What Causes Bags Under Your Eyes & How to Get Rid of Them?

What are bags under eyes?

Bags under eyes often manifest as mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes. Although it’s a common cosmetic concern, it is harmless. However, persistent and severe swelling can also be caused by serious medical conditions, such as nephrotic syndrome and superior vena cava obstruction. Under eye bags are due to inflammation that results to fluid buildup around the eyes. When the fat that supports the eyes sags into the lower eyelid, it also causes the lids to appear swollen and puffy.

Common causes of bags under eyes


Normal ageing process causes the skin and underlying tissues that support the eyelids to weaken.

Lack of sleep

Inadequate sleep causes the blood vessels under the eyes to dilate that leads to pooling of blood and retention of fluid in these areas.

Cigarette smoking and alcohol use

These cause stress, fatigue, and hormonal imbalances that can lead to fluid retention.


Some people are just more susceptible to under eye bags due to genetics.

Excessive sun exposure

Too much sun can damage collagen and elastin that maintain the firmness of the skin under the eyes.


Certain allergic reactions such as allergic rhinitis or hay fever can cause the eyes to become swollen and watery.


Lifestyle changes – A low carb and low salt diet may prevent water retention that causes mild under-eye swelling.

Cold compress – Applying cold compress near the eye works as a short-term remedy for eye puffiness. Cold temperature constricts blood vessels and prevents the flow of fluid into eye tissues.

Dermal filler injections – Cosmetic fillers such as Restylane and Juvederm can address early volume loss, which improves the appearance of the areas between the eyelids and cheeks. It is cheaper than surgery but typically lasts for a few months to a year. Soft-tissue fillers are becoming the most popular treatment for under eye bags, as there is no down time and the treatment is minimally invasive.

Blepharoplasty – This is a long-term solution for bags under the eyes. It is more expensive and requires longer downtime but it provides dramatic and long lasting results.