Bags Under Eyes: Symptoms and How to get rid of

As we get older or even when we wake up first thing in the morning, we may notice swelling under the eyes. These are eye bags. Fear not however, there are ways to prevent, get rid of, and reduce the puffiness.

What do bags under eyes mean?

Bags under eyes can be a natural sign of ageing and appear as a mild swelling or puffiness. This is due to the weakening of tissue around your eyes and the muscles supporting your eyelids. The weakened skin relaxes and forms a pouch which then fills up with fat and excess fluids, giving the eyes a swollen appearance.

Shadows and the pigment of the skin beneath the eyes draws extra attention to the eye bags, causing them to stand out more. They usually look worse when you first wake up as fluid has had a lengthy amount of time to settle in.

In most cases, eye bags are a cosmetic issue and are harmless, however, in rare cases it can be a medical concern too.


What are puffy eyes a sign of?

Puffy eyes are most commonly a result of the ageing process which causes us to lose collagen and elasticity. Sagging around the eyes is more prominent than anywhere else on the body because the skin surrounding the eyes is thin and delicate.

Puffy eyes can, however, also be a sign of:

-Fluid retention
-Chronic medical conditions
-Allergies-seasonal allergies and dust can trigger swollen eyes. If you find that you are prone to these allergies, it is recommended that you take allergy medications.
-Stress-this can cause the salt balance in your body to be off, causing your eyes to retain water and swell as a result.
-Lack of sleep
-Eye fatigue
-Genetics- eye bags can be heredity and run in the family.
-Excess salt consumption-salt causes fluid retention in the tissue around the eyes, causing puffy eyes.
-Drinking too much alcohol-alcohol can cause puffy eyes as well as lack of sleep which causes fluid retention in the eyes, resulting in eye bags.
-Conjunctivitis-as well as redness, itchiness and discharge, conjunctivitis can also cause puffy eyes.
-Wearing your contacts for too long-if a contact lens is kept in for too long, this can prevent enough oxygen from reaching the eye, causing your cornea to swell up and creating puffiness. It is not recommended that you sleep in your contact lenses, unless you have been prescribed extended wear contact lenses.

How to get rid of bags under eyes

Eye with eye puffiness next to  eye without puffiness


Home remedies and changes to your lifestyle can help to reduce or eliminate puffy eyes, however, some turn to therapies, cosmetic treatments and eyelid surgery to get rid of their eye bags.


There are various anti-ageing treatments which are being promoted to reduce puffy eyes. Laser resurfacing, chemical peels and fillers all claim to eliminate sagging skin, improving tone and reducing eye bags.

Haemorrhoid Cream for Puffy Eyes

A popular home remedy is to use haemmorrhoid cream under the eyes. The hydrocortisone in the cream works as an anti-inflammatory to reduce puffy eyes, however, prolonged use of this cream will cause thinner and more delicate skin in the eye area. There’s also the risk of getting this cream in the eye, all for just a temporary reduction in eye bags. We don’t recommend using haemorrhoid cream under the eyes. You should ask your GP before using such creams. 

Alternatively, you can also buy eye creams containing hyaluronic acid with vitamin A which claim to reduce bags under eyes.


Eyelid surgery

Depending on the cause of your eye bags, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) is often a solution for eye bag removal. During this procedure, a surgeon will make an incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid or in the lower eyelid in order to remove excess fat. As well as correcting bags under the eyes, blepharoplasty can also be used to correct:

-Baggy or puffy upper eyelids
-Excess skin on the upper and lower eyelids
-Droopy lower eyelids


What is the best home remedy for eye bags?

Woman holding a tea bag against her eye


Whilst treatments, creams and medical procedures are all options for reducing or eliminating eye bags. Puffy eyes can also be reduced with effective and inexpensive home remedies. Not only will these remedies improve the appearance of bags under eyes, they will also provide you with a relaxing spa like treatment. Remedies for eye bags include:

Cold spoons

Simply put two spoons in the fridge to chill for a few minutes and then place the back of each spoon over your eyelid. The coldness will soothe the eye area and reduce swelling.


Drinking plenty of water

Staying hydrated throughout the day can do wonders to reduce bags under eyes by helping your body to flush out fluids and toxins which cause swelling.


Cucumber slices

As an alternative to chilled spoons, you can also use cucumber slices. This refreshing remedy will de-puff the eyes by restricting blood vessels with its caffeic acid. The vitamin C in a cucumber also helps to soothe the eye area.


Cold compress

Applying a cold compress to the eyes can also provide you with a therapeutic treatment for eye bags.


Tea bags

Tea bags can reduce puffiness and dark circles due to its caffeine properties which carry antioxidants. These improve the blood circulation around the eyes.
After boiling two teabags, it is recommended that you allow them to cool down or put them in the fridge before placing them over each eye to rest.



Getting enough sleep is the most natural way of reducing bags under eyes. Propping your head up on extra pillows can also aid the process of reducing puffy eyes.



Considering various lifestyle factors can prevent you from getting dark circles and eye bags in the first place. Here are some factors worth addressing:

-Reducing stress and getting enough rest-stress and lack of sleep are two common factors which go hand in hand to increase dark circles and eye bags. Healthy lifestyle habits will help to prevent discoloration and puffy eyes.
-Wearing sunglasses-protecting your eyes from the sun with UV protection sunglasses can help to reduce eye bags.
-Stop smoking and drinking alcohol-cigarettes and alcohol are known to cause puffy eyes and can accelerate the ageing process, thus increasing your chances of bags under your eyes.