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Eye Bags Treatment

Under eye bags are often associated with dark circles. Simple treatments include skin tightening & dermal fillers. If one addresses the cause/s of the pathology, the results are predictable. Skin laxity can be treated with lasers & energy devices. Eye creams offer marginal benefits.

Eye Bags Treatment at a Glance

Best Results: 1-2 Sessions

Treatment Recovery: Fast

Procedure Time: 10-45 minutes

Skin Specialist: Guidance from clinician

Duration of Results: Variable

Anesthetic: Numbing

Back to Work: Immediately

Eye Bags Treatment
The Facts to Know
  • Prominent under eye bags are common concerns seen in young adults

  • Eye bags are often genetic, many patients have a family history

  • These are more commonly encountered inethnic patients

  • Eye bags worsen over time due to volume loss & laxity

  • Treatment with dermal fillers provide the best outcomes

  • Some cases of fat herniation are treated surgically

What causes eye bags?

There are many causes of eye bags including genetics modified by chronological ageing. In most cases there is a family history of eye bags, or an ethnic prevalence (Indians, Sri Lankans, Middle Eastern).

There is an age related decline of collagen starting the mid 20s, hence weakening of the supporting tissue surrounding the eyes. The space below your eyes can also accumulate fluid, hence contributing to the appearance of puffy eyes. Other contributing factors include:

  • Fluid retention including salty foods.

  • Lack of sleep

  • Allergies

  • Skin irritation- atopic dermatitis, eczema, contact dermatitis

  • Smoking & poor circulation

  • Age related volume loss surrounding the eye area

  • Strong under eye muscles (orbicularis oculi hypertrophy)

How can dermal fillers treat eye bags?

Hyaluronic acid fillers can improve eye bags by hiding them. Fillers are not placed in the bags, but in the surrounding tissue. They work by volume replacement. Think of under eye bags as mounds. Fillers hide the surrounding valleys, reducing the appearance of mounds.

Ideally I fill in 2 sessions as fillers can take up water over time. The first session addresses volumetric changes of the surrounding area. The second session (2-12 weeks later), addresses shadows & contours. The volume I use range from 1.5 to 3.5 ml, depending on the clinical features.

How can dermal fillers cause eye bags?

Dermal fillers can improve eye bags, however if placed incorrectly they can actually cause eye bags. This can be associated with Tyndall (blue colour) due to superficial placement, or with filler migration.

Hyaluronic acid has the potential to hold over 1,000 times its weight in water. Hence if a filler has a concentration of 15 mg/ml & if one ml was injected, HAs can hold 15,000mg or 15 grams of water, essentially 3 teaspoons of water. Imagine that under your eye. Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that can dissolve filler, most people will require 2 or more sessions in this area.

Can fat transfer help?

Yes, fat transfer can be effective in some. I prefer to use dermal fillers over nanofat. Why? Because fillers achieve predictable results with more finesse in this area. I do employ fat transfer for larger volume deficits such as atrophic scars.

Can dark circles & under eye bags be related?

Dark circles are often associated with prominent eye bags. Often there are many contributing factors including contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, constitutional pigmentation, anatomical tear troughs, prominent muscles of the orbit & volume loss of the mid-medial cheek. For effective eye rejuvenation one must master surgical, lasers & injectable treatments.

The treatment algorithm for managing dark circles is extremely complex. A targeted approach is best, depending on the underlying pathology. I employ pico, nano & fractional lasers, dermal fillers, neurotoxin, topicals & energy devices according to the pathology.

How can lasers help?

Lasers can help improve eye bags by reducing skin laxity. In some cases, loose skin & resultant eye bags are secondary to collagen loss. Lasers can help rejuvenate & replenish loss collagen. Most cases do well with simple fractional lasers. Fully ablative laser resurfacing is indicated for patients with marked laxity, sun damage or wrinkles.

What are other ways to tighten eyelid skin?

Eyelid skin can be tightened by other methods including HIFU & RF treatments. I prefer RF for eye bags over HIFU.

Do eye creams work, & what should I look for?

Creams have a marginal effect on eyebags. They are useful to treat eye bags secondary to skin irritation. Simple white soft paraffin can be helpful if your skin is inflamed. Other ingredients to consider include-

  • Caffeine: can modulate blood flow & reduce congestion.

  • Vitamin K: can reduce the appearance of eye bags.

  • Hyaluronic acid: can provide dermal support & moisture.

  • Peptides: can help build up collagen

  • Argan: is anti-inflammatory & anti-aging.

  • Retinol: can increase collagen & elastin.

  • Arbutin: can reduce dark circles.

  • Citric acid: is a gentle AHA used around the eyes.

  • Ascorbic Acid: can provide brighter skin, reducing dark circles.

  • Licorice extracts: can reduce pigmentation around the eyes.

High-end eye creams include TNS Eye Cream by SkinMedica.

What home remedies can be useful to treat eyebags?

Here are some DIY helpful hints to reduce eyebags. Try this before seeing me!

  • Cut out all skincare products that may contribute to skin irritation. Commence on liquid paraffin eye ointment nightly.

  • Use cool compresses, a clean towelette is more convenient than keeping cucumber slices.

  • Reduce salt intake, reduce the amount of fluid intake before bedtime.

  • Don’t smoke, poor circulation is one of the contributing factors for eyebags.

  • Get enough sleep, try to sleep with your head slightly elevated.

  • Reduce allergy symptoms that may cause you to rub your eyes. Consult your pharmacist for antihistamines. Failing that see an allergy specialist, or medical dermatologist.

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