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Eye Bags: Everything You Need To Know

Medically reviewed by Victor Paulino, MD, DPBO · Ophthalmology · Makati Medical Center

Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Aug 25, 2022

Eye Bags: Everything You Need To Know

Eye bags are these puffy or swollen areas right under the eyes. These form mostly due to aging since the skin around the eyes starts to weaken as people get older. The muscles of the eyelids start to weaken as well and once that happens, the fat that supports the eyes may collect within the lower eyelids, causing puffy bags under the eyes. 

There are several causes of eye bags, namely:

  • Eyelid fluids. Eyelid fluids usually accumulate after a person has consumed salty foods. 
  • Loss of skin elasticity. This occurs as people age and this would usually result in rhytides (fine lines/creases), changes in texture and color, and festoon formation on the lower eyelids. 
  • Lack of sleep. People who do not get enough sleep would usually have dark circles or bags under their eyes. 
  • Allergies. When people have allergies they usually sneeze uncontrollably and this usually leads to the eyes becoming itchy and watery. The fluids coming from the eyes can cause puffiness under the eyes. Also, rubbing of the eyes due to allergies causes this as well. 
  • Genetics (if  it runs in the family, offsprings are most likely to inherit them)
  • Smoking. Nicotine can break down collagen, which helps keep our skin firm and elastic.
  • Cosmetics. Skin around the eyes can become irritated to cosmetic products and cause them to swell. This would most likely happen to people who do not wash their makeup off by the end of the day. 
  • Dehydration. People who do not drink too much water are most likely to have eye bags that look saggy. 
  • Medical conditions. Thyroid problems such as thyroid eye disease can cause puffiness under the eyes. 

If people do not want to have this type of skin condition, they can search for ways on how to remove eye bags. 

Should You Be Concerned About Eye Bags?

No, you should not be concerned about eye bags at all since these are normal and usually harmless.

They come with age so it is a normal occurrence. However, if you start to feel pain, redness, and itching, then you must visit an eye doctor and have your eyes checked. There is a possibility that you may have thyroid eye disease if there is pain and swelling. 

How to Remove Eye Bags 

Eye bags can be removed by making use of home remedies or medical options. Refer to the list below to learn various ways to remove eye bags. 

How to remove eye bags using home remedies 

  • Use a cold compress to reduce the inflammation under the eyes. Since these appear to be dark due to blood vessels, applying a cold compress on the swollen area under the eyes will cool it and make it look less inflamed.
  • Position your pillow properly so that when you sleep the fluids in your eyes will not build in the areas around them. 
  • Use a moisturizer as these can improve the appearance of the areas under the eyes and make them look a lot livelier and plump. Keeping the areas under the eye most also prevents irritants and allergens. 
  • Try to maintain a consistent weight since the increase and decrease of weight constantly can cause the fat on the skin to be redistributed to the face. 
  • Make use of eye creams that contain retinol, antioxidants, and vitamin C. 
  • Lastly, always stay hydrated. Dehydration causes bags to form under the eyes so keep away from things that can make you dehydrated (e.g. alcohol and cigarette smoking).
  • How to remove eye bags through medical/surgical options

    The medical procedures shown below are the next best thing on how to remove eye bags if home remedies do not seem to work. 

    • Botox (relaxes muscles in areas around the eyes and lifts the brows so that eyelids do not droop down).
    • Fillers (lifts the cheeks so that the areas under the eyes do not become a hollow spot). 
    • Laser resurfacing (tightens the skin and improves overall texture). 
    • Chemical peeling (this dissolves a layer of the skin to reveal a brighter skin beneath). 

    Is it Necessary to Remove Them?

    It is not necessary to have eye bags removed since they are a normal skin condition that comes with age. Of course, it is up to an individual to decide for themselves whether they want them to be surgically removed to change their appearance (cosmetic purposes). 

    Key Takeaway

    Eye bags are not a threat to one’s life so leaving them as is would be safe. As for those who do not like how it affects their appearance, they can make use of various remedies on how to lessen or remove them completely through surgical means with the guidance of their doctor. 

    Learn more about eye health here.


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Victor Paulino, MD, DPBO

    Ophthalmology · Makati Medical Center

    Written by Jen Mallari · Updated Aug 25, 2022

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