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Today in Health & Wellness

Dark Circles and Under Eye Bags

Risk Factors
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
Treatment and Management
Home Remedies
Doctors to Consult

Common Name/Other Name

Periorbital dark circles, puffy eyes, raccoon eyes

Under eye bags are mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes that are common as we age. Dark circles appear when the tissues under the eyes, including some muscles that support the eyelids weakens, causing shadow beneath the eye due to the looseness of skin. The puffiness of eye bags appears when the normal fat that helps support the eyes move under the lower eyelids, and the swelling appears as fluids accumulate the space below the eyes.

  • Dark circles under the eyes
  • Mild swelling
  • Puffiness
  • Loose or saggy skin
Risk Factors
  • Lack of sleep and unhealthy diet
  • Hereditary
  • Aging
  • Dry skin
  • Nasal congestion due to allergies
  • Diseases such as anemia, hay fever, asthma
  • Tired or strained eyes from prolonged crying, working too long in front of a computer or watching too much television.
Commonly Prescribed Drugs
  • If nasal congestion is the primary cause of having eye bags or dark circles, treat allergies with antihistamine drugs (chlorphenamine, phenylephrine, loratadine, diphenhydramine, cetirizine, levocetirizine). Side effects: Drowsiness, headache, nausea, vomiting, gastrointestinal disturbances. Drug interactions: Alcohol, central nervous system depressants, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs).

  • Vitamins and minerals help promote blood circulation and give necessary nutrients to help relieve eye puffiness and minimize fatigue that can lead to dark circles and eye bags.
Treatment and Management
  • Get plenty of eye rest and adequate sleep of at least 7-9 hours at night.
  • Eat a healthy and balanced diet, drink lots of water, and take vitamins and minerals which may help prevent dark circles and eye bags. Reduce salt intake in food to prevent blood circulation impairment.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking causes blood vessel problems and dry skin.
  • Minimize alcohol intake as it leads to skin dehydration. Drink lots of water after consuming alcohol before going to sleep.
  • Remove makeup and wash face before going to sleep to remove toxins from outside and keep face and eyes refresh.
  • Avoid rough rubbing of eyes as it can cause redness which makes dark circles darker and cause dry skin.

Health Tips

  • Use cosmetic products with sun protection and sunscreen or sunblock lotions/creams and apply them around the eyes.
Home Remedies
  • Cucumber has mild astringent and skin lightening properties that give a soothing and refreshing effect. Chill some thick slices in the refrigerator for 30 mins, then apply on the eyes. Leave them for 10-15 mins and rinse after. This can be done twice per week or more.
  • Tomato juice and lemon juice can be used by mixing 1 teaspoon of each and gently apply on the dark circles. Allow the mixture to sit for 10 mins, then rinse after. This remedy can be done twice a day for few weeks. Both tomato and lemon juices can be used separately, however, if lemon juice causes a burning sensation on the skin, discontinue its use.
  • Tea leaves from tea bags contain caffeine, tannins, and antioxidants that are highly beneficial for dark circles. They help remove puffiness and dark circles by shrinking blood vessels and reducing fluid retention. Chill some tea bags in the refrigerator for 30 mins and place the chilled bags over the eyes. Let them sit for 10-15 mins then rinse after.
  • Metal spoons can also help relief puffiness and swelling. Dip two spoons in cold water for few minutes, and place the bowl part of the spoon over the eyelid for 1 min. These give a cooling effect on the eyes to relieve tired eyes.
  • Eye creams containing vitamin K and retinol help whiten dark circles and give nourishment around the eyes.
Doctors to Consult
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