Eye bags are loose skin and dark circles underneath the eyes that make the individual look fatigued, unattractive, and older. Eye bags are a huge cosmetic problem in the world. This puffy and droopy look under the eye is due to weak muscles, and fat accumulation appears at older ages. Apart from age-related causes, eye bags can occur due to many other conditions.
Even though this drooping of the lower eyelid skin is not associated with any discomfort or a visual impairment, eye bags also cause issues as they significantly affect appearances and the individual’s way of life.
Though most elderly are affected, it can also occur in young individuals. The causes of eye bags that commonly influence patients to choose to get surgical or non-surgical eye bag removal include:
- Sudden fat loss in the face
- Genetic causes
- Tear trough deformity in which there is thin skin and little fat under the skin
- Lack of sleep
Some factors can also lead to a temporary occurrence of eye bags. These include allergies, infections in the skin, smoking, retention of fluid, change in temperature, and use of skin-care products. Finding out the exact reason for the formation of eye bags is needed in choosing the best eye bag treatment for the patient.
Types of eye bags
These are the least apparent type of eye bags and are due to some fat accumulation under the skin of the eyelid. Type 1 eye bags are visible only at some angles and can be easily treated. They are usually treated with fillers that conceal the puffiness. Home remedies help but are not enough alone in treating them.
These are more apparent than type 1. The drooping of the skin is severe and forms small half-circles under the eyes. Simple home remedies usually don’t have much effect on type 2 eye bags and another non-surgical or surgical eye bag treatment is often needed.
Type 3 eye bags are what most people seek surgery for as it greatly disturbs the appearance of individuals. These occur due to the accumulation of a lot of fat under the eyelid skin and makes the person look tired and old. Home remedies are not effective for the treatment of these eye bags.
Eye Bag Treatments
There are several approaches available for the treatment of eye bags. Each technique has its benefits and flaws and different costs as well. Those who are afraid of surgery or scar formation on their face can choose from several home remedies or other non-surgical procedures for the treatment of their eye bags.
1. Home remedies
Home remedies can provide temporary reduction in eye bags if they are due to fluid retention and can provide relief only for mild or type 1 eye bags. In most cases, medical-grade treatment is required for permanent relief. These are the first treatment patients try out when they notice sagging or puffiness of eyelids as these methods are relatively inexpensive and easy to access. Home remedies include:
- Cold compress: Using cold compresses can reduce inflammation and associated swelling. Any cold object available to be used as ice packs, frozen vegetable bags, refrigerated cucumber slices, or spoons placed over both eyes for a few minutes.
- Caffeine: Caffeine also acts as a vessel constrictor. Now, many cosmetic products aimed at reducing dark circles contain caffeine. The individual can also use chilled tea bags.
- Stay hydrated: Dehydration is a significant risk factor for improving eye bags, and mild types can be prevented or treated with adequate hydration. Good eye serums and creams can provide much-needed hydration.
- Use retinol creams: Are known for preventing wrinkles. Retinol is present in many skin-care products as vitamin A is significant for the health of the skin.
- Wear sunscreen: Ultraviolet rays from the sun are an important causative factor in many skin conditions, and using sunscreen can prevent the formation of eye bags or premature aging.
- Get enough sleep: Not getting enough sleep may make the dark circles or puffiness more prominent.
- Diet: Eating more collagen-rich food, vitamin C, and iron-rich foods can help reduce eye bags. Restricting salt in the diet also keeps unwanted water retention at bay.
- Quit smoking and drinking alcohol: Alcohol causes dehydration in the body that could make the eye bags more prominent. Smoking decreases the body’s ability to store vitamin C, which is significant for collagen production in the skin. Smoking can cause wrinkling and the formation of dark circles under the eyes.
After the ineffectiveness of home remedies, consider the non-surgical treatment of eye bags for achieving better results and long-lasting outcomes. The basic principle of non-surgical procedures is that the accumulated fat under the eyes is melted using heat, laser, or other equipment, and it removes eye bags without leaving scars. As these methods do not involve incisions or scarring, it is popular among patients.
Non-surgical eye bag removal treatment is recommended for individuals with good skin elasticity, mild puffiness, and dark circles, and for those who are afraid of surgery. However, this method also has certain disadvantages such as burns, pigmentation, and occasionally permanent scarring. Having the procedure done by a well trained and experienced aesthetic doctor and plastic surgeon can reduce the risk of these problems.
Popular techniques of the non-surgical approach and their approximate costs are given below:
- HIFU: HIFU or High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound is a technique used to apply ultrasound waves to the skin under the eyes. The distribution of heat energy in the area stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. These are very important for the improvement of skin elasticity, firmness, and treatment of fine lines. The procedure usually costs around $400.
- Thermage is an approved treatment of the FDA. It is advisable for those with mild or moderate eye bags. The skin under the eyes is cured with radiofrequency waves to melt the fat and stimulate collagen regeneration. It helps to flatten puffy eye bags and tighten the skin under the eyes for a smoother and flatter contour. Usually, this procedure costs about $2000-$3,000.
- Dermal filler injection: In cases where the tear trough is more prominent, dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid help in filling the sunken areas and creases, effectively concealing the presence of the eye bags. The approximate cost of this procedure is around $800 – $900.
- Scarless eye bag removal treatment: In this method, fat is liquified and removed with the help of the heat from a micro-optic fiber laser. Excess fat is extracted through a small needle prick on the lower eyelid which leaves no obvious scar on the face. This treatment on average costs around $1,800 – $2,800.
- Rejuran Treatment: PDRN is a registered drug derived from salmon DNA, and it works by increasing collagen synthesis and repairing the damaged cell. When used for treatment on the under-eye area, it helps to brighten the skin, reduce fine lines, improve skin tautness, and decrease the prominence of eye bags and dark circles. This treatment costs around $500 – $700.
- Pico laser: This method is also called Fractional Pico Laser Resurfacing and can be performed using a targeted laser to destroy pigmented cells under the eye while sparing the normal tissues. It leads to the formation of cavities in the deeper layer, which increases the production of collagen and elastin and eliminates dark circles. New collagen also helps to firm and tighten the skin on the under-eye area. This procedure usually costs around $200 – $300.
Those who have moderate to severe eye bags, drooping eyelids, tear trough depression, and dark circles require surgery to address their eye bag concerns. The surgery costs around $4000 to $8000. And this depends upon the technique, location, experience of the surgeon. There are two methods commonly used for the surgical treatment of eye bags.
- Transconjunctival eye bag removal
This method involves making an incision on the inside of the lower lid and removing extra fatty tissues present under the skin. The benefits of this method are that it does not invade deeper tissue, it does not leave visible scars on the face, causes less trauma to surrounding structures, and that the recovery time is relatively shorter.
- Incisional eye bag removal
Just as the previous method, incisional eye bag removal also removes extra fatty tissues from under the eyelids but it differs in that it uses a hidden incision made along the lower eyelashes instead of inside the lower lid. Any excess skin can be removed in the process, resulting in a tighter appearance of the skin after surgery and also lesser wrinkles. This method is useful for getting rid of extra drooping skin along with the fat and proves to be more beneficial for those with tear trough depression.
Choosing the best eye bag treatment option
Eye bags are a big cosmetic problem that makes the individual look tired and older. They appear as dark circles or droopy bags under the eyes that are usually due to muscle weakness and fat accumulation as the person grows older.
Allergies, infections, and smoking are some other causes of eye bag formation. Different types of eye bags require different types of treatments.
The treatment options available include, home remedies, non-surgical and surgical procedures. If you are not sure which is the best treatment given your eye bag condition, you can always seek the professional opinion of our plastic surgeon at Dream Plastic Surgery Singapore.