Most people refer to occasional puffy eyes as sagging eyes or eye bags, however, these are not true eye bags. Puffiness of eyes can be due to stress and/or eye infections such as blepharitis, conjunctivitis, and eyelid inflammation. True eye bags, on the other hand, can be a sign of aging (loss of skin volume and elasticity), hereditary, family history, and possibly linked to health conditions such as:
- Sinus infections
- Thyroid or kidney problems
- Hormonal imbalances
- Insomnia (lack of sleep)
- Food or dust allergies
These factors cause hypertrophy of the lower eyelid muscles and the accumulation of fat. Besides muscular hypertrophy, they also cause relaxation of the orbital septum – the membrane that covers the fat around the eyelids. These collective changes cause the areas under the eyes to look saggy and depressed – giving rise to deep creasings and sunken look.
Treatment Of The Eye Bags
There are various remedies available for treating the eyebags – both surgical and non-surgical. However, proper treatment of the eye bags is usually more complex as an ideal treatment option should:
- Tighten orbital septum
- Remove the excess fat and skin
- Refilling the sunken areas
- Preserve the natural look
Most often, people opt for lower blepharoplasty to get rid of eye bags. This surgical procedure produces lasting results and can cover all aspects of the treatment. Non-surgical procedures merely serve to camouflage the eye bag and only cover one or two aspects of the treatment. This means that the treatment doesn’t produce lasting and aesthetic results and you may start experiencing the symptoms after one year or less.
Depending on the age, health conditions and sagginess of your eyes, the following are the treatment options you can try.
Lifestyle and Home Remedies (For Puffy Eyes)
Lifestyle changes and dietary modifications should be the first step of treatment when it comes to reducing those puffy eyes. Here’s what you can do:
1. Cut your salt and caffeine intake
Doctors recommend an adequate salt intake as it is necessary for some vital body functions, such as regulating blood pressure and water retention. However, too much salt can be unhealthy for most organs of the body – including eyelids. Increased salt intake can result in water retention in the dependent areas under the eyes and leads to swollen, puffy eyes.
Cutting down on sodium doesn’t only help prevent the development of eye bags, but also ensures optimal blood pressure and minimum workload on the kidneys.
2. Improve sleep and re-evaluate the sleeping position
When you sleep, tissue fluid tends to settle in the area beneath your eyes. Insomnia or lack of sleep is one of the major factors that cause fluid retention under the eyes. It also causes swelling of the delicate blood vessels and blood mixing with the fluid – leading to dark circles.
Besides inadequate sleep, sleep position also plays a big role in fluid retention under the eyes. Sleeping on your stomach can accelerate the fluid accumulation process. You can also use a second pillow to elevate your head – it will help reduce fluid accumulation under the eyes.
3. Relieve your stress
Stress causes the excess production of cortisol – a hormone released in the body in response to stress. Cortisol also causes the retention of fluid under the eyes and increases the intensity of eye puffiness.
4. Drop the Bad Habits
Dietary and lifestyle habits have a huge impact on human life. As the famous saying goes, “You are what you eat,” drinking alcohol and sugar-laden beverages can dehydrate your skin and slowly damage the orbital tissues over time. Similarly, smoking is linked to shrinkage and hardening of the blood vessels – including the ones around your eyes, causing pooling of fluid and deep creasings.
5. Eat more collagen-rich foods
Cucumber is rich in fiber and considered classic beauty food due to high collagen content. It also contains vitamins (A, C, and E), skin-strengthening sulphur, and collagen-boosting silica, which helps stimulate natural collagen production. Other collagen-rich foods that help increase the skin elasticity and remove dark circles include:
- Bone broth
- Egg white
- Fish and shellfish
Avoid junk and fast food as it contains high levels of sodium and other water-retaining chemicals.
5 Non-surgical Ways To Get Rid of Eye Bags (For Mild to Moderate Eye Bags)
1. Dermal fillers
Dermal fillers are a minimally invasive way to improve dark circles, reduce lines, plump up the under-eye areas, and revive the fresh, youthful eyes.
Fillers are quite popular because they take less than an hour and produce fast and visible results. With little to no side effects, dermal fillers can be the treatment of choice for people with mild to moderate eye bags. Dermal fillers are a quick fix and produce semi-permanent results (six months to a year).
2. Monopolar RF
Monopolar RF (radio frequency) is a machine used for aesthetic purposes in Singapore. It converts electrical energy into heat energy and penetrates the skin and fatty tissue in the target area. The radio waves cause contractions of the collagen fibers and stimulates elastin production – tightening the loose skin and orbital septum. It helps create smoother and younger-looking eyes.
3. HIFU device
This device is used for the rejuvenation of deeper tissues. In this procedure, high-intensity focused ultrasound waves actively target wrinkles and deep creases around the eyes. It helps reduce the eye bags by tightening up the sagging skin and removing the wrinkles.
4. CO2 Laser resurfacing
This machine is used to remove the saggy skin by heat vaporization. Heat energy vaporizes the accumulated fluid under the eyes and causes tightening of the skin. You may see visible results after the first session, however, for optimal results, your plastic surgeon may combine other procedures as well – such as laser devices (monopolar RF or HIFU).
Surgical treatment (For Moderate to Severe Eye Bags)
Lower Blepharoplasty With Fat Repositioning
Lower Blepharoplasty with Fat Repositioning is a surgical treatment used to treat eye bags. Compared to non-surgical treatment options, it covers all the aspects of the treatment and produces more significant improvements by producing long-lasting, natural-looking results while flattening eye bags.
It repositions the fat pads, tightens the orbital septum, and removes excess fat and skin. In the same procedure, it is also possible to refill the deep grooves by injecting the purified fat from other parts of the body. The plastic surgeon will tighten the saggy skin to remove wrinkles and for a more youthful appearance.
Suitability of the eye bag removal treatment can be accurately determined during formal medical consultation. Depending on your age, the sagginess of the skin, fat volume and other factors, your plastic surgeon will be able to determine which treatment option best suits you.
Furthermore, it is observed that the best results are achieved by combining different treatment modalities. These may include the options discussed above and some others, such as Botulinum toxin, Rejuran I Fillers, Hyaluronic Fillers, Pico Laser, and facial fat grafting.