Why do bags appear under the eyes and how to relieve them

The bags that are formed under the eyes They are a very common cosmetic problem, and although they do not affect health or vision, they can be very annoying. They are usually a natural effect of aging, but other factors can also favor their appearance. Here we review them and tell you how you can alleviate them.

As we age the muscles and tissues around the eyes weaken and the skin tends to sag or wrinkle, contributing to a baggy appearance.

That weakening allows the fat around the eye to bulge on the lower lids, making them appear puffy. Also, excess fluid can collect in the space under the eyes, increasing inflammation.

Why are bags under the eyes

In addition to aging that causes the loss of firmness of the skin and muscles, other factors can favor the appearance of bags under the eyes:

  • Allergies: in these situations, our immune system reacts abnormally to an allergen, a substance that it recognizes as “foreign” (such as shellfish, peanuts, pollen, medications or dust, among others). This condition can lead to congestion and inflammation, exacerbating, among other things, puffiness under the eyes.
  • Medical conditionsThyroid problems, chronic fatigue, eczema, prolonged sun exposure, or insomnia are conditions that have been linked to an increased risk of bags under the eyes.
  • High sodium diet: the affinity for the salt shaker when seasoning or that your diet is made up largely of salty and processed products, is a risk factor for bags under the eyes. This is because the salt promotes fluid retention and causes swelling.
  • Genetics: Currently many researchers analyze how heredity plays a role in the appearance of bags under the eyes.
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How to treat bags under the eyes

The best way to relieve bags under the eyes is by identifying what causes it. To do this, it is best to consult a health professional to make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment.

There are also different home remedies that can be helpful:


Being hydrated is essential for the body to perform its functions optimally. To achieve this, you must drink between 2 and 2 ½ liters of water a day.

This is also useful to prevent the appearance of bags under the eyes, as it will prevent fluid retention and the accumulation of toxins, while reducing inflammation or swelling.

  • Home remedies for red eyes

Remember, water is the best option to achieve this, although you can also opt for natural fruit juices. It is important to avoid alcoholic beverages or soft drinks as they can not only be counterproductive for this purpose, but also increase the risk of other health problems.


Caffeine has different effects on the body’s metabolism, although perhaps the most popular is to stimulate the nervous system, promoting alertness and energy.

It also has vasoconstrictive effects, this means that it constricts the blood vessels, so it can help reduce swelling.

To take advantage of this benefits against bags under the eyes, you can apply cold tea bags to the affected area.

Cold compresses

Bag of ice, vegetables, cucumber slices or black, mint or chamomile tea bags, any of these cold options is ideal to relieve bags under the eyes.

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Cooling the affected area reduces blood flow, and this in turn decreases inflammation and swelling. You can also wet a clean cloth with cold water and apply it under and around your eyes for a few minutes with gentle pressure.


Specialists advise the following sleep times depending on age:

  • Newly born: 16 to 18 hours a day.
  • Preschoolers: 11 to 12 hours a day.
  • School age children: at least 10 hours a day.
  • Teenagers: 9 to 10 hours a day.
  • Adults (including older adults): 7 to 8 hours a day.

When that amount of time is not respected, it can affect your performance and ability to concentrate, but also show physical consequences, including annoying bags under the eyes.

Try to respect the recommended sleep patterns to prevent this problem. Also, to help prevent fluids from pooling around your eyes while you sleep, you can add an extra pillow to lift your head off the mattress a bit.

Medical options

When the bags under the eyes do not disappear with time or by resorting to the options detailed above, you should consult a doctor. It can recommend different options, or a combination of them, to alleviate this problem:

  • Creams– There are many creams (prescription or over-the-counter) that can help decrease inflammation. Even hemorrhoid creams are often chosen, as their ingredients, such as phenylephrine, narrow the blood vessels and reduce swelling. These products should be used with caution as they can cause irritation. Nor should they come into contact with the eye.
  • Chemical peel– Treats wrinkled skin under the eyes by removing the top surface layers to reveal smoother, more luminous skin. Results can last for years, although this depends on skin type and sun exposure.
  • Laser resurfacing– Used to remove the top layers of wrinkled skin in the under eye area and stimulate the growth of new collagen, for firmer skin. As in the previous case, skin type and sun exposure will determine its duration.
  • Filling– This treatment places a filler material (usually hyaluronic acid) where the under-eye area and cheeks meet to create a smooth transition. The injection is done in a doctor’s office under local anesthesia, and its results usually last between 6 and 12 months.
  • Blepharoplasty or lower eyelid lift– A procedure in which the doctor readjusts the fat in the lower eye area and tightens the muscle and skin to create a smooth appearance. In most cases it eliminates bags under the eyes for life.
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Bags under the eyes, although they do not affect health or vision, can be very annoying. They usually arise from aging, a diet rich in sodium, genetic factors, or medical conditions, such as insomnia, fatigue, or thyroid problems.

To alleviate them, you can opt for home remedies, such as cold compresses, apply tea bags or cucumber slices, while staying hydrated and sleeping properly.

If the problem persists, you should consult a doctor to make a diagnosis and determine the best treatment: creams, fillers or surgery.

Sources consulted: US National Library of Medicine, Mayo Clinic, John Hopkins Medicine, National Eye Institute.


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