Eye Care

How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes

You’re here because you’re concerned with under-eye bags or even puffiness.

Great, because you have come to the right place if you want to know how to treat what’s going on south of your lashes.

So join us, to get the full scoop on how to get rid of your under-eye bags.

How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes

Why do we get bags under our eyes?

Scroll through the gods of Google, and you often hear the word “bags” used interchangeably with “puffy eyes,” but eye bags are markedly different from puffiness – or dark circles, for that matter.

Puffy eyes are the result of temporary swelling that is often caused by seasonal allergies. Puffiness can also arise if you’ve had too much salt or alcohol, which can leave your skin dehydrated – this leads to water retention, which in turn, leads to swelling in the face.

Under-eye bags are caused by structural puffiness; a combination of fat herniation and skin laxity. Vascular and lymph structures can become inflamed, and as a result, they begin to leak fluid into and accumulate in the under-eye area. Deposits of fat accumulating over time can also cause bags.

Regardless of how they’re caused, we understand that they’re not ideal, and knowing the cause is necessary for finding a treatment that works:

Causes of your under-eye bags

Fat Pads: Because the skin is thin around the eyes, excess fat deposits can create a bulging effect. Basically, the ligaments that support the fat pads under your eyes weaken, which causes fat to slip and bulge forward, creating the appearance of under-eye bags.
The Answer? The only way to really reduce these is through cosmetic procedures, which we discuss below.

Wear and Tear: If you’re serious about learning how to get rid of bags under the eyes, then you should know that years of rubbing, removing makeup, and wiping your eyes can make it worse. When the skin stretches, the contours around our eyes drop and become loose, and the pouch of fat under our eyes starts to balloon.
The Answer? As discussed below, you may want to consider surgery. Avoid touching and pulling the delicate skin around this area.

Lifestyle: Alcohol, smoking, and high salt intake can cause water retention around your eyes.
The Answer? Think about leading a healthier lifestyle; stop smoking, minimise your sodium intake, get adequate sleep, and reduce alcohol consumption. Eating anti-inflammatory foods rich in omega fatty acids will help keep your skin supple.

Sun Damage: This is possibly the most ageing problem around the eyes, where the skin is thinner than anywhere else on the face. UV rays break down our internal scaffolding – collagen and elastin – which leads to fluid accumulating in the area.
The Answer? Wear good shades and use a sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or above.

Medical conditions: Sinus congestion, kidney problems, a sluggish lymphatic system, liver disease, or thyroid disorders can all lead to bags under the eyes.
The Answer? Each of these problems need to be addressed individually, so ideally, you need to seek medical attention or see a dermatologist, who will help you get to the root of the problem.

Ageing: The hardest form of under-eye bags is, of course, outside of our control. “As we age, we lose fat on the orbital rim, and some of us develop a herniation, creating a bulge followed by a trough.” Not only does this cause undereye puffiness that never seems to go away, but the shadow made by that bulge can also contribute to the look of dark circles.
The Answer? In this instance, the surgical procedure, as discussed below, is usually the treatment of choice.

Sleep: Lack of sleep makes eye bags worse because of the pooling of fluid in the area. As a result, puffiness is often worse in the morning and resolves itself by the afternoon as the accumulated fluid drains with gravity and time.
The Answer? Sleeping with your head slightly elevated will prevent fluid from collecting in the tissues around your eyes.

Surgical treatment – what are my options?

The reality is that there is no quick fix when it comes to knowing how to get rid of bags under the eyes; this condition is ultimately only correctable through the following procedures:

Fillers: These may help raise the skin to counteract sagginess, they elevate the surrounding skin to the level of the fat, to make the texture smooth and uniform again.

Radiofrequency: This treatment is another alternative to tighten and smooth the area. The procedure heats the skin to induce collagen and elastin formation.

Eye-lift surgery: The only real way to get rid of genetic eye bags? Don’t freak out – the answer is surgery, but it’s a relatively easy one: an in-office procedure that removes periorbital fat that creates a bulge. The fat is removed or sometimes repositioned, and your eye shape won’t change. The really best part? There are no incisions on the skin and no stitches. The procedure is fairly straightforward and usually done as an outpatient procedure.

Haemorrhoid Cream?

A question we are often asked is, does haemorrhoid cream work? Well, yes and no. Put it this way – if it is immediate results you want, then yes.

Haemorrhoid creams contain benzocaine, an active ingredient that causes blood vessels to contract, which reduces puffiness.

As an aesthetician, I find haemorrhoid creams too dehydrating, so whilst you may be temporarily shrinking your eye bags, long-term you are causing more fine lines and irritation. I have also found that many of my clients develop an allergy to benzocaine, making eye problems worse.


It is pretty eye-opening – wink, wink – to learn the differences between bags and puffy eyes, since so many of us think we have them.

Under-eye bags can develop as a result of sun damage, lack of sleep, and ageing. The vascular structures can become inflamed, and as a result, they leak fluid into and accumulate under the eye.

Deposits of fat accumulating can also cause bags over time – regardless of their cause, they are difficult to treat topically, which is why we recommend using surgery as discussed above.

14 replies on “How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes”

In under eye surgery some Doctors go in behind the eye and therefore there are no stitches. Some Doctors cut under the eye and there are stitches. Which do you recommend and is there any other benefit to either type of operating under eyes?

I’m a 70 year old man developing bags under my eyes. They are soft and pliable so I am assuming more fluid than fat. Can the fluid be removed with a needle as opposed to being removed by incision.

I have horrible bags sitting on my cheek bones under my eyes–it’s hereditary. Insurance will cover the top, but not the bottom. I am considering sucking it out myself! No creams or oils have worked and I hate them!

Hello Samantha, I have been reading your web page about skin and hydration etc. Great info! I make my own products at home and use just about every ingredient you mentioned for combination skin.
I just wanted to point out though, that the ingredient in haemorrhoid creams that constricts blood vessels is actually adrenalin. In Australia the product Rectinol used to include the ingredient until they reformulated it a few years ago as it is difficult to keep it stable. Benzocaine is a numbing ingredient, which blocks nerve endings. I still get the odd girl coming into the pharmacy and asking for haemorrhoid cream for dark circles and bags under their eyes after a long night out and I have to explain the ingredients to them.
Cheers Terry

Hi Terry
Great that you are formulating yourself and that you enjoyed my articles. I actually did not know that the ingredient was adrenalin really? Is it called Benzocaine Terry? Can you point me in the direction of this information please? Regards Samantha

My bags are not directly around my eyeball. They are located on top of my cheek bones. Is there help if it is hereditary?

The bags under my eyes are worse when I have allergic reactions like dust mites. I find that if I use a nasal saline spray there is a noticeably difference as my sinus drain a bit.

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