10 home remedies and treatments to get rid of puffy eyes, according to a dermatologist
- To get rid of puffy eyes at home, try applying a cold compress or sliced cucumbers to the eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Other home remedies to get rid of puffy eyes include a light massage and sleeping more.
- In-office treatments performed by a dermatologist like dermal fillers and hydrodermabrasion can also get rid of puffy eyes.
- This article was medically reviewed by Debra Jaliman, MD, a board-certified dermatologist with a private practice in New York City.
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Mild swelling or puffiness around your eyes is common, especially as you age. To treat puffy eyes, here are 10 home remedies and dermatological treatments that have been proven to reduce symptoms of inflammation.
Home remedies for puffy eyes
If your eyes are looking tired and puffy, home remedies can be a great first form of treatment.
1. Apply a cold compress
"Cold compresses can help shrink dilated vessels under the eyes, which helps to dissipate any collected fluids that lead to the appearance of puffy or
To apply a cold compress, place a cool, wet washcloth or ice pack wrapped in fabric on your eyes for about 10 to 15 minutes.
2. Try sliced cucumbers or potatoes
For centuries, cucumber has been used to remedy skin conditions. The soothing properties, like botanical antioxidants, in cucumbers can reduce inflammation and hydrate tired skin, thereby reducing under-eye puffiness.
"Cucumber slices can definitely help but here's a fun tip: So can potatoes! Potatoes stay cooler longer and have a lot of amazing vitamins and antioxidants in them to help minimize darkness and puffiness under your eyes," says Tobia.
To try this, apply thinly sliced, refrigerated cucumber or potatoes to your eyes while you recline for 10 to 15 minutes.
3. Apply an eye cream
Puffy eyes can also be the result of poor circulation under the thin skin around your eyes.
Eye creams with vitamin K and caffeine can help improve under-eye circulation, says Dendy Engleman, MD, FACMS, FAAD, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City. That's because they cause vasoconstriction — or the constriction of blood vessels — which improves blood flow and reduces puffy eyes.
4. Take allergy medication
"Allergies can contribute to undereye circles due to inflammation. Tiny blood vessels expand and push against the skin, causing the skin to look darker," says Engleman. This allergic reaction can also cause a "puffy" appearance.
If your eyes are only puffy during the spring and fall or come with other allergy symptoms such as redness or itching, it's possible that allergies are the culprit. Topical and oral allergy medication can help treat them.
5. Rethink your sleep habits
If your eyes are puffy in the morning, it could be due to a lack of sleep. When you don't get enough sleep, your hormones responsible for water-regulation can become disrupted. This can cause puffy eyes due to water retention or dehydration.
"Not getting enough sleep results in poor water balance, leading to puffy bags under your eyes," says Engleman.
To prevent puffy eyes, sleep seven to nine hours a night. You may also want to sleep on a propped pillow to keep your head above your shoulders. This may promote better circulation and fluid drainage while you snooze, thereby reducing under-eye puffiness.
6. Avoid salt and alcohol
"A diet high in salt and alcohol leads to water retention and swelling in the face. This can cause a poor water balance in the body and dehydration manifesting as puffy eyes," says Engleman.
7. Give yourself an eye massage
An eye massage can reduce puffiness under your eyes by encouraging circulation and fluid drainage, says Engleman. "I recommend starting with a 'dotting' [motion] from the inside moving outwards with your ring finger. This finger tends to not apply as much pressure to the area."
You can also massage your eyes with a jade roller or even a metal spoon. Place either in the fridge overnight and use it to gently apply pressure under your eyes in the morning. This may cool the area and constrict blood vessels.
Medical treatments for puffy eyes
If home remedies aren't giving you the results that you are looking for, you may want to consult with a dermatologist or esthetician. There are in-office services available that can treat puffy eyes.
8. Consider dermal fillers
Dermal fillers are one of the easiest and most effective dermatological treatments for puffy eyes. "Delicately placed injectable dermal filler with hyaluronic acid can transform the appearance of under-eye puffiness," says Engleman
Be sure to go to a board-certified injector who is experienced in this procedure. The effects of dermal fillers can last from three months to three years.
9. Try hydrodermabrasion
According to Tobia, hydrodermabrasion "is a really fantastic procedure" for the under-eye area. Hydrodermabrasion uses a saline solution to exfoliate and brighten the skin while encouraging collagen production — the protein that gives skin structure.
Tobia says hydrodermabrasion can treat puffy eyes by draining fluid from beneath the skin. Additionally, "the treatment itself is an underrated stress reliever." Since stress can affect other lifestyle factors, like your diet and how much sleep you get, stress-busting treatments can be a secret weapon against puffy eye symptoms.
10. Ask about laser resurfacing
Laser resurfacing for occasional under-eye puffiness isn't usually the first line of treatment. But if your under-eye puffiness is caused by excess skin due to aging, it could be an option.
"For patients that have excess skin around their eyes, we can perform fractionated skin resurfacing, or FRAXEL," says Engleman. This type of resurfacing procedure stimulates your body's natural collagen rebuilding process without injuring healthy tissue.
Puffy skin under the eyes, especially when you first wake up, are not out of the ordinary. Home remedies can often get rid of them, but you might also want to consider medical treatments performed by a dermatologist or esthetician.
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