The 411 on Under-Eye Bags

One look at the statistics and content of social media shows us how important images and sharing are to our society—how many of the recent posts on your Facebook feed are either “selfies” or photos of your friends and family at events or outings? We’re constantly snapping photos to share our lives with those we love, and a common side-effect of this is that we’ve become more aware of our appearance. When signs of aging begin to creep in, we notice them quickly and start looking for solutions. The eyes are often one of the first areas of our face to show aging, so we’re delving into the information you need to know about one of the most common concerns of facial aging: bags under the eyes.

What causes bags under the eyes?
facelift-in-atlanta-gaOne of the primary causes of under-eye bags is—you guessed it—the natural aging process. As occurs with many areas of the body, the skin, muscle, and other tissue around the eye weakens. Fat deposits that were once held back by this tissue now move forward, creating a visible puffiness beneath the skin.

While these under-eye bags make us look tired and older, they’re not just caused by age. Fluid accumulations can also create the same look, so for younger patients, puffiness under the eyes can be the result of excess salt consumption, dehydration, or even changes in the weather.

Whether the culprit is fluid accumulation or natural aging, heredity is often to blame as well, making some people more susceptible to this condition than others. Allergies can even have an impact on under-eye bags, as can a lack of high-quality sleep.

How can I treat bags under the eyes?
If the puffiness under your eyes is caused by fluid accumulations, lifestyle changes may be able to reduce your symptoms. Start drinking the recommended amount of water for your size and activity level. Keep track of your sodium intake and take steps to cut it down if necessary—your physician can help you determine what your daily sodium limit should be depending on your health considerations. Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, and try to sleep with your head slightly elevated to minimize fluid buildup.

For most patients, however, cosmetic intervention is needed to ease bulges beneath the eyes. The most effective way to address this concern is often through a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty. This outpatient procedure can be performed using an incision along the lower lash line to remove or redistribute fat deposits, tighten delicate muscles, and remove excess skin. Or, if only fat deposits need to be removed, the incision can be made inside the lower eyelid. This is called a transconjunctival incision, and it eliminates the risk of visible scars.

Lower blepharoplasty can also be combined with other procedures for optimal results, like laser skin resurfacing, which can minimize wrinkles and reduce the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. On the other hand, some patients prefer a non-surgical solution that produces less-permanent results than the results of blepharoplasty. For these patients, dermal fillers may be used to add volume to nearby areas of the face, disguising the appearance of under-eye puffiness.

Unlike age spots and some other signs of aging, bags under the eyes can be difficult or impossible to camouflage with makeup, so this symptom can have a harsh effect on a patient’s self-image. Fortunately we offer a number of surgical and non-surgical options to help you combat those under-eye bags and embrace your most confident and beautiful self. To learn more about your aesthetic options, explore our website, schedule a consultation, or join us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.