Bags under eyes — mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes — are common as you age. With aging, the tissues around your eyes, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken. Normal fat that helps support the eyes can then migrate forward into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy. Fluid also may accumulate in the space below your eyes, adding to a swollen appearance.
Bags under eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and rarely a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. At-home remedies, such as cold compresses, can help improve the appearance of bags under eyes. For persistent or bothersome under-eye puffiness, cosmetic treatments are available.
Bags under eyes can include:
You may not like the way they look, but bags under eyes are usually harmless and don't require medical care. However, see your doctor if the swelling:
Your doctor will want to rule out other possible causes that can contribute to the swelling, such as kidney or thyroid problems, infection, or an allergy.
As you age, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that is normally confined to the area around the eye (orbit) can migrate forward below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can accumulate fluid, making the under-eye area appear puffy or swollen. Several factors can lead to this, including:
Medical treatments are available if you're concerned about the appearance of under-eye swelling. Treatment may not be covered by medical insurance if it's done solely to improve your appearance.
Skin treatments traditionally done to treat wrinkles, such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels, may improve skin tone and tighten the skin. This may lessen the appearance of under-eye swelling and improve any discoloration.
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is an option to remove bags under eyes. During blepharoplasty, the surgeon cuts just below the lashes in your eye's natural crease or inside the lower lid. The surgeon removes excess fat and sagging skin. Depending on where the initial incisions are made, stitches may follow the lower lid's natural crease or be placed inside the lower eyelid.
In addition to correcting bags under eyes, blepharoplasty can also repair:
The following tips can help you reduce or eliminate bags under eyes: