What Causes Bags Under the Eyes?

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The Mayo Clinic lists the causes of bags under the eyes as age, heredity, fluid retention and allergies. Bags under the eyes are generally not a medical concern, but for most people, having puffy bags under their eyes is a cosmetic worry.

As people get older, the eye muscles that support the eyelids start to weaken and the skin starts to sag. The fat that was once located around the orbit of the eye moves below the eyelid. As the fat accumulates, it makes the area under the eye appear swollen. When the causes are heredity or age-related, surgery is used to treat the condition. This surgery is called a blepharoplasty, and it removes the fat permanently.

Various treatments can be used to improve the look of under-eye bags, reports Mayo Clinic. Chemical fillers and peels and laser resurfacing are some options. In addition, blepharoplasty, which is eyelid surgery, can be undertaken to remove the bags. The procedure involves making small cuts below the lower eyelid and removing fat, sagging skin and muscle. This common cosmetic procedure is done on an outpatient basis and is also used to treat drooping lower eyelids and excess skin below the eye.

However, if the cause of the puffiness is not heredity or age-related, there are some simple ways to reduce the symptom. WebMD explains a few ways to help eliminate under-eye bags, including reducing salt intake, taking care of allergies and using a cold compress on the lower part of the eyes. Excessive salt intake and allergies cause fluid retention under the eyes. Adopting a low-salt diet and taking doctor-prescribed allergy medication can help reduce under-eye swelling. A cold compress also helps to lower the temperature and reduce under-eye puffiness.