What causes swelling under the eyes – Cosmetology, plastic surgery and diets

What causes swelling under the eyes

Bags around the eyes not only worsen the appearance, but also signal an imbalance in the body. Symptomatic treatment may give a temporary result. Search and elimination of their causes will allow us to maintain youthful skin, health and well-being for many years.

What is edema

Swelling under the eyes is a protrusion of the skin of the lower eyelid, which is at least a cosmetic defect, and can also be a symptom of various diseases. The skin of the eyelids is radically different from the skin on the face:

swollen eyelids

Photo: swollen eyes

  • it practically does not have a layer of subcutaneous fat;
  • it has less collagen and elastin fibers, which provide the skin with elasticity and the ability to resist stretching;
  • it is located “on weight”, as in the eye socket there is no support for soft tissues;
  • the skin around the eyes is thinner and constantly involved in the movement of the eyelids when blinking and squinting;
  • on the skin of the eyelids there is an additional load of the periorbital adipose tissue protruding from the inside of the orbit, which is located around the eyeball;
  • in the skin of the eyelids, a large number of vessels pass, which form a branched network, in the region of the inner corner of the eye, the vessels of the face are connected with the vessels in the cranial cavity;
  • lymph outflow from the soft tissues of the eyelids goes to the parotid and submandibular lymph nodes, that is, in several ways at once, which should be taken into account when carrying out a number of cosmetic procedures aimed at improving lymph flow and blood circulation in the eye area.

Reasons for the appearance

Swelling may occur with:

  • accumulation of fluid in the skin of the eyelids;
  • with an increase in the volume of periorbital tissue, when the adipose tissue begins to bulge and protrude the skin of the eyelid forward;
  • with injuries of the soft tissues of the forehead and nose due to the accumulation of blood in the skin of the eyelids from the damaged vessels of the overlying areas.

When is it just a cosmetic defect

Accumulation of fluid in the skin of the eyelids:

  1. Long visual load on the eyes when driving, reading, working in the light of fluorescent lamps, and especially when working at the computer for a long time without interruptions for resting the eyes. In this case, there is a constant tension of the muscles located around the eye. This worsens the blood flow in the vasculature of the eyelids, the liquid part of the blood leaves the blood vessels and impregnates the skin, causing visible swelling of the tissues and further disrupts the blood flow in the vessels. This forms a vicious circle when edema of the eyelids supports itself.
  2. As a result of improper skin care in the eye area, when aggressive cleansers are used, heavy greasy creams that are not intended for eyelid care, dense textured creams, corrective products, powders and a base for make-up that are not intended to be applied to the skin around eye.
  3. If the mucous membrane of the eyes is irritated with aggressive substances (smoke or caustic solution) or if a foreign body enters the eye.

Increased fatty tissue in the orbit:

  • The hereditary feature of the excessive development of fatty tissue of the eye, when from an early age there is persistent swelling of the eyelids, which does not change under the influence of external and internal factors. As a rule, this feature is observed from a young age and at least one of the parents.
  • Edema of fatty tissue with excessive use of fluid, salty foods, overwork. These are the most severe swelling under the eyes that many saw in the morning after a sleepless night or party.
  • After crying, less often laughing with tears, especially closer to going to bed. This is due to the fact that during crying there is a rush of blood to the lacrimal gland.
  • The appearance of protrusions of periorbital fatty tissue with age. The appearance of these protrusions is associated with age-related resorption of bone tissue at the corners of the orbit, from which the orbit becomes larger, and support for soft tissues around the eyes decreases.
  • Also, the appearance of protrusions with age is associated with a loss of tissue elasticity and sagging skin and the transverse ligament of the orbit, which can no longer hold adipose tissue in the orbit.
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With the transition of edema and migration of spilled blood from overlying areas:

red eyelids from an insect bite

Photo: redness on the eye from an insect bite

  1. When an insect bites (especially bees and wasps), edema develops in the scalp and forehead at the site of the bite, which, under the influence of gravity, descends into the region of the skin of the eyelids. Swelling goes away on its own after some time without treatment . Such edema is often one-sided and is located closer to the site of the bite.
  2. Edema and bruising under the eyes can occur when hitting the head, forehead, nose, when inflammatory fluid and blood collects in the skin of the eyelids from damaged vessels of overlying soft tissues. Such swelling can be one-sided if damage to the tissues of the overlying area is located further from the midline. It can be bilateral with extensive lesion and intense bleeding, or if the injury was applied closer to the center of the head or forehead.
  3. Swelling in the eyelids can occur as a result of overstretching of the skin of the eyelids and its loss of elasticity at a fairly young age with constant improper application of cosmetics, the habit of rubbing eyes, after severe swelling. This is due to the small number of collagen and elastin fibers, which are easily damaged by stretching and injuring the skin.

In what cases this may indicate a disease

swollen gdaza

Photo: bags under the eyes

If there is swelling under the eyes, the cause is not always an excess of fluid or lack of sleep. Quite often, swelling under the eyes is a symptom of the disease, sometimes the only symptom:

  1. Allergic edema appears in response to an allergen entering the mucous membrane of the eyes. Such edema develops quickly enough when in contact with an allergen and passes just as quickly if the irritating factor is eliminated or an anti-allergic drug is taken. Such edema is often accompanied by itching or sore eyes, redness of the eyes, lacrimation, sneezing, nasal congestion and profuse mucous discharge from the nose.
  2. With inflammation in adjacent anatomical structures. Most often, they are accompanied by other symptoms characteristic of a particular disease.
  3. Unilateral edema under the right eye is associated with inflammation in the sinuses of the nose on the right, respectively, under the left eye – on the left.
  4. Inflammation of the teeth and tissues of the upper jaw surrounding the root of the tooth.
  5. Inflammation of the conjunctiva of the eye, lacrimal gland, periorbital tissue and facial nerve.

As a result of violations of the outflow of venous blood and lymph:

  • The introduction of Botox can disrupt lymph flow from the eye area.
  • Persistent edema under the left eye can develop if there is a violation of the venous outflow from the face and head or a pinched nerve when developing a vertebral hernia on the left, under the right eye, respectively, on the right.

With diseases of the internal organs:

  • Cardiac edema under the eyes often develops in the late afternoon, often combined with swelling on the legs, occurs when taking diuretics, following a special diet designed for patients with diseases of the cardiovascular system, after selecting an effective treatment regimen for heart disease. With the progression of heart disease, edema under the eyes, on the face and legs can become almost constant.
  • In the morning, bags under the eyes more often indicate problems with the kidneys, which do not have time to remove all excess fluid and salt from the body.
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Necessary analyzes

If you suspect that this is a symptom of any disease, then an examination is necessary.

girl looks in the mirror

Photo: reddened eyelids

First of all, you need to contact a therapist to exclude diseases of internal organs.

For this, the therapist prescribes a general urine test, a general blood test, a biochemical blood test, a cardiogram and a fluorographic study.

This allows the doctor to determine how well the internal organs work and whether the existing diseases can be the causes.

An allergist in the presence of complaints of puffiness of the eyelids prescribes allergy tests to establish the presence or absence of an allergic reaction to certain allergens. An ophthalmologist examines the condition of the eyeball and the surrounding soft tissues.

Red eyes

Photo: redness and swelling under the eyes

The radiologist or a CT scan makes a conclusion about the condition of the teeth and the presence or absence of diseases of the upper jaw teeth of an inflammatory nature.

An ENT doctor, using a radiograph of the facial section of the skull, makes a conclusion about the condition of the sinuses.

A neurologist, when examined, by an x-ray and tomogram, assesses the anatomical structure of the spine, looking for possible problems with the conduct of nerve impulses along nerve fibers in the face and neck.


Depending on the identification of the causes, treatment tactics are also chosen.

If swelling under the eyes is a symptom of the disease, then the disease must be eliminated, otherwise all efforts to eliminate swelling of the eyelids will be either useless, or the effect of local procedures will be short-lived. The treatment of the underlying disease is best done by the doctor.

If this is caused by a cosmetic defect, then new behavioral habits will help to eliminate them:

  1. It is necessary to take care of optimal lighting in the room where you are. During the day, it is best to work in natural light or combine it with artificial.
  2. With prolonged eye strain when working at a computer, you must definitely take breaks to relax your eyes, during which it is best to meditate, look through the window or do some other exercises.
  3. It is imperative to cleanse the skin of the eyelids and faces of decorative cosmetics at night with specially selected cosmetics, after washing use a tonic and a light cream for the skin around the eyes.
  4. In no case should you rub your eyes. It is best to remove mascara with cotton buds, putting half of a cotton pad on the lower eyelid. You can apply the cream with light swiveling movements of the fingers of the ring finger (it is the weakest of the fingers and softer than the other fingers affects the skin). You can scratch your eyelids, but you need to do this lightly, trying not to move the skin at the same time.
  5. It is better not to apply concealer on the eyelids, it is better to replace the powder with light beige or cream shades that do not have such a pronounced drying effect.
  6. In the evenings, do not lean on salty foods, drink plenty of water or drink alcoholic beverages.
  7. Adequate night sleep and a properly selected pillow that will not provoke a spasm of the neck muscles are beneficial for the condition of the skin of the face and around the eyes.
  8. The intake of B vitamins, multivitamin complexes can improve the condition and appearance of the skin, which can significantly reduce the swelling of the eyelids.

Persistent swelling of the eyelids, which develops with age, can be eliminated in the early stages by injections of hyaluronic acid, and in advanced cases, by plastic surgery methods.

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What to do if your child has swelling?

eye redness

Photo: redness of the eyes in a child

In children, the causes of swelling of the eyelids are similar to those in adults. This may be an innate structural feature of periorbital fatty tissue. Then the swelling is constant and its severity is almost unchanged. This may be the result of crying, fatigue in violation of falling asleep, after sleeping in an uncomfortable position, especially if the head was below the body. Such edema passes independently and does not require treatment.

If they appeared suddenly and combined with a violation of the general condition, constant crying and poor health, then you need to contact a pediatrician and undergo the necessary examination.

How to quickly remove puffiness?

The easiest and most effective way is to relax, rest, get enough sleep, establish a drinking regime and choose the right care for the skin around the eyes. At least temporarily, it is better to give up smoking and drinking alcohol. You can visit a beautician or use home remedies.

Cosmetic creams and masks

Currently, special products for the skin around the eyes have appeared that allow you to get rid of edema.

cosmetic cream under the eyes

Photo: applying the cream on the eyelids

If you need a quick effect, then most often use eye creams with caffeine and a special masking effect. Often, such products come in packaging with a roller or vibrator for additional eyelid massage when applying the product.

If eyelid swelling is observed periodically, you can choose horse chestnut cream, which improves venous outflow, collagen, elastin and hyaluronic acid, which provide deep hydration of the skin and increase its elasticity, vitamin K, which further reduces the severity of dark circles around the eyes.

Cosmetic creams and serums with extracts of chamomile, sage, and calendula are well removed with constant use of edema.

Masks with a cooling effect or the use of melted ice cubes on a cream can reduce eyelid swelling.

Folk remedies against edema under the eyes

frozen parsley

Photo: cubes of frozen parsley

Our great-grandmothers always knew how to remove swelling under the eyes with natural and effective means. For this, we used tools that are now available to each of us.

The easiest and most effective way to instantly get rid of swelling of the eyelids is to wipe them with a cube of frozen parsley juice.

Similarly, finely grated parsley roots can be frozen. They can also be applied to the skin of the eyelids in the form of a mask. In the form of a mask, you can use gruel from mint leaves or lemon balm.

In the form of lotions, infusions and decoctions of such medicinal plants as chamomile, field horsetail, linden flowers, arnica, sage and a succession are effective. Often used in the form of compresses tea bags with green or black tea, cucumber juice or cucumber mask.


Massage and self-massage of the face can become a lifesaver for those who periodically have eye swelling, how to get rid of which is unclear.

massage under the eyes

Photo: facial massage

You can apply any options. The only condition is the optimal lymph drainage and venous blood outflow.

Here it is worth recalling such a feature of the outflow of lymph from the eye area as the presence of several outflow paths. To obtain a stable and quick result, it is necessary to work out all of them.

Self-massage should start with a small amount of stroking and kneading medium intensity, gradually increasing the time and intensity of exposure.

It is most effective to conduct self-massage sessions 2-3 times a week in courses of 10 sessions. You can spend 3-4 courses a year . Strengthen the effect of massage exercises for the muscles of the face, which can relieve spasms and constant tension of individual muscle groups and improve blood circulation in the soft tissues of the face. All this together creates optimal conditions for the outflow of excess fluid from the skin of the eyelids and face.

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