Can Blepharoplasty Help Eye Bags That Are Primarily Due to Allergies?

I have severe eye bags, however they do fluctuate from "worse to worser" depending on my allergies. Will blepharoplasty help bags even with "allergy eyes"?

Doctor Answers 7

Allergic Eyelids

Swelling to the eyelid from allergies can result in what we call "Allergic Shiners" which is a pooling of the venous system around the eye area.  Often patients will have a bluish color that is deep under the eyelid skin along with swelling.  

As our previous doctors have discussed, surgery repositions or removes fat  but it is difficult to determine without seeing an expert.   See an Oculoplastic or Oculofacial Surgeon who has experience with these issues.

Santa Monica Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

Cosmetic eye surgery in an allergic patient

Allergies are extremely common. First, it is important to have the allergies under control prior to making a decision for surgery. If medical management of allergies improves your stuffy nose and eye redness but the bags under your eyes remain, then consideration should be given to blepharoplasty which could remove the bags and restore a more youthful appearance. Depending on the severity, Restylane may also be an option for filling the tear troughs.

Robert L. Kraft, MD, FACS
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 39 reviews

Under eye bags due to allergies

If the bags underneath the eyelids are due to allergies, it is important to have the allergies under control with both antihistamines and cortisone nasal sprays. Allergy testing can help identify what you are allergic to. Immunotherapy is also used when needed for severe allergies. If all of the above has failed and the patient continues to have bags in the lower lids, consideration for a transconjunctival blepharoplasty can be performed to remove the fat in the lower three eyelid compartments.  

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 143 reviews

Could not agree more with Dr. Cohen!

Dear Sheets

Depending very much on exactly what your lower eyelid issues are, chemical peels have been very helpful in certain individuals to address these type of issues.  I encourage you to review my website on chemical peels and you can seen how these types of treatment have been beneficial for certain complex lower eyelid bags without cutting surgery.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

The swelling of the lower eyelids that is due to allergies does not respond to surgery.

However, the part of the fullness or lower lid "bags" that is due to fat in the lower orbit can be improved with surgery.  It is best to ask your doctor how much of the fullness he or she can improve with surgery.  It may not be 100% but it may still be worth doing.  There is nothing that makes someone look  more tired than the fullness under the eyes.


Good Luck

Dr Sikorski

Lenore Sikorski, MD
Orange County Dermatologist
4.3 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Cosmetic eyelid surgery does not help swelling.

Overall blepharoplasty is not helpful for people who have a lot of eyelid swelling.  Surgery removes (or moves) fat and skin.  It also helps fix structural problems, like a droopy eyelid.  Surgery does not alter your tendency to collect fluid.  There are some people who have excess fat under their eyes and in addition have swelling.  In those people surgery may help somewhat but when your eyelids swell they will still look more full than when they are not swollen.  It is also important to realize that if you swell easily, you are likely to have a lot of swelling following the surgery, as you heal.

If you have excessive swelling under the eyes it is worth trying to find the cause.  There are many causes but the most common cause is allergies.  Allergies can be controlled with some very good over the counter eye drops.  It is worth your time to see your eye doctor to try and get to the root of the problem.

Hope this is helpful.

Marc Cohen, MD
Philadelphia Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

For bags NOT due to allergies, yes

I would not plan on a surgery improving your allergic response.  However, If  your bags are already surgical in nature, then that baseline would likely improve with surgery.

Unfortunately the allergies tend to be a separate issue and will need to be controlled medically.  if you are not able to control those, you likely will continue to have swelling and worsening of your bags with or without surgery.

Cheers and good luck!

Vineet Mehan, MD
Washington DC Plastic Surgeon
3.4 out of 5 stars 5 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.