Oculoplastic Service

Under Eye Bags

A common concern caused by puffiness or swelling that occurs beneath the lower eyelids, leading to a "baggy" appearance.


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Senior business woman taking off glasses suffering from an eye problem

Treatments for under-eye bags

The development of under-eye bags is a common concern, affecting individuals across a broad age range. Fortunately, there is a wide array of treatments available. Miss Elizabeth Hawkes provides patients with various options, from topical creams to non-surgical aesthetic treatments and surgical procedures. In conjunction with these treatments, implementing healthy lifestyle habits may further lessen the appearance of under-eye bags.

By implementing a comprehensive and tailored approach, individuals can achieve optimal results in addressing this concern, leading to more youthful-looking eyes.

What causes bags under the eyes?

Under-eye bags have many potential causes:

  • Genetics: The amount of subcutaneous fat and the skin type in the under-eye area may be hereditary and lead to a predisposition for under-eye bags.
  • Fatigue: Late nights and a lack of sleep can cause fluid to pool under the eyes, leading to puffiness.
  • Ageing: Ageing can cause a decline in tissue elasticity and strength, leading to sagging and a 'baggy' appearance in the lower eyelid area.
  • Fluid retention: Dehydration and fluid retention due to excessive salt intake can cause fluid buildup, leading to puffiness under the eyes.
  • Allergies: Inflammation due to allergies can cause under-eye bags.
  • Lifestyle factors: Smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and a high-sodium diet can contribute to the formation of under-eye bags.
  • Medical conditions: Certain conditions such as thyroid problems, sinus infections, and liver or kidney issues may also create under-eye bags.
  • Screen time: Prolonged screen time can exacerbate under-eye bags. Individuals who spend extended periods in front of screens are at a higher risk of developing under-eye bags due to fatigue and strain on the eyes.

Can Thyroid Issues Cause Bags Under Your Eyes?

Yes, thyroid issues can cause bags under the eyes. The thyroid hormones regulate many functions in the body, and when thyroid issues are present, it can cause fluid buildup and swelling around the eyes.

Other symptoms of thyroid issues can include:

  • Feeling tired
  • Gaining or losing weight
  • Losing hair
  • Having dry skin
  • Difficulty regulating your body temperature

If you experience bags under your eyes and any other symptoms listed, see a doctor for an evaluation and diagnosis.

How do I get rid of the bags under my eyes?

If you are struggling with persistent under-eye bags, it is good to know that various treatment options are available. Certain treatment options may be more suitable for you depending on the severity of the under-eye bags and your individual needs.

Lifestyle Changes

While lifestyle changes may not permanently eliminate under-eye bags, making healthy choices can help reduce their appearance. Here are some tips to help:

  • Prioritise sleep: Getting adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining healthy skin. When well-rested, the skin around your eyes will appear more plump and firm.
  • Watch your salt intake: Reducing the amount of salt in your diet can help reduce the appearance of under-eye bags.
  • Use cold compresses or ice globes: Applying a cold compress or ice globes to the under-eye area can help reduce swelling and puffiness.
  • Stay hydrated: Staying hydrated is essential for healthy skin. Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Address allergies and sinus problems: Allergies and sinus problems can cause under-eye bags. Treating these conditions can help reduce their appearance.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking can damage the skin around your eyes and contribute to the appearance of under-eye bags. If you smoke, quitting is the best way to improve the health of your skin.
  • Use sunscreen: Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays. These rays can damage the skin around your eyes and contribute to the appearance of under-eye bags. Apply sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days.

Non-surgical Options

Non-surgical options for treating under-eye bags are available for those who want to avoid more invasive surgical procedures. These treatments include:

  • Dermal Fillers: Tear trough fillers add volume to the under-eye area, and may be performed if a hollowness accompanies under-eye bags. This treatment is minimally invasive, offering results that last for several months.
  • Chemical Peels: Chemical peels can exfoliate the skin and stimulate collagen production to reduce the appearance of under-eye bags. The result is smoother, more youthful-looking skin.
  • Laser Resurfacing: Laser therapy can stimulate collagen production, decrease puffiness, and reduce periorbital hyperpigmentation, all contributing to under-eye bags. Laser therapy is a non-invasive option that can provide lasting results.
  • Eye Creams: Eye creams containing retinol and caffeine help plump the skin around the eyes and reduce the appearance of bags. Medical-grade skincare products, available on prescription, with optimal concentrations of active ingredients, are more effective than over-the-counter creams for under-eye bags.

Surgical Options

Surgical treatment may be recommended for some cases of under-eye bags and those looking for longer lasting results.

  • Lower Eyelid Blepharoplasty: Blepharoplasty is a highly effective surgical treatment for under-eye bags. The procedure involves the removal and repositioning of excess skin and fat from the under-eye area, resulting in a more youthful and rested appearance. It is important to note that surgical treatments usually offer more long-lasting results than non-surgical aesthetic treatments.

Which treatment option is right for me?