Bags under the eyes: what they are, causes and symptoms, natural remedies and possible beauty treatments

Bags under the eyes: what they are, causes and symptoms, natural remedies and possible beauty treatments

Bags under the eyes are a rather common aesthetic problem. They manifest as puffiness or bumps under the eyes, often associated with a dark or purplish halo of skin in that area. They can be temporary or persistent and vary in size and severity from person to person.

There are several causes for the appearance of bags under the eyes. One of the most common is fluid retention, which builds up in the under eye area, causing puffiness and swelling. Other causes may include aging, thinning skin and loss of elasticity, all of which make the fatty tissues around the eyes protrude more easily.

Lifestyle can contribute to the formation of bags under the eyes. Insufficient sleep, excess stress, alcohol abuse and smoking can affect the onset and exacerbation of this condition.

Proper sleep hygiene, therefore sufficient and good quality rest, can make all the difference. The application of cold compresses or specific creams can, on the other hand, help reduce swelling and dark coloring. In some cases, it may be necessary to resort to medical or aesthetic treatments, such as surgery or the injection of fillers to obtain more lasting results.

Bags under the eyes: what they are

These are swellings or bumps that form in the lower eye area. They are characterized by sagging or lumpy skin, often accompanied by a dark or purplish appearance.

The causes of bags under the eyes are different. The most common is fluid retention which causes swelling. This can be due to some factors such as excessive salt consumption, alcohol intake, unbalanced diet, stress, insomnia, etc. In short, a not too healthy lifestyle.

Other causes may include aging, which over time leads to skin thinning and loss of elasticity, all of which make the fatty tissues around the eyes more easily show through.

Genetic factors can also play a role in the predisposition to bags under the eyes.

Fortunately, there are several ways to treat them, although they are difficult to get rid of completely. In fact, there is no shortage of remedies, including cosmetic ones: from simple cold compresses or the use of specific creams, to more invasive medical or aesthetic treatments such as surgery (blepharoplasty) or the injection of fillers for longer-lasting effects.

What is the difference between dark circles and bags?

Although similar, bags and dark circles are not the same thing, and the only thing they have in common is the fact that they are both located around the eyes.

In fact, bags under the eyes depend on sagging skin, while dark circles on a problem in the micro-circulation that causes shadows in the eye area.

Bags under the eyes: causes

Skin aging is certainly the main cause of the formation of bags under the eyes. However, lifestyle and individual predisposition can also play an important role.

This is because over time, the tissues and muscles that support the eyelids tend to weaken, the skin may start to sag, and the fat around the eye may fall down below the eye. Liquids can then collect under the eye, causing the characteristic swelling.

However, it remains important to exclude the presence of diseases such as hypothyroidism, hypertension, kidney and liver problems, etc. especially if other symptoms are present.

Here are the most common causes of bags under the eyes:

  • genetic factors.
  • Insufficient rest.
  • Cigarette smoke.
  • Consumption of alcoholic beverages.
  • Sleeping with a pillow that is too low which causes a rush of blood towards the head and an increase in pressure in the capillaries.
  • Unbalanced power supply.
  • Advancing age.
  • Bad circulation.
  • More serious conditions, such as kidney, liver or thyroid problems.
  • Hypertension.
  • Allergies.
  • Conjunctivitis.

In fact, a cause that usually leads to the formation of bags is the habit of sleeping with the head too low (for example with a pillow that is too thin).

When we lie down, a large amount of blood flows towards the head and increases the pressure in the capillaries around the eye, all of which can cause the onset of swelling typical of this imperfection.

Bags under the eyes: symptoms

The most evident symptom of bags under the eyes is swelling, caused by an accumulation of liquids under the skin and loss of tone in the eye area. Sometimes it can be associated with the appearance of dark circles (the area under the eyes takes on a darker and bluish), due to the accumulation of pigments (melanin).

Although they are not aesthetically pleasing, they are not serious and there is no need to consult a doctor. However, if the swelling is evident and persistent or associated with redness or itching, or if it also occurs in other areas of the body, it is advisable to seek medical evaluation.

Remedies for bags under the eyes

To mitigate bags under the eyes, you can use several natural do-it-yourself remedies.

Very effective are the compresses with chamomile, with a calming and soothing action, or with pineapple which, thanks to bromelain, has a deflating and draining action, or again with birch and centella asiatica, for their decongestant effect.

Another cheap and quick remedy are the classic cold cucumber or potato slices to be placed on the eyes for about 15/20 minutes.

Finally, another useful solution for this type of problem is aloe vera gel, with a refreshing and regenerating action, which we recommend applying by dabbing all over the eye area, including the eyelid, in order to slowly reactivate the microcirculation.

Bags under the eyes: aesthetic medicine treatments

Among the aesthetic treatments there are non-invasive methods, to smooth the area under the eyes, and surgery, to remove and tone the area around the eye.

Among the non-invasive techniques are:

  • Filler: it consists of inserting a filling material (usually hyaluronic acid, which is a gelatinous substance) between the area under the eyes and the cheek. The injection is performed under local anesthesia and guarantees a result that can last from 6 to 12 months.
  • Laser skin resurfacing: This treatment uses a laser to remove the surface layers of skin in the under-eye area and stimulate the growth of new collagen, for firmer skin. Results can last for years, depending on skin type and sun exposure.
  • Chemical Peels: A peel or scrub is a method of removing the upper, superficial layers. Applying a chemical solution loosens old skin cells to reveal tighter, more radiant skin. Again, depending on your skin type and sun exposure, the results can last for a few years.


To permanently eliminate this imperfection, especially if it negatively affects normal daily life, aesthetic medicine interventions, such as blepharoplasty, can be used.

This consists in the removal of excess fatty tissue around the eye area; in addition, this intervention also strengthens the muscles of the periorbital area in order to avoid the formation of swelling under the eyes again.

Since this is an operation to be performed under local anesthesia, it is essential to contact a certified cosmetic surgeon.

Cosmetics for the treatment of bags under the eyes

In case of temporary bags under the eyes, it is possible to cover and reduce them using suitable cosmetic products, such as concealers, preferably free of aggressive and allergenic substances.

Obviously, before proceeding with the application of serums and creams, it is always a good idea to cleanse the face, after which moisturizing and nourishing products can be applied that can help keep the skin more toned and compact.

To apply eye contour creams, gently tap the eye area, avoiding rubbing.

Among the best products it is advisable to opt for all those with hyaluronic acid, because they help to lighten the skin and improve its tone.

Anti-aging creams and those enriched with vitamins E and C are also useful for alleviating the problem; the extra advice is to try to apply these cold products, i.e. putting them in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes.

The reason? The sensation of cold and freshness creates a lifting and decongestant effect which temporarily improves the texture of the eye area.

How to prevent bags under the eyes

To prevent the formation of this blemish, you need to lead a healthy and regular life.

Sleep the right hours and correctly, eat a varied and balanced diet, and avoid cigarette smoke and alcoholic beverages.

If it is a temporary problem, you should:

  • Rest at least 8 hours.
  • Use a pillow to keep your head elevated.
  • Treat the affected part adequately with creams and serums.
  • Eat properly.
  • Don’t drink alcohol.
  • Avoid smoking.
  • Exercise, possibly away from smog.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to the sun.

If, on the other hand, this blemish has been present for a long time and has become pathological, it is always advisable to contact your doctor, who will prescribe more in-depth tests to identify the underlying cause, which can be a hormonal imbalance, kidney or liver problems, or the presence of an infection.


  • Mayo Clinic, Bags under eyes.
  • Johns Hopkins Medicine, How to Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes.

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