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What Causes Under-Eye Bags?

“I love my under-eye bags!” said no one ever. Baggy under-eyes add years to your appearance or cause those around you to ask why you’re so tired. If you’re like many people, though, you may think that under-eye bags develop simply due to a lack of sleep and you may believe that it’s difficult to eliminate or even minimize them.

The truth is that eye bags can form for one of a variety of reasons; sometimes, it can be a combination of factors. Determining the cause is crucial to getting the ideal treatment as there isn’t a one-size-fits-all method.

Acclaimed Los Angeles oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Mehryar “Ray” Taban and the staff at TabanMD are specialists in finding the cause(s) of under-eye bags and then crafting a customized treatment plan that can make a difference in your appearance. Dr. Taban will discuss the best way to address your condition based on the causes as well as on your aesthetic goals, overall health, and more.

Who Gets Under-Eye Bags?

Although eye bags can develop in 20-something women and men, they are more common in people who are middle-aged and older.

While sagging under-eyes don’t normally cause pain or affect your vision, regardless of the cause, eye bags are a nuisance because of how they affect your appearance. So, let’s examine the most common causes of eye bags.

Causes of Under-Eye Bags

A variety of factors contribute to the development of eye bags – sometimes, it’s a combination of factors.

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This is a major factor in many noticeable eye bags, which are often accompanied by dark circles, as well.

Facial fat loss

Also referred to as hollowing, aging can cause you to lose cheek fat, which has a hollowing effect on your eyes, exposing lower eyelid fat that appears to bulge noticeably.

Changes in skin pigmentation

Sometimes, the skin around your eyes appears to be darker, such as from inflammation or allergies. This increased pigment production creates the appearance of dark patches that can exacerbate the eye bags.

Thin eyelid skin

If the eyelid skin is thin, either due to aging or genetics, the blood vessels and muscles in the eyelid can become visible, which darkens the area under the eyes and makes eye bags more noticeable.

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Bulging eyelid fat

In some patients, the fat pads around the eyes can protrude forward, which creates the distinctive and unwanted puffiness that characterize under-eye bags.

The shadow effect

The shadow effect is common in people who have deep-set eyes or prominent eyebrow bones. It can also happen when overhead light is cast over any loose skin or eyelid fat.

Other causes (often temporary)

  • Allergies
  • Not enough sleep
  • Dermatitis with redness and itching
  • Rapid weight loss that causes volume loss in your cheeks
  • Fluid retention due to:
  • Hormones
  • Salty foods
  • Weather changes (heat and humidity)
  • Overindulgence in skin care products
  • Retinol, glycolic acid, and salicylic acid are great for your complexion, but applying too much or rubbing it too close to your sensitive eyes can lead to irritation
  • Shampoos, conditioners, and facial cleansers
  • Hypoallergenic products can minimize this risk

What Can Be Done to Prevent Saggy Under-Eyes?

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Once you consult with Dr. Taban in Beverly Hills to determine the causes of your under-eye bags, you can actually take preventative measures to address the condition yourself before having to undergo treatment.

  • Get enough sleep (at least 7 hours a night)
  • Keep your body hydrated with plenty of liquids
  • Reduce sodium intake and eating processed foods
  • Apply cold compresses, a gel eye-mask, or even chilled green tea bags or a bag of frozen peas/vegetables to soothe your eyes and reduce the under-eye bags

Learn more about under eye circles on

Treatment Options for Under-Eye Bags

Dr. Taban provides a variety of treatment options to address eye bags but the treatment for your case might not be the same as for someone else’s under-eye bags, as each case is different and each patient’s cause is unique.

A type of eyelid surgery known as a lower blepharoplasty is a common option, but for people looking for less invasive options, this may not work.

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In such cases, other treatments might be more effective, such as laser resurfacing, filler injections (e.g., Restylane), and topical creams. Again, there is no one solution for all cases of under-eye bags.

For example, to treat eye bags due to facial fat loss, effective options include facial fillers, an eyelid lift, or concealers. For eye bags due to skin pigmentation changes, topical creams or laser therapy can deliver great results.

Here are other options for specific cases of under-eye bags due to:

Bulging eyelid fat: fillers, an eyelid lift or concealers
Thin eyelid skin: laser therapy, an eyelid lift or concealers
The shadow effect: fillers, an eyelid lift, laser therapy or concealers

Do You Have Baggy Under-Eyes? Contact TabanMD Today to Find Out Why and How to Treat Them

Dr. Taban and his staff in Los Angeles would be happy to have a consultation with you to determine the causes of your under-eye bags and the best treatment options for you. Contact us today!

Next, read Got Sunken Eyes or Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Facial Eye Fillers Could Be the Answer