Just about everyone experiences puffiness or discoloration under the eyes at some time. This can be a temporary problem caused by occasional circumstances or can be a permanent problem brought on by age, health issues, or other factors. Remedies for under-eye puffiness and discoloration range from holistic to surgical, depending on the cause and severity of the problem.
Common Causes of Under-Eye Puffiness and Discoloration
The skin under the eyes is very sensitive and will retain water if any irritation is present. Bags or puffiness under the eyes is often a temporary condition that is evident when a person wakes up in the morning as a result of having a rough night before. Dehydration is one of the biggest culprits of puffy eyes. Whether it’s tears, sweat, or the food you eat, extra salt inside or on the outside of your body will cause extra water to gather under your eyes. Lack of sleep, crying and drinking too much can also cause bags to form under the eyes, as can allergies or other conditions that cause you to rub your eyes. Sometimes bags form under the eyes as a person ages and the skin there loses elasticity.
Discoloration or dark circles under the eyes are usually a more permanent problem. Sometimes it is genetics that causes the pigment of the skin there to darken, most often in those of Asian or African descent. Dark circles can also be the result of aging. Our skin thins as we age, making the vessels underneath more visible as it does. Hollowness and discoloration under the eyes are a direct result of this thinning.
If you’re anticipating a late night or a long day, staying hydrated is the key to keeping the puffiness out of your eyes. If you notice that you have this problem often, cut back on your salt intake to see if this helps. Changing sleeping positions from your stomach or your side to your back will help prevent fluid from gathering under your eyes as well. Be sure to wash off any makeup before bed, as this can irritate the skin and cause puffiness. If bags under the eyes still occur despite your best prevention efforts, applying something cool, such as cucumber slices to the area may provide some relief.
For those who have dark circles under their eyes, and under-eye cream containing retinol can help to strengthen the skin and reduce discoloration. Intense pulse light (IPL) treatment is also used by plastic surgeons to reduce the discoloration. Makeup can easily cover less severe cases of dark circles under the eyes.
For a longer-lasting solution to permanent under-eye problems that are caused by aging, there are surgical options available. Lower blepharoplasty is where an experienced surgeon will remove some of the fat or reposition the fat in the area to reduce puffiness. Laser treatments can be used to firm up loose skin. Facial fillers like Juvederm and Restylane can be used to fill in hollowness around the eyes. A plastic surgeon can also prescribe creams that can lighten dark circles.