How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes

Skin Problems Image Gallery Concealer can cover up dark circles, but is there a way to prevent them from ever appearing? See more pictures of skin problems.
Skin Problems Image Gallery Concealer can cover up dark circles, but is there a way to prevent them from ever appearing? See more pictures of skin problems.
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As we get older, gravity becomes our biggest enemy. It fights us every step of the way, and eventually we have no choice but to give in. Our skin seems to be affected the most. It starts to droop and sag right in front of our eyes, not to mention underneath them. Bags under eyes are a common and inevitable sign of aging. During our youth, healthy skin and muscles do their best to hold fat back, but as we get older, they start to lose that battle and we end up with puffy bags outlining our eyes.

There are a few other causes of under-eye bags. It could have something to do with your diet, lack of exercise, the way you sleep and whether or not you have allergies. Depending on what's causing your bags, you might be able to get rid of them. If they're the result of getting older, you have only a few options -- and they all involve needles or scalpels. If your bags are just puffiness, however, you might be able to get rid of them by simply changing your lifestyle.


As for all the home remedies you've heard of, some of them might help, but others are nothing more than myths. Cucumbers, for example, can reduce your under-eye bags in some cases -- but probably not for the reason you think they will. And those of you who've been putting hemorrhoid cream on your face will definitely want to keep reading. You don't have to live with bags under your eyes, but you might be surprised at what it takes to get rid of them.

Keep reading to find out what causes bags under your eyes in the first place.


Cause of Bags Under Eyes

There's no point in tiptoeing around the issue. Under-eye bags aren't a sign of beauty. They make you look tired and older than you really are. The only thing you can really take comfort in is the fact that everyone has to deal with them sooner or later. That doesn't mean you should just sit back and let them take over your face, though. You might be able to get rid of them -- but first you're going to need to know what you're dealing with.

Under-eye bags are actually caused by several different factors, not the least of which is an unhealthy lifestyle. If you don't get enough sleep, eat a lot of salty foods and don't exercise regularly, don't be surprised when you see those bags staring right back at you in the mirror. If you don't fit into that category however, your parents might be to blame. One of the biggest causes of under-eye bags is heredity, and there's not much you can do about it. You have bags under your eyes because your parents have bags under their eyes.


Under-eye bags are also a natural part of getting older. Whether or not we want to admit it, we all have fat under our eyes, and as we age our skin can't hold it in like it used to. Ligaments in our face break down, and our skin loses its elasticity. Gravity does the rest. Fat pushes its way out, and our skin loosens to form bags. Similarly, chronic sinus infections and allergies can have the same effect -- they constantly stretch out the skin in that area, and eventually it becomes loose.

No matter what causes the bags under your eyes, there's something you can do about it. Keep reading to find out what treatment options are available.


Treatments for Bags Under Eyes

If you're ready to say goodbye to those bags under your eyes, you'll need to know what your options are. Living a healthy lifestyle might not be enough, and cucumber slices only go so far -- but what if you could take care of everything with a simple procedure that takes less than an hour? Better yet, what if you could just get an injection or have those bags eliminated with lasers? It might sound a little futuristic, but these are all actual options for treating under-eye bags.

Dermatologists can inject wrinkle fillers to reduce the appearance of under-eye baggage. When combined with Botox, the fillers have the ability to make you and your skin look years younger. Unfortunately, the results are temporary and the price tag is high. An injection will last you about eight months, so at a couple thousand dollars a pop it might not be worth it. An eyelift, on the other hand, can last more than a couple of decades.


Eyelifts involve melting the fat inside the under-eye bags and then tucking the loose skin that remains. It's an outpatient procedure that takes about an hour, and you'll need about two weeks for recovery. The cost is around $6,000, which might seem high -- but keep in mind that the results can last more than 20 years. When you compare that to the cost of injections, you definitely come out ahead. A new treatment that combines fat removal and laser resurfacing has also yielded some promising results, but it is yet to be made public and no one knows exactly how much it will cost [source: Science Daily].

If the high price tags of these options don't really fit your budget, keep reading to find out what home remedies you might be able to try.


Home Remedies for Bags Under Eyes

Once you have under-eye bags, they're almost impossible to get rid of without cosmetic surgery, and we know how expensive that can be. The only thing you can really do is cover them up with makeup. I know what you're thinking, though. What about cucumbers and cold spoons? Let's be clear about this. Under-eye bags and puffiness are not the same thing. As we mentioned earlier, bags form under our eyes with age because our ligaments and skin weaken, allowing fat to push through. This is different from the puffiness that can be caused by a salty diet, allergies and fluid retention. If your "bags" are actually just puffiness, there might be a few home remedies that can help.

For those of you who have been waiting patiently, this is where cucumbers, tea bags, potato slices and spoons might be able to help. When any of these items are cooled and placed on the eyes, they can help reduce puffiness for one simple reason. Cold restricts blood vessels, which can reduce swelling. If your puffiness is the result of fluid retention, you might be able to alleviate it by sleeping with an extra pillow to elevate your head at night. It will help drain the fluid out of your face.


Another popular home remedy for under-eye puffiness is hemorrhoid cream, but you should be careful with this one. It might be able to reduce the appearance of those bags, but you're more likely to end up with irritated eyes instead. You're better off trying to live a healthier lifestyle and using hemorrhoid creams for hemorrhoids.

For lots more information on getting rid of under-eye bags, look over the links on the next page.


Lots More Information

Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • American Academy of Dermatology. "Turning Back the Hands of Time." Feb. 21, 2005. (Accessed 09/29/2009)
  • Benabio, Jeffery MD. "Puffy Eyes and Preparation H." The Derm Blog. June 9, 2008. (Accessed 09/29/2009)
  • Bouchez, Colette. "Banish the Bags Under Your Eyes." WebMD. July 29, 2009. (Accessed 09/29/2009)
  • Doherty, Helen. "Collagen can iron out more than just wrinkles." Run Ireland. (Accessed 09/29/2009.
  • Doherty, Bridget and Julia Vantine. "Growing Younger: Age-Defying Secrets for Women." Google Books. 2002. (Accessed 09/29/2009)
  • Gibson, Lawrence E. M.D. "What causes puffy eyes? How can I reduce under-eye puffiness, especially in the morning?" Mayo Clinic. Oct. 27, 2007. (Accessed 09/29/2009)
  • McGraw, Robin. "What's Age Got to Do with it?: Living Your Healthiest and Happiest Life." Google Books. 2009. (Access 09/29/2009)
  • Peretsman, Natalie. "What causes bags under the eyes?" Science Online. October 13, 2008. (Accessed 09/29/2009)
  • Science Daily. "Fat Removal Combined With Laser Treatment Eliminates Undereye Bags And Wrinkles." March 5, 2001. (Accessed 09/29/2009)
  • Skin Care Physicians. "Causes of Aging Skin." American Academy of Dermatology. 2008. (Accessed 09/29/2009)