Bags under your eyes deliver a double whammy to your looks. They make you look much older than you are and they make you look exhausted. If you’re tired of looking in the mirror and seeing an older, more fatigued version of yourself looking back at you, there are ways to banish the bags.
Since under eye bags can be caused by a number of different things, from your lifestyle habits to your genes, figuring out what’s contributing to the puffiness is the first step in figuring out how to fix it. A facial plastic surgeon can help you learn what the cause of your bags is and make recommendations for the most effective way or ways to deal with them.
Causes of Under Eye Bags
Puffiness and bags under the eyes can be caused by either fat or fluid. When you get older, the skin and connective tissue in the eye area becomes weaker and things begin to drop or sag, as they do in other parts of the face. The fat that was once in the orbital area of your eye can fall to the space beneath the eyes, creating a small bag or area of puffiness.
Fluid can also build up in the space below your eyes, no matter what your age. A number of habits and factors can contribute to fluid buildup, including your diet, sleep habits and the weather.
Change Your Routine
While some causes of under eye bags might be beyond your control – you can’t change the weather, for example, others can be helped by you. For example, eating a diet that contains a high amount of sodium often plays a part in making your eyes puffy. Salty foods encourage fluid retention in your body, particularly in areas that contain a lot of sodium. When you eat a lot of salt, water in your body moves to the areas that are particularly salty, creating bloat and puffiness.
Cutting down on sodium in your diet and making an effort to drink more water will help reduce fluid retention, potentially easing the appearance of under eye bags. Depending on how much alcohol you drink, you might also want to cut down on it, if you start to notice puffiness or bags under the eyes. Alcohol, especially in large amounts, dries out the skin, making it more fragile and delicate.
When the skin around your eyes is weaker, it’s not able to hold the fat as well, causing it to fall and form a bag below the eye. You don’t have to become a teetotaller, but try to drink in moderation. If you do have a lot to drink in one night, remember to drink more water before bed and to use a moisturizer to help protect the skin around your eyes.
How you sleep and how much you sleep also can also lead to under eye bags. Not getting an adequate amount of sleep every night makes you look tired, because you are tired. Try to get a minimum of seven hours each night and see if that helps reduce puffiness beneath your eyes.
In some cases, fluid can build up beneath your eyes because of the way you sleep. Sleeping on your stomach or side, so that your head is lower than the rest of the body, allows fluid to pool below the eyes. It can take some getting used to, but try to sleep on your back with your head slightly propped up.
An allergic reaction or seasonal allergies to pollen or dust can also make your eyes puffy. Avoiding the cause of your allergies can help reduce under eye bags. If avoiding the allergen isn’t possible, using an antihistamine or other allergy medication can help. You can also try rinsing your nasal passages out with a neti pot and saline. The saline flushes out debris and extra fluid, helping you breathe easier and helping to reduce puffiness.
Consider an Eyelid Lift
If your under eye bags are caused by fat deposits and come to you thanks to your genes, your best option might be a lower eyelid lift, or transconjunctival blepharoplasty. During a transconjunctival blepharoplasty, the surgeon makes a small, undetectable incision inside the lower eyelid and removes excess fat from beneath the eye.
Eyelid surgery isn’t something to rush into. Like any other facial plastic surgery, you will have some downtime after it, usually about a week or two. The surgery is only recommended for non-smokers who are in good health.
If you’re tired of under eye bags that make you look old and tired, find out more about your options for treating them today. Dr. Jessica Kulak, an aging face specialist practicing in Virginia and Maryland, can answer any questions you have about puffiness under your eyes and eyelid surgery. Call (703) 481-0002 for an appointment in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 for an appointment in Maryland today.