How to Treat Bags under the Eyes – options for Eyelid Surgery
Dark circles are a common aesthetic problem that affects both men and women. These dark circles, also known as infraorbital hyperpigmentation, can give you a tired, dull, and older than you are appearance. This can affect facial aesthetics and even impact the way you are perceived by others.
People with dark circles are more likely to be presumed tired and fatigued. This becomes an even bigger issue when dark circles are combined with bags under the eyes, which is skin sagginess that gives a hollow appearance. Dark circles with bags under the eyes are a major cosmetic concern as they could be difficult to completely conceal with makeup and their presence alters facial perception and beauty.
Dr Mark Gittos is one of the top plastic surgeons in UK for facial surgery. He has profound knowledge of face anatomy and is highly skilled in performing many different procedures.
Download Mr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Facial Rejuvenation Surgery – Surgical and Non-Surgical Anti-Ageing
What Causes Dark Circles?
Fatigue, stress, and tiredness, in general, are the main reasons for the development of dark circles but it is important to note that it is a multifactorial condition meaning that more than one factor can contribute to the development of dark circles. Some of the common causes for dark circle formation, apart from stress and fatigue include:
- Genetics: for some people, the formation of dark under eye circles is associated with their genetic and inherited traits more than it is with their personal factors. Some hereditary medical conditions can make the affected person highly vulnerable to dark circles
- UV exposure: spending too much time in the sun is associated with the stimulation of melanocytes to produce melanin, the hormone responsible for skin pigmentation. This hyperpigmentation is more likely to occur around the eyes with overexposure to the sun
- Dehydration: not drinking enough water can affect the proper functioning of all the organs in the body. The skin often appears mottled with dehydration but the effects of dehydration appear exaggerated on the skin under the lower eyelid. The eyes can appear quite sunken in and dark because as the water content decreases, the skin overlying the orbital cavity sinks in
- Eye Strain: putting extra pressure on the eyes in the form of increased screen time can result in increased blood supply to the eyes. This increase in blood supply is facilitated by the dilation or enlargement of the blood vessels surrounding the eyes, which results in the darkening of the overlying skin
- Allergies: allergic reactions are modulated by histamine which is a vasodilator. The dilation of the vessels around the eye result in the darkening of the skin, and the formation of dark circles
All of the reasons mentioned above can result in the formation of dark circles but the exact mechanism involved in the development of dark circles is not known. Some important factors like the anatomy of the skin, deep facial anatomy, and soft tissues are believed to play an important role in the formation of these dark circles. These also determine if the dark circles are going to be temporary or a persistent feature of the face.
What Causes Bags Under the Eyes?
There is a multitude of reasons why these eye bags develop and while the ageing of the skin is the most common reason in young adults and middle-aged people, there are several other reasons for eye bags in young people. Some of the common reasons for the development of eye bags are:
- Allergies: some allergies can make your eyes look puffy and give the appearance of eye bags but the good news is that this is temporary. Once your allergies are under control, the puffiness of the eye and the eye bags will disappear
- Lack of sleep: this is the most common reason people of all ages have eye bags because the skin is just not as refreshed and sprightly as it should be. However, it is important to note that while this is a common cause, it is also a temporary cause. Getting a good night’s sleep will completely get rid of these eye bags
- High salt diet: the eye bags that result from this are the least of our concerns as a high salt diet that puffs up your skin is extremely detrimental to your overall health. It is highly recommended to reduce the salt intake and that should help improve your health and the appearance of the eyes
- Health Complications: certain complications of health such as thyroid hormone imbalance can cause the eyes to bulge out and even create eye bags. Starting medication and successfully managing to treat the underlying medical condition is more than enough for the treatment of eye bags as well
- Genetics: if you have eye bags and you notice that your parents also have eye bags then it might just be genetics playing a trick on you. Eye bags due to genetics will not go away with any home remedies or medications. For these, you will need to undergo a surgical procedure otherwise known as blepharoplasty
- Ageing: as one ages, the skin loses its collagen and elastin content, which results in saggy skin. As the skin begins to sag, the first areas affected by this are the delicate areas like the skin around the eyes and neck. This kind of eye bags can only be treated with surgery. And the earlier the better so the skin doesn’t become too stretched
There are many other reasons why eye bags develop but each reason has its own treatment. If you have become self-conscious about your eye bags, regardless of the cause, it is best to consult a plastic surgeon to find a solution.
How to Treat Bags Under the Eyes and Dark Circles?
The ultimate treatment for eye bags and dark circles is a lower eyelid surgery also known as lower blepharoplasty. However, there are some other non surgical treatments that can be effective:
Non-Surgical Treatment for Dark Circles & Bags under the eyes
Bags under the eyes are saggy skin that is caused by the skin losing its elasticity. They are significantly more difficult to treat without surgery when compared to dark circles, because once the skin has lost its collagen and elastin content, it is hard to reverse the damage already done. With topical agents, you will be able to prevent the progression of sagginess, but a blepharoplasty procedure will be required to correct skin sagginess.
Topical agents are one of the best ways to reduce the appearance of dark circles. There are several topical agents available in the market and choosing the right one is crucial for the treatment of dark circles.
The ideal topical cream or lotion should contain one of the following ingredients that brighten the skin and improve the skin composition by enhancing the self-repair features of the skin. Moreover, these ingredients are good at rejuvenating the skin from the inside, refreshing and rehydrating the skin. Another important feature of these ingredients is that they tighten the skin and reduce the prominence of bags under the eyes.
- Caffeine: this ingredient improves the microcirculation of the skin and shrinks the blood vessels surrounding the eyes which results in the brightening of the under-eye region
- Niacinamide: this is another name for vitamin B3 and this specific ingredient works wonders on dark circles by increasing the collagen production in the skin and reducing skin inflammation. Improving the skin structure results in the reduction of dark circles
- Vitamin C: it has a great antioxidant property that helps eradicate free radicals, the presence of which can be detrimental to the structure and pigmentation of the skin
- Vitamin K: this vitamin not only brightens the under eye region due to its effect on the blood vessels but also repairs the skin from the inside, allowing it to heal and look bright
- Retinol: it is a derivative of vitamin A that is a magical ingredient in the cosmetic industry. Retinol allows the sloughing off of pigmented skin by promoting skin cell regeneration which results in a bright and younger-looking under-eye region
- Hyaluronic Acid: this ingredient is another famous ingredient in dermatology that rejuvenates and nourishes the skin from the inside, allowing it to look brighter and tighter than before
Medical treatment of dark circles includes at-home and professional chemical peels, laser treatments, and tissue fillers; all of which try and improve blood circulation and the deep anatomy of the skin to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Chemical peels are a great way to reduce the hyperpigmentation of the skin, regardless of the cause. However, utmost care should be taken when doing an at-home chemical peel. If unsure of how to do one properly, it is best to get it done professionally.
Laser treatment of the skin refers to laser surgery which aims to resurface, tighten and whiten the facial skin. The procedure should be performed by a professional to ensure that no unnecessary complications arise. Another form of medical treatment for dark circles includes dermal fillers.
Download Mr Mark Gittos’ Guide to Eyelid Lift Surgery – Blepharoplasty
Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that is performed with the purpose of removing excess skin and fat deposits from the upper or the lower eyelid. The procedure will reposition the fat deposits around the lower eyelid to give it more of a plump and rejuvenated appearance. The hollow eye look can be significantly improved with a lower blepharoplasty.
The procedure is excellent for permanent treatment of bags under the eyes and under-eye wrinkles. After the procedure, however, it is highly recommended to take care of the under-eye region with the topical agents mentioned above.
FAQs about Bags under the Eyes and Dark Circles
How do you get rid of dark circles and bags under your eyes?
- There are many ways to get rid of dark circles and bags under your eyes, ranging from home remedies and topical agents to surgery. Depending on the extent of the symptoms, you can choose to treat them with either of the options. However, only surgery provides long lasting solutions for dark circles and bags under the eyes. Combining surgery and topical agents is the best treatment options to fully treat and prevent dark circles and bags under the eyes.
Why do I have bags under the eyes and dark circles?
- There are many reasons you have dark circles and bags under the eyes. It could be purely because of the skin losing its structural integrity due to ageing, or it could be the effect of stress and pollution on your skin. Taking care of your skin, along with your diet and sleep, is crucial to preventing the development of bags under the eyes and dark circles.
Are bags under the eyes and dark circles the same?
- Bags under the eyes and dark circles are not the same but the presence of one can exaggerate the appearance of the other. They are often seen together and treated with similar topical agents but they are not the same. Bags under the eyes are basically saggy skin folds under the eye and dark circles refer to the hyperpigmentation of these bags under the eyes and the under-eye region.
What deficiency causes dark circles?
- Not eating a balanced diet results in deficiency of Vitamin B12, E, K, and D, which in turn causes hyperpigmentation of the under-eye region and the appearance of dark circles. Failing to get a good night’s sleep can also result in dark circles, although, they are more likely to resolve when proper sleep is maintained.
Can eye bags go away?
- Bags under the eyes can go away permanently with the help of lower blepharoplasty, a surgical procedure. Apart from surgery, most methods are not going to be able to provide the significant relief most people desire.
Read More about Blepharoplasty Surgery with Dr Gittos
- Five Biggest Mistakes Surgeons Make with Eyelid Surgery
- Cosmetic Surgery for Men UK
- Cosmetic Surgery Recovery Tips
- Eyelid Lift Before and After Photos UK
Medical References about Dark Circles, Under Eye Bags and Blepharoplasty
- Bags under eyes – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic
- Eyelid Surgery | American Society of Plastic Surgeons
- Blepharoplasty: An Overview – PMC – NCBI
About Mr Mark Gittos FRACS (Plast) – London Plastic Surgeons
Practice locations in London & Essex, UK and Auckland, New Zealand.
With world-wide expertise Mr Gittos is an expert in breast, face and body surgery for men & women.
Mr Mark Gittos is a leading Specialist Plastic Surgeon and operates a practice in London UK and Auckland New Zealand. His practice focuses on both surgical and non-surgical procedures, each designed to help restore, improve or change a physical characteristic or problem. The first step in every case is to talk through your personal requirements and explore all the options, before deciding on the most effective solution.
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