How can I get rid of puffy eyes or under-eye bags?

James M.. Wilmott
Puffiness in the eye area and under-eye bags are caused by two separate conditions. Puffiness is the accumulation of fluids (typically water) that are caused by allergies, lack of sleep, position of sleep, hormonal variation especially associated with menstruation, sinus infection, over indulgence of alcohol or a diet that is too high in salt. This is usually a temporary condition and often appears more severe in the morning because the fluids cannot drain from subcutaneous reservoirs because of gravity. Some good treatments for early morning puffiness include:
  • Elevate your head while sleeping,
  • Reduce swelling by applying a cold compress, preferably one that has tannins (like green tea bags) or materials like caffeine and theophylline to contrict the blood vessels.
  • Enhance fluid drainage by stimulating the lymphatic systems by using eye creams that contain hesperidin or rutin and applying them from the nasal area to the outside of the eye where the lymphatic system is located.
Under-eye bags are caused by the protrusion of the pad of subcutaneous fat that exists under the eye area. This is caused by a thinning of the skin as one ages and by the loss of firmness and elasticity due to  the breakdown of collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid. To minimize the appearance of bags one must rebuild the dermal matrix and strengthen the outer layer (epidermis). Look for products designed for the eye area that contain matrikines such as palmitoyl oligopeptide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide, retinol derivatives, ascorbic acid derivatives, niacinamide (vitamin B3), or natural materials such as centella asiatica. It is also critically important to use a sunscreen designed for use in the eye area to help prevent the breakdown in collagen and elastin.
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Marmur explains how you can get rid of puffy eyes or under-eye bags. Watch Dr. Marmur's video for information on how to keep your skin looking young and healthy.
Ashley Lazzarini
I know....this seems really strange...but it is true and used by makeup artists around the world for puffy eyes...

That is, if it is occasionally puffy, like a long night, allergies, or when we cry and rub our eyes...

Hemroid Cream!

I swear, it seems ridiculous, but it actually constricts the blood vessels that are causing the will see a difference in minutes.
Adam J. Scheiner, MD
The eyes are one of the most expressive areas of the face, which is why as our eyes begin to show signs of aging and become puffy, other people may think we look tired or sick, even when we are feeling fine. Improving this area can have a big impact on non-verbal communication and how others relate to us.

There are often two causes of lower eyelid bags. One cause forms directly under the eye and is due to lower eyelid fat protruding into the skin. This is best addressed with surgeries, which either remove or relocate that fat.

The second cause for lower eyelid bags are cheek and eyelid festoons. Festoons are characterized by loose and swollen skin in the lower eyelid and cheek region and are due to sun damage to the skin in this region. This condition is most effectively treated by a procedure that can repair the sun damage. In my practice, I have developed a customized laser skin resurfacing and healing protocol that is very helpful in repairing this troublesome facial condition.

I've written a blog article to help people learn more about their options regarding puffy eyes, festoons and cosmetic procedures to rejuvenate the eye area:
Ben Kaminsky
Treat under-eye bags by applying a cold compress (or a bag of frozen vegetables) for five minutes to reduce swelling. Cold packs reduce inflammation by constricting blood vessels. Follow with a firming eye treatment that contains anti-oxidants, physiological humectants, hydrating agents, ceramides (phospholipids and spingolipids), and hyaluronic acid. Treat under-eye pouches by sleeping with the head on two pillows to allow fluids to drain, if the neck condition permits. In addition, use cold compresses to relieve swelling.
Beyond Botox: 7 Strategies for Sexy, Ageless Skin Without Needles or Surgery

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.