Can you guess, which one of these pictures shows eye bags and which picture shows under eye circles?
Eye bag is literally that – “bags” under the eyes!
Same for under eye dark circle which is also literally “darkness” under the eyes!
Many people get confused between the two. However, the treatment for each condition is quite different!
In this post, we will be taking a closer look at how to differentiate, treat and manage the two different conditions…
What causes eye bags?
The tissues around the eyes, including the muscles that support the eyelids, weakens with age. Normal fats that help support the eyes may migrate into the lower eyelids, causing “eyebags” to form under the eyes. It is a normal sign of ageing and usually occurs in older people.
In some instances, younger patients may also complain about the occurrence of “eyebags”. However, this is a misconception in most cases – younger patients are more like to have “puffy” eyes rather than eye bags (this will be discuss later). Having said that, genetic factors still play a part in the formation of eye bag and may cause it to form earlier in life.
Eye bags = skin laxity + fat herniation
Fluids may accumulate in the space below your eyes adding to the swelling.
How to treat eyebags:
It is essential for every patient to be fully assessed by a skilled doctor first before initializing any treatment. A combination of treatments may be necessary for some patients. Treatments include the following:
- Radiofrequency treatment – heats the skin to induce collagen and elastin production
- Tightening treatment – lift and tighten skin around the eye bags to make it less obvious
- Filler – elevate the surrounding skin to the level of the fat to make the texture smooth and uniform again
- Surgery – can only be performed by plastic surgeon with considerable downtime.
UNDER EYE DARK CIRCLES
What causes under eye dark circles?
The area under the eyes can look purplish or bluish because the skin there is so thin and translucent that you can easily see the underlying blood vessels. The main causes for dark circles are genetics and skin tone. Dark circles tend to be more apparent in people with fair skin and those with very little subcutaneous fat supporting the area under the lower lid. On the other hand, people with darker skin tone may produce extra pigment around the eye area, which can cause a general darkening of the skin under the eyes and on the lids.
A lack of sleep may also contribute to this by increasing venous congestion whereby fluid build-up leads to engorgement of superficial blood vessels thus making dark circles even darker!
The anatomy of your facial features may also plays a role. A prominent “tear trough” or nasojugal groove can cause shadowing and make dark circles more apparent. This trough can appear and deepen with fat loss that often comes with age and can start from age 25 years onwards.
(The black arrow shows the “tear trough” and white arrows show pigments around the under eye region)
How to treat dark circles?
Depending on what the main cause/s of the dark circles, your doctor may recommend one of or a combination of the following treatments:
- Topical retinoids – helps to increase cell turnover and thicken the skin, thus making the superficial veins less obvious
- Hyaluronic acid filler injections – to fill the “tear trough” and reduce shadows
- Laser – to remove pigments and even out skin tone
- Creams and serums with hyaluronic acids, ceramides and peptides
- Antioxidants – vitamin C, A and E
Last but not least, we will explain a little bit about “puffy eyes”. Everyone, albeit man or woman can get puffy eyes, which tend to be temporary.
The most common causes of puffy eyes are swelling due to crying for an extended period of time, and seasonal allergies. Eye puffiness may also occur due to excessive sodium or alcohol intake, which may lead to dehydration and subsequently water retention. Water retention is most apparent around the eye area as the skin there is the thinnest.
A lack of sleep may also worsen puffy eyes due to the pooling of fluids around the eye area. As a result, eye puffiness is often worst in the morning; it gradually resolves itself throughout the day as the accumulated fluid naturally drains away with help of gravity and time.
Management of the condition includes the following:
- Avoidance of allergen for those with seasonal allergies
- Prioritizing good sleep
- Drinking enough water to keep fluid moving through the veins
- Products with caffeine – causes vasoconstriction –> less puffiness
- Cooling products – can reduce inflammation and promote blood flow
- Metal roller ball
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