Mild swelling and puffiness under the eye is a common symptom of aging, and it doesn’t even have the decency to wait until you actually age. No. Instead, pillowy bagginess can creep into the youngest of eyes, caused by fluid accumulation in the space below the eyes and even sometimes on the eyelid.
As we start to age, the tissue and muscles around our eyes start to weaken, letting the fat that helps support the eyes creep down into our lower eyelids, creating a swollen, puffy bag -not exactly something we want on our faces.
Let’s take a look at the common causes of puffy eyes, and some tactics you can use to fight them whether you were born with them or whether they’ve appeared as you age.
Under-eye bags can be caused by a number of factors, with fluid retention, lack of sleep, allergies, aging and good old heredity leading the charge — *thanks Mom. In your 20’s, puffiness can simply be a symptom of lifestyle — excessive salt intake, a lack of sleep and dehydration all add up to eyes that look swollen and puffy — and early on, the skin truly wants to bounce back, so cutting back on those little excesses, getting adequate sleep and staying away from alcohol and loading up on enough water can sometimes diminish the problem… but not always.
Swollen under-eyes that aren’t caused by a life of excess or allergies is likely a symptom of heredity and age. As you delve into your 30’s, and the collagen and elastin around your eyes begins to deteriorate, you’ll likely notice that your eyes aren’t bouncing back after a happy little health kick. Instead, they’re hanging around, ruining your day and making you look older and more tired.
As skin loses elasticity, it’s important to improve your at-home routine with a richer eye cream than the one you used in your 20’s. Additionally, your doctor may recommend laser treatments to help tighten the skin around the eyes and camouflage any dark circles. Doctors are also increasingly using fillers like Voluma, Juvéderm and Restylane to treat “tear-trough” lines and losses of volume in the cheek area that you’ll likely see as you travel through your 30’s and dive into your 40’s. The filler “fills” the area, the benefit is near immediate with very little downtime, and the results last from 6 – 12 months (Juvéderm and Restylane) to 2 years (Voluma).
If your under-eye baggage is more severe and/or you’re looking for a treatment that is permanent and effective, your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty. Oftentimes performed under local anesthesia, blepharoplasty is a procedure where the surgeon cuts just below the lashes or inside the lower lid, and redistributes or removes excess fat, muscle and/or sagging skin to eliminate the bags. It’s typically performed in under an hour, with a near full recovery from any bruising or swelling in one to two weeks, (though the doctor will tell you that you won’t see the results for upwards of 6 months).
A chat with your board-certified plastic surgeon can help you decide just how to treat those bags under your eyes once and for all.
This article was originally published by Smart Beauty Guide