Bags under eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and don't require specific treatment. Depending on the cause of the swelling, home and lifestyle treatments, such as applying cold compresses or sleeping with your head raised, can help reduce or eliminate puffy eyes.
Medical and surgical treatments are available if you're concerned about the appearance of under-eye swelling. Treatment may not be covered by medical insurance if it's done solely to improve your appearance.
Skin treatments traditionally done to treat wrinkles, such as laser resurfacing or chemical peels, may improve skin tone and tighten the skin. This may lessen the appearance of under-eye swelling and improve any discoloration.
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is an option to remove bags under eyes. During blepharoplasty, the surgeon cuts just below the lashes in your eye's natural crease or inside the lower lid. The surgeon removes excess fat and sagging skin. Depending on where the initial incisions are made, stitches may follow the lower lid's natural crease or be placed inside the lower eyelid.
In addition to correcting bags under eyes, blepharoplasty can also repair:
Oct. 28, 2011
- Baggy or puffy upper eyelids
- Excess skin of the upper eyelid that interferes with your vision
- Droopy lower eyelids, which may cause white to show below the iris — the colored part of the eye
- Excess skin on lower eyelids
- Tsai LM, et al. The eye and ocular adnexa. In: Doherty GM, et al. Current Diagnosis and Treatment: Surgery. 13th ed. New York, N.Y.: The McGraw-Hill Companies; 2010. http://www.accessmedicine.com/resourceTOC.aspx?resourceID=23. Accessed June 14, 2011.
- Ben Simon GJ, et al. Cosmetic eyelid and facial surgery. Survey of Ophthalmology. 2008;53:426.
- Understanding blepharoplasty. American Academy of Facial and Reconstructive Plastic Surgery. http://www.aafprs.org/patient/procedures/shareable/s_blepharoplasty.html. Accessed June 30, 2011.
- Goldberg RA, et al. What causes eyelid bags? Analysis of 114 consecutive patients. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2005;115:1395.