Non-surgical Treatment for Undereye Bags?

Is there a non-surgical way to treat bags under the eyes? I'm getting to the age where they are starting to become noticeable (I'm 41), so is there any drug or process to eliminate them at least temporarily? I'm really not interested in surgery, but I also don't want to waste my time.

Doctor Answers (23)

There is No Effective Non Surgical Treatment for Under Eye Bags


Thank you for your important question.

Puffiness of or Bags Under Eyes is a structural problem caused by excess or herniation of eyelid fat bulging against the eyelid skin.

This fat must be repositioned and or removed to remove the puffiness or bag.

Do not believe ads that say a cream or laser treatment will remove puffiness or eye bags-they will not.

Fat injection and Filler injection such as Restylane can camouflage the problem but injections into the eyelid can be dangerous and should only be done by an expert who is familiar with this technique

Boston Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Restylane is an excellent filler for minimizing under eye bags


Restylane is a great product for injecting under the eyes, in the "tear troughs". Filling this area reduces the appearance of the under-eye bags by providing a smooth transition between the lower eyelids and the cheeks. The skin in this area is very thin and therefore this procedure should only be performed by expert injectors. The advantage of Restylane is that in the event of a lump or irregularity, the product can be dissolved. A recent scientific paper demonstrated that the product can last up to 2 years in this area.

I utilize a number of other fillers in my practice (e.g. Juvederm, Radiesse, Perlane, Sculptra, fat transfer) for other areas of the face, but I would only recommend Restylane under the eyes. For patients open to the idea of surgery, a lower blepharoplasty with fat repositioning is also an excellent option. 


Dr. Mehta

Umang Mehta, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Lower eyelid bags


There is no good cream or non-surgical treatment for lower eyelid bags. If you, however, have a hollow appearance under your eyes, you may be a candidate for an injectable such as Juvederm, which can temporarily fill in the area and soften the look of the "bags". If, however, there are actual "bags" under your eyes, then only surgery will help at removing some of the excess skin and/or removing/repositioning the excess fat deposits.

Please consult a board certified plastic surgeon prior to scheduling a lower eyelid procedure.

William Bruno, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 150 reviews

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Restylane might help


At 41, you might have early tear troughs making it look like you have buldging fat bags above them. It may be that rather than needing fat removed or repositioned, you could mask the tear trough very effectively with Restylane. I have had many patients with this and they have great non-surgical results that last a year or longer.

Richard P. Rand, MD, FACS
Seattle Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 49 reviews

Non-surgical treatment for under eye bags

The first thing I'd say is beware of absolutes. For someone to say that there is no other option, or this is the only option, etc. is based on preference more than facts, and I would disagree with the statement that there are no nonsurgical options for lower eyelid bags.

Now I am a surgeon, I like doing surgery, and there are definitely times where it is the best option, but it is not the only option if it is something that you are vehemently trying to avoid.

Fillers can be an excellent option to address under eye bags, and there are even new types of clear skin tape/under eyes stickers that are aimed at reducing the appearance of under eye bags. Most nonsurgical options are going to just camouflage or try to disguise the under eye bags, but sometimes this may be all you want or all you need.

Those camouflaging options are often something that needs to be repeated, from daily to every few months.
To find the best option for you, seek out a dermatologic surgeon, oculoplastic surgeon, facial plastic surgeon or plastic surgeon who is board certified and fellowship trained in one of these "core four" cosmetic specialties.

Cameron Chesnut, MD, FAAD
Spokane Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Treatment of bags under the eyes

Lower eyelid "bags" are usually caused by fat that is normally positioned under the eyes bulging forward against the lower eyelid skin.  This causes the appearance of creases and bags under the eyes.  In general, the treatment for eye bags is surgical:  the bulging fat is removed or repositioned to create a smooth, youthful appearance of the lower lids.  Additional procedures such as removing excess skin, tightening the muscles that close the eyes and tightening the eyelid itself are often done at the same time as well.  However, in some people a nice improvement to the bulging and creases under the eyes can be achieved with injectable fillers such as Juvederm.  Juvederm injections can be done with just topical anesthetic, and there is virtually no down time.  It should be noted that most fillers only provide temporary improvement that lasts one year or less. It would be best to have a consultation with a board certified Plastic Surgeon in your area to discuss your options. 

Laurence Weider, MD
Dallas Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 64 reviews

Nonsurgical Lower Eyelid Options


Most commonly, bags refer to bulging or puffiness immediately under the lower eyelashes. This is orbital fat that has nothing to do with weight gain or weight loss but exists to cushion the eyeball. It is held back by a membrane but as we age, or because of genetics, the membrane can weaken and the fat starts to push forward. If that's all that is present, an incision can be made on the inside of the lower eyelid and the fat can be removed. This is called a transconjunctival blepharoplasty. Alternatively, if under the age of 40, using a filler such as Belotero around the bag can camouflage it's appearance and works very well.

Bags are usually associated with a shadow or hollowing just below the bag. The shadowing or hollowing below the 'bag' occurs because of a different type of fat pad. There is fat on the bone below the 'bag' and that recedes as we age. The shadow occurs because you have some fat receding and the fat cushioning the eyeball starts to move forward which creates a shadow below it. Some people refer to this shadowing as their hollow, dark circle, or tear trough. Again, this hollowing can be filled to decrease the fat lost in this area. This can be performed with fillers such as Belotero, Perlane, or Voluma, fat injection, or using a tear trough implant. It can also be filled by reusing some of the fat that is removed from the 'bags' at the time of a blepharoplasty, and placed into the tear trough region as a fat transplant or transposition.

Mike Majmundar, MD
Atlanta Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 27 reviews

Non-surgical Treatment for Undereye Bags?

In smaller amounts of puffiness a nonsurgical option is filler injection - Juviderm or sometimes Voluma.  This is done in the area where the lower lid meets the cheek.  We call this the "tear trough".  A plastic surgeon skilled in injecting this area is needed since the skin is very thin and the product needs to be placed in exactly the correct location for optimal results.

Susan D. Vasko, MD, FACS
Columbus Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Non surgical treatment of lower eyelid bags / "tired appearance"

Dear Eva,

I often treat lower eyelid bags with a filler treatment using a microcannula to give smoother contour to the lower eyelids and "mask" the bags.  This has allowed many of my patients to be able to hold off on lower eyelid surgery.  Be sure that only a microcannula is used when having this procedure done to minimize the risk of complications that can occur when injecting fillers around the eye.  

Kian Karimi, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 29 reviews

Lower lid puffiness eye bags

A transconjunctival Lower eye lid surgery or blepharoplasty is permanent way of removing the bags without any scarring.  It costs around $2500.  Fillers such as Restylane can be used to "hide" the bags depending on overall presentation.  This could cost around $450

Afshin Farzadmehr, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.