Bags Under Eyes

What are Bags Under Eyes?

Puffy pouches under the eyes, usually called bags under eyes, are a common sign of ageing and usually are not symptoms of severe medical conditions. As the face ages, muscles around and underneath the eyes lose their tightness and start to sag, causing the bags underneath eyes.

Bags that are very dark or form dark circles under the eyes happen at any age due to lack of sleep or extreme fatigue. Usually, a doctor’s visit is not necessary for treating bags under the eyes unless they are accompanied by other alarming symptoms like pain or suddenly having problems seeing.

What are the Symptoms of Bags Under Eyes?

Bags or pockets of skin under the eyes may puff outwards and cause dark circles under the eyes. The skin under the eyes may be saggy and not as firm as usual. These symptoms are not cause for alarm and do not need medical treatment. Contact a doctor if the bags under eyes are accompanied with pain, itchiness or a reddening of the skin.

If other body parts like arms and legs suddenly swell up along with the skin under the eyes, this could be allergies, infection or signs of another medical problem. Contact a doctor as soon as possible.

Bags Under Eyes Causes

Bags under the eyes can be caused by several factors, which include sleepy eyes, age and heredity. When you start getting older, the ligaments underneath your eyes that hold back fatty tissue begin to get weaker. Heredity plays a role in determining whether you’ll get bags under your eyes. Dermatitis can also cause bags under your eyes.

A lack of sleep is the most obvious cause of bags under the eyes. Once asleep, the circulatory system slows down and fluid builds up underneath the eye. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your circulatory system might not be able to flush out the extra fluid, leaving you with bags.

How are Bags Under Eyes Treated?


People with chronic bags under the eyes usually find treatments in the beauty aisle of their local stores than from a doctor’s office. Over the counter creams and lotions help reduce the appearance of wrinkles around the eyes and dark circles.


Cosmetic surgery procedures include laser treatments and chemical peels. A drastic but permanent option is surgery of the eyelids or blepharoplasty to remove the bags.

Home remedies

Home remedies often reduce the appearance of the bags. These include getting enough sleep, sleeping with the head propped up with pillows so fluids do not pool in the skin under the eyes and cool compresses of a few minutes after waking up. Even a washcloth dipped in cool water placed over the eyes helps reduce swelling.

Bags Under Eyes Prevention

There are many ways to prevent getting bags under your eyes. Getting the proper amount of rest during the night might be the best way to prevent them. You can also elevate your head while you sleep (gravity prevents the fluid buildup), use a cold compress on your eyes to prevent or reduce swelling, and place two green tea bags over your eyes for 10 minutes. This helps to reduce any puffiness and promotes blood flow.

Avoid carbs and any foods that make you retain fluids. These could include white flour, white sugar, coffee, salt, fried foods, and alcohol.

Some other ways to prevent bags include properly managing your allergies, protecting your eyes from UV rays using sunscreen or sunglasses, avoiding smoking, and trying out different eye creams. Taking off your makeup before bed or placing a cold spoon or cucumber slices on your eyes can reduce swelling.

Using a neti pot, a small teapot, to pour salt water into one of your nostrils and letting it come out the other is another way to prevent bags. This helps to flush out any extra moisture from infections, colds and allergies.

Last Reviewed:
September 13, 2016
Last Updated:
November 14, 2017
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