Bags Under Your Eyes? How To Reduce the Excess Baggage

Bags under the eyes
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Saddle bags on your thighs and bags under your eyes - yes, sometimes life isn’t fair. Let’s bypass the thighs for now and focus on the eyes and find out how to reduce the excess baggage under your eyes, or even eliminate it.

What causes bags under the eyes?

If there’s one good thing about bags under the eyes, it’s that they rarely indicate a serious medical issue. So while the droopiness under your eyes may not be attractive, at least it’s not a health problem.

That said, the fact is bags under the eyes are one thing and puffiness is another. Here’s the difference.

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As you age, bags develop under the eyes because some of the muscles that support your eyelids become weaken, causing your skin to sag. As the muscles get weak, fat that supports your eyes can shift into your lower eyelids, which makes them look puffy. To make matters worse, fluid may migrate into the area below your eyes, adding to the baggage effect.

Puffiness can develop from a variety of factors, such as diet, allergies, and hormone levels. Of course, you could suffer with both bags and puffiness. In either case, there are some steps you can take to reduce or even eliminate the excess baggage look.

How to treat bags under your eyes and puffiness
Even if you think the bags under your eyes are related only to age, the tips on how to reduce puffiness may help reduce some of the puffy look.

  • Reduce salt. Puffiness can be associated with too much salt in the diet, resulting in fluid retention.
  • Elevate your head. When sleeping, use several pillows to raise your head. You can also elevate the entire head of your bed a few inches by placing bed risers or bricks at the head of your bed. This prevents fluids from accumulating beneath your eyes at night.
  • Try massage. Gently massaging the area around your eyes you’re your fingertips for several minutes two or three times a day, especially when you first get up in the morning, can improve circulation and help disperse fluids.
  • Be cool. While in a seated position, place a cool, damp cloth on your eyes and leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes to help reduce swelling and discoloration under your eyes. Apply mild pressure. This is most effective after you get up in the morning. Prepare two or three cloths and keep the extras in the refrigerator so you can replace one when it gets warm.
  • Sleep. This tip seems obvious, but it needs to be emphasized. Along with sleeping with your head elevated, getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep can help reduce bags and puffiness.
  • Treat nasal congestion and allergies. If your nose or sinuses are blocked or irritated, it can contribute to puffiness or dark circles under your eyes. Use a neti pot and a saline solution (2 cups water with ¼ teaspoon of sea salt) to cleanse your nasal passages.
  • Try tea. Cooled wet tea bags can be placed on your eyelids (while seated) and held with mild pressure for 10 to 15 minutes, preferably in the morning. The tannins in the tea reportedly can help reduce puffiness, but it may simply be the coolness of the tea bags that does the trick. Have extra cooled tea bags ready to replace those on your eyes when they get warm.
  • Get more vitamin K. Puffiness may be associated with insufficient vitamin K, which is found in abundance in green leafy vegetables as well as broccoli.
  • Puree a potato. This may be an old folk remedy, but some people claim that liquidizing an uncooked potato in a blender and placing the pureed vegetable on your closed eyes for 30 minutes while lying down will help reduce puffiness.
  • Go under the knife. The most drastic measure is eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to tighten and lift the eyelids. This procedure can eliminate bags under the eyes, at least for a number of years.

One last tip about how to reduce the bags under your eyes: smile a lot. The bigger your smile, the less obvious the bags under your eyes will be!

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