By The Mayo Clinic
Bags under eyes are mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes. They’re common as you age and the tissues around your eyes weaken, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids. Fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing them to appear puffy. Fluid may also accumulate below your eyes. Bags under eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and rarely a sign of a serious condition. At-home remedies, such as cool compresses, can help improve their appearance. For persistent or bothersome under-eye puffiness, eyelid surgery may be an option.
- Symptoms of bags under eyes can include:
- Mild swelling
- Saggy or loose skin
- Dark circles
When to see a doctor
You may not like the way they look, but bags under eyes are usually harmless and don’t require medical care. See your health care provider if the condition causes vision problems, irritation or headaches or is accompanied by skin rash. Your health care provider will want to rule out other possible causes that can contribute to the swelling, such as thyroid disease, infection, connective tissue disease or an allergy. You may be referred to a health care provider who specializes in the eyes (ophthalmologist), plastic surgery or plastic surgery of the eyes (oculoplastic surgeon).
Bags under eyes are caused when the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that’s usually around the eye can move into the area below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can gather fluid, making the area look puffy or swollen. Several factors cause or worsen this effect, including:
- Fluid retention, especially upon waking or after a salty meal
- Lack of sleep
- Genetics — under-eye bags can run in families
- Medical conditions, such as dermatitis, dermatomyositis, renal disease and thyroid eye disease