How To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes

Puffy eyes can feel uncomfortable and make you self-conscious. Puffy bags under the eyes aren’t uncommon, and there are ways to deal with this problem at home. In cases where the puffiness is lasting or very noticeable, a treatment option like surgery can often successfully reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.

at home treatments for puffy eyes

Verywell / Laura Porter

At-Home Treatments

Depending on the cause, you can sometimes treat puffy eyes at home with these remedies:

  • Allergy medicine: Allergies can cause inflammation that leads to swelling under the eyes. Taking antihistamines can help reduce your allergy symptoms, including eye puffiness. 
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) creams: Some OTC creams, like those used to treat hemorrhoids, can help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes. Be sure to patch test any creams before applying them to the sensitive skin area around your eyes. Don't place creams in your eyes and make sure that creams do not accidentally get into your eyes.
  • Cold compress: Cool temperatures can help reduce inflammation that leads to under eyelid swelling and puffiness. 
  • Teabags: Tea that contains caffeine may help reduce eye puffiness. Chill them before putting them over your eyes for improved effectiveness. 

You can also make some lifestyle changes to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.

Some strategies include:

  • Reducing your salt intake: Puffiness can develop due to a diet high in salt, so limiting your salt intake may help reduce some of the swelling under your eyes.
  • Getting adequate sleep: You may notice your eyes are puffier on mornings when you’ve been up late or had a rough time getting to sleep. Improving your sleep hygiene can help prevent eye puffiness. 
  • Quitting smoking: Smoking can contribute to the formation and appearance of bags under the eyes. Smoking cessation can prevent the bags from worsening.
  • Changing sleep positions: Elevating your head may help prevent fluid build-up that leads to puffy eyes.

Medical Treatments

Sometimes, at-home treatments aren’t enough to get rid of puffy eyes. For example, if you are developing bags under your eyes due to advancing age, most at-home therapies won’t significantly reverse this sign of aging. And some people are genetically predisposed to getting bags under their eyes. Medical treatments can provide better results than in-home treatments in these instances.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Some interventions used for treatment of puffy eyes include:

  • Dermal fillers: Your doctor would inject fillers to create a smooth appearance between your cheek and your under-eye area. 
  • Laser resurfacing: Lasers are used to slough off wrinkly skin, which encourages collagen growth and results in firmer-looking skin.
  • Chemical peel: Your doctor would use chemicals to remove the surface layer of your skin, resulting in a firmer appearance.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery can help in cases when the under-eye bags are very pronounced because of aging or genetics. A blepharoplasty procedure involves lifting the under-eye area and redistributing fat to tighten the skin.

When to See a Doctor

Sometimes, puffiness can be the result of an underlying condition, such as thyroid disease. If you’re not sure why you’re suffering from puffy eyes, it’s best to talk to a doctor.

Some conditions that may cause under-eye swelling and puffiness include:

Most eye swelling that's associated with a medical condition goes away on its own after the condition is treated. But puffiness that doesn’t go away can be a sign of worsening problems or complications. You should make an appointment to see your doctor right away if at-home treatments don’t work, or if the swelling around your eyes is getting worse. 

And if you have eye swelling as the result of a traumatic injury, seek medical attention right away. Not sure if your symptoms are serious?

Here are some signs it’s time to see a doctor:

  • You have pain in or around your eyes
  • You’re having vision troubles
  • It feels like there’s something in your eye

Puffy Eyes vs. Swollen Eyelids

Puffiness around the eyes refers to under-eye swelling. With puffy eyes, the area under the eyes becomes swollen, but the eyelid is not involved. Swollen eyelids may be the result of a serious issue, such as an infection. One or both eyelids may be affected.

A Word From Verywell

Puffiness isn’t usually anything to worry about, but, paired with congestion, it can cause discomfort. Some people can become distressed by the appearance of puffy eyes. At-home treatments can help with puffy eyes that are associated with sinus allergies. If the appearance is bothering you, you may want to consider medical interventions to solve your under-eye puffiness. 

And remember—if you have any eye pain or changes in vision, it could be caused by a more serious condition, and you should see your doctor promptly.

Was this page helpful?
Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. John Hopkins Medicine. How to get rid of bags under your eyes

  2. Herman AP. Caffeine’s mechanism of action and its cosmetic useSkin Pharmacology and Physiology. 2013;26(1):8-14. doi:10.1159/000343174

  3. Boyd K. Bags under the eyes. American Academy of Ophthalmology. November 29, 2018. 

  4. Cleveland Clinic. Puffy eyes: What causes them and what to do about it. April 1, 2019.