How To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes

Close up of wrinkled, puffy eye area

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Puffy eyes can both feel uncomfortable and make you self-conscious. Puffy bags under the eyes aren’t an uncommon occurrence, and there are ways to deal with this problem at home. In cases where the puffiness is permanent or pronounced, medical treatment options, like surgery, exist and can successfully reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.

At-Home Treatments

You can treat puffy eyes at home with the help of these remedies:

  • Allergy medicine: Allergies can cause inflammation that leads to swelling under the eyes. Taking antihistamines can help reduce the puffiness that results from allergies. 
  • Over-the-counter (OTC) creams: Some OTC creams, like those for hemorrhoids, can help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes. Be sure to patch test any creams before applying them to the sensitive area around 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 with 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 salt intake may limit swelling under the 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 sleep hygiene can help reduce puffiness on future mornings. 
  • Quitting smoking: Smoking can contribute to the formation of bags under the eyes. Stopping 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. If bags under the eyes are due to advancing age, most at-home therapies won’t significantly reverse the signs of aging. Some people are also genetically predisposed to getting bags under their eyes. Medical treatments can provide better results than in-home treatments in some instances.

Nonsurgical Treatments

Here are some non-invasive options for treating puffy eyes:

  • Dermal fillers: For this puffy eye treatment, a doctor injects fillers to create a smooth appearance between the cheek and under-eye area. 
  • Laser resurfacing: This treatment uses lasers to slough off wrinkly skin, which encourages collagen growth and results in firmer-looking skin.
  • Chemical peel: Instead of lasers, this treatment uses chemicals to remove the surface layer of skin, resulting in a firmer appearance.

Surgical Treatments

Surgery can help in cases where under-eye bags are very pronounced because of aging or genetics. The process called a blepharoplasty 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 goes away on its own, but puffiness that doesn’t go away can lead to complications. You should make an appointment right away if at-home treatments don’t work, and the swelling around your eyes isn’t going away or is getting worse. 

Similarly, if swelling is 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 it doesn’t typically affect the eyelid. Swollen eyelids may be the result of 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 are embarrassed by the appearance of puffy eyes. At-home treatments can help with temporary puffy eyes that result from allergies. Otherwise, you may want to consider medical interventions to solve your under-eye puffiness. 

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Article Sources
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