The swollen bags under the eyes


Contrary to the name, the so-called eye bags are not a tear reservoir that swells up due to too much or too little crying. In a healthy state, the actual tear sac cannot be seen from the outside and runs in a bone canal to the side of the nose.

The tears that rinse the eye are collected here and conducted further into the nose, which is why your "nose rushes" when you cry. The swelling, popularly known as bags under the eyes, is either a short-term swelling of the eyelids or a permanent slackening of the skin and the underlying tissue.

The reasons

The predisposition for this swelling of the bags under the eyes is genetic and sagging eyelids can show up very early. For most people, however, this change does not develop until old age and is then also differently pronounced individually.

Connective tissue-damaging influences such as lots of sun or frequent eyelid swelling can promote the development of bags under the eyes, but they are still not clear evidence of an unhealthy lifestyle.

What's the best way to get rid of them?

Bags under the eyes are primarily a cosmetic problem for those affected. There are various options for removing or reducing them.

One possibility are creams that are supposed to reduce swelling and are also effective against wrinkles. Various products with different active ingredients are available on the market for this purpose. Usually these are the body's own active ingredients, such as Hyaluronic acid or urea, which are concentrated and can be applied superficially to the skin. They supply the skin with sufficient moisture and smooth the complexion.

Home remedies are another alternative for reducing eye bags. Numerous funds are suitable for this, which can be acquired inexpensively. For example, you can put cool cucumber slices on your eyes or apply a quark mixture. The contained active ingredients give the skin the necessary fluid. You can also put cool tea bags, preferably black or green tea bags, on your eyes. The tannins reduce the swelling.

In addition, general measures such as getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet and drinking enough water should be considered. Stress should also be avoided, as it has a negative effect on the regeneration of the body. In addition, massaging the skin under the eye is recommended, as the lymph drainage is stimulated and the swelling is reduced. If you want, you can also use oil (e.g. sesame oil). The oil supplies the sensitive skin with moisture and cares for it at the same time. Alternatively, the lymphatic drainage can also be carried out by a dermatologist or beautician.

If the options mentioned have not led to the desired goal and the bags under the eyes are even increasing, an operation can be considered. For this, the slack connective tissue is removed and the skin is tightened. Although the results are mostly satisfactory, one should be aware that every operation involves risks and that removing bags under the eyes is more of a cosmetic problem.

Find out all about the topic here: What to do against bags under the eyes?

The creams

There are numerous creams on the market that promise to reduce eye puffiness. Some of them contain very different active ingredients and some of these ingredients are combined. The application of these creams is intended on the one hand to supply the skin with moisture and on the other hand to strengthen the connective tissue.
The active ingredients that are most commonly used are the following:

  • Hyaluronic acid is a molecule that is made by the body itself. It can bind water molecules and thus store them. It moisturizes the skin and makes it elastic
  • Urea is also an endogenous molecule that supplies the skin with moisture
  • Vitamin A gives the skin vitality and protects the cells from oxidation
  • Q10 is a coenzyme in the body, which also protects the body from oxidation; it promotes cell renewal and strengthens the connective tissue
  • Collagen is a protein that is bundled in strands (so-called collagen fibrils). It makes up about 60% of our connective tissue. However, this protein is too large to penetrate the skin barrier. The main purpose of the collagen in creams is to provide moisture.

Before you decide to buy a cream, however, you should read through the associated experience reports. There are also creams available that do not show the promised effect. Alternatively, you can visit a dermatologist and get advice from him. Based on his experience, he will be able to prescribe the right cream for you.

Also read the article: Anti-aging on the skin.

The home remedies

There are many home remedies available that have a decongestant effect and at the same time provide the skin with moisture.

A well-known remedy are cucumber slices. They provide the skin with moisture. However, the effect doesn't last very long. You can also use a quark mask. This also supplies the skin with moisture and leads to a reduction in swelling due to the cooling effect. For a longer-term effect, the use of hyaluronic acid is recommended. Hyaluronic acid is an endogenous molecule that can bind a large number of water molecules. The hyaluronic acid is absorbed into the skin and leads to a "cushioning". This effect leads to an optical smoothing. Another alternative is the use of aloe vera. Aloe vera has been used as a medicinal plant for centuries and has numerous active ingredients. It gives the skin vitality and promotes the production of collagen. It also works as a natural anti-aging agent.

The skin under the eye can be massaged to stimulate lymph drainage. For this you can use a nourishing oil (e.g. sesame oil) to provide the skin with additional moisture. Special rollers made of natural stone are also available for the massage. These rollers train the facial muscles, help the removal of toxins and give the skin vitality.

Another alternative to minimize swelling are tea bags. You can let them go and put them on your eyes. You can find more information on this topic in the next section.

In addition, substances that damage connective tissue should be avoided. These include alcohol, nicotine, and excessive coffee consumption. Too little sleep and too much stress also have a negative effect. A healthy, low-salt diet and a sufficient amount of water are recommended.

How do I eat healthy? Find out more about this here.

The tea bags as a home remedy

Tea bags can reduce the swelling under the eyes. Black and green tea bags are particularly suitable for this. The tea contains tannins as an active ingredient, which constrict blood vessels. In addition, there are antioxidants that protect the cells from aging and even stimulate cell renewal.

For use, the tea bag should steep for a few minutes and then be cooled. Then you can put it on your eyes for about 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can dip cotton pads in the chilled tea and dab your eyes with it.

The laser treatment

Laser treatment is a relatively new method for removing bags under the eyes. It is a minimally invasive procedure, that is, a very gentle procedure. It is recommended for use with mild forms of bags under the eyes.

The treatment is carried out by a plastic surgeon. This uses a laser that removes the excess skin and the associated fatty tissue. The operating principle here is based on evaporation of the skin through the intensity of the light rays. This stimulates the body's collagen production and new, vital cells replace the old ones.
The laser treatment is carried out on an outpatient basis, i.e. you can go home the same day.

The advantage of this treatment is that there are no scars and the risks are lower, as with an operation. A disadvantage, however, is the lack of knowledge about long-term success, as this procedure is relatively new.

The operation

The surgical correction is carried out depending on the stage of the bags under the eyes. If it is weak, the correction is made from the inside of the eyelid and scarring is prevented. If it is more pronounced, the operation is carried out from the outside (below the lash line).

An incision is made to remove the slack tissue, and the excess skin and the associated fatty tissue are removed. The skin is then tightened. In the case of the surgical route from the outside, a slight scar remains that is hardly noticeable and can also easily be covered with make-up.

The operation of bags under the eyes is almost always a cosmetic operation and is not financed by health insurance.

The operational risks

It should be noted that after the operation, the previous fat pad that was lying over the blood vessels is removed. For this reason, the veins may appear bluish, which can intensify the dark circles.

Special risks associated with the surgical removal of the bags under the eyes are infections, healing disorders, scarring, and bleeding with bruises. In addition, temporary sensory disturbances in the operated area can occur.

In addition, when tightening the lower eyelid, there is an increased risk of distortion of the eyelid margin (ectropion) due to the increased tension. In rare cases, this can lead to insufficient eyelid closure. This can lead to dehydration of the cornea, which in the absence or inadequate treatment can lead to corneal opacity and the associated blindness. Follow-up examinations by the doctor and self-observation by the patient are therefore necessary.

The cost of the different removal methods

Using home remedies to remove bags under your eyes is quite inexpensive. It can vary depending on which means you buy. For example, a pack of green tea costs around 2 euros, while a bottle of hyaluronic acid gel costs around 25 euros.

If you decide to surgically remove the bags under the eyes, costs of around 2000-3500 euros can be expected. The costs are not covered by the health insurance company, as this is a cosmetic procedure. Before the operation, it is advisable to make an appointment in the practice in order to receive a cost estimate, as the costs of an operation vary from practice to practice.

Laser treatment is cheaper than surgery, but it has to be done more often. Here, too, it is advisable to seek advice beforehand.

The swollen bags under the eyes after sleeping

Especially in the morning after getting up, the eyes look puffy. The bags under the eyes may protrude and give the face a tired look. The causes for this are manifold. The flat position when lying down makes lymph drainage difficult. As a result, the lymph fluid can collect under the lids. A sleepless night also has a negative effect on lymph drainage and leads to swelling. Since the skin under the lids is very fine, a build-up of fluid in this area is particularly noticeable.

If you have consumed a lot of salt the night before, the bags under the eyes may also be swollen. Salt changes the osmolarity of the vessels and can lead to water retention. Alcohol can also lead to the same symptoms. If you often have puffy eyes and want to get rid of them, a balanced diet that is low in salt is recommended.

In women, water retention is also caused by hormones. This is more noticeable during menstruation. In addition to these factors, heredity and age naturally also play a role. With increasing age, the connective tissue becomes weaker and "gives way".

To reduce the swollen bags under the eyes, you can cool the lower eyelid with a cold object. This causes the blood vessels to contract and the swelling to decrease. You can also use some of the home remedies mentioned earlier.

Swollen bags under the eyes in the child

The immune defense in children is not fully developed. For this reason, children get sick more often than adults. There are various clinical pictures that can cause puffy eyes. One of the reasons for this is that the skin of the eyes is particularly sensitive and reacts quickly to irritation.

Possible diseases can be conjunctivitis or a stye. A stye describes an inflammation of a sebum gland in the eye. The body's inflammatory response causes swelling. But an allergy can also trigger these symptoms. If your child often suffers from puffy eyes and also sneezes / coughs and itchy rashes appear on the skin, you should consult a doctor who should examine your child more closely.
Another common cause of puffy bags under the eyes in a child is a blocked tear duct. The liquid can no longer drain and builds up. If there is no improvement and the swelling even increases, you should consult an ophthalmologist. This can loosen the blockage with a small intervention.

In addition to these diseases, crying can also lead to swelling of the bags under the eyes. Crying leads to an increase in pressure in the tissue. As a result, the fluid is pressed from the cells into the interstitium (connective tissue space). After the child stops crying, the swelling will go away quite quickly.

Read more about the topic here: The blocked tear duct.

The swollen bags under the eyes with a cold

A cold manifests itself through symptoms such as fever, cough, headache and fatigue. But it can also lead to swelling of the eyelids or the bags under the eyes. The common cold causes nasal congestion. The tear duct is compressed and the tear fluid can no longer be transported properly. The fluid builds up and the tear sac protrudes.

Since the common cold occurs mainly in the winter months, the cold air can irritate the delicate skin of the eyelids. This inflammatory reaction can make the swelling even worse.

To improve the drainage of tear fluid, the area below the inner corner of the eye can be massaged. Salt water sprays can also be used on the nose. This dissolves the secretion and the nose becomes freer. The tear duct is no longer compressed and the fluid can drain away.

Puffy bags under the eyes and watery eyes

Eye bags and puffy eyes can be caused by a blockage in the tear duct. In this case, the liquid can no longer drain and builds up. Clogging of the tear duct can occur as part of a cold.

Furthermore, inflammation of the eye can cause these symptoms. Most often this occurs in the context of conjunctivitis or corneal inflammation. The inflammatory response also causes the surrounding tissue to swell and the eyes to become irritated, causing them to begin to water. Usually these symptoms subside after successful treatment.