with the degradation of collagen, leading to the loss of elasticity in the skin, commonly known as elastosis, can lead to aging and under eye bags.

As you age, the fat that normally exists around the eyes to support the skin tends to move toward the lower eyelid. This weakens the skin on the eyelids and makes it look puffier. This is not restricted to just fat, because fluids can also be found in this region, contributing to heavy eye bags and puffiness. When extreme, it can be referred to as “swelling”.

More than being a medical concern, people worry about under eye bags being a black mark on their appearance and is usually a cosmetic issue. Unlike dark circles, which are often a symptom of more severe underlying conditions, eye bags are quite rarely an indication of a medical condition.

Also read: Eye Stye: What is it? Causes and Treatments

What causes Eye bags?

The causes for under this is often spurred on by aging because as you age, your skin loses its elasticity and starts to sag. The factors which influence this are fluid retention that happens with a high salt intake in diets, and allergies and inadequate sleep.

Some of the higher concerns with bags under the eyes are that it is sometimes linked to medical conditions which can prove to be more troublesome. For instance, there is asthma and allergies which often lead to swollen eyes and itching. This increases Dark circles in a very short period of time, causing a lack of oxygenation of the skin and degradation.

Smoking can also have a harmful effect on the skin. They have the ability to damage the protein structure in the skin known as collagen. This is what keeps the skin looking firm and such loss of elasticity in the skin can lead to ageing and under-eye bags.

Are eye bags genetic?

The blame for this can partly be placed on genetics because it is hereditary. As mentioned earlier, hereditary traits like facial bone structure and how much fluid how skin retains can cause eye bags. This runs in families, so it can only be treated to a certain extent.

How can eye bags be avoided?

For such a benign condition, the remedies can be as simple as home remedies consisting of cold compress packs, which are known to relieve the condition. The use of cucumbers in such areas always works its magic.

Does cucumber help with eye bags?

The especially high water content in cucumbers help hydrate sensitive skin near the eye, and it even makes blood vessels contract in these areas to reduce puffiness. Its flesh also mainly contains ascorbic and caffeic acid. They can both stop water retention and soften the impact of skin irritations.

How to remove Eye bags permanently?

Since they are more of a cosmetic issue, the remedies vary from simple home solutions and preventions to surgical or topical treatments, which determine the permanence of it.

In case people feel that the puffiness is due to allergic reactions, there are always medical treatments available from dermatologists, after consultation and examination of the condition.

As for the surgical options, you can choose from laser therapy to chemical peels. These work on the skin tone by making it lighter to reduce the prominence of the condition. These can further help in tightening the skin around the eyes, which reduce the eye bags.

Lastly, the most drastic of measures against eye bags is eyelid surgery, known in the medical field as Blepharoplasty. This is when the doctor can remove any excess fat present in the area, with the help of an incision.

These follow the natural creases on the eyelid to reduce signs of scarring, and great measures are taken to hide all signs of surgery. However, this is rarely recommended by doctors for a condition as benign as eye bags.

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Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.