Tired Eyes - How Do I Get Rid of Them?

I have puffy eyes with dark circles under them, and everyone always says I look tired. What can I do?

Doctor Answers 24

Under-eye puffiness and dark circles are quite a common...

Under-eye puffiness and dark circles are quite a common problem especially associated with lack of sleep and dehydration. There are steps which can help this problem starting with a cooling eye mask which soothes puffiness.

Applying chilled cucumber slices can be quite calming to swollen, puffy eyes. The cool temperature and astringent effect can help to constrict the skin blood vessels and capillaries lessening puffiness and dark circles caused by dilated blood vessels.


Black tea bags (with caffeine) contain tannins which can be helpful for puffy eyes while the caffeine constricts dilated capillaries diminishing the dark circles.
Green tea is also quite helpful as it contains anti-inflammatory polyphenols.
Chamomile tea is another excellent soothing compress for puffy eyes since it contains bisabol.
Tea bags are preferable to cotton pads soaked in tea since they are far more concentrated in tannins. They should be freshly steeped for five minutes and then added to ice water for five to ten minutes to cool them down.

Raw potato slices are used by many and can provide relief to puffy eyes. Since potatoes oxidize and turn brown very quickly after being sliced and exposed to air, keep the potato slices in water right away and refrigerate them overnight.

Manhattan Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Reducing Puffy and Tired Eyes with Skincare

The quality of your skin will determine the appearance of your lower eyelids. Most commonly, the lower eyelids appear tired because of the following two criteria:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Loss of collagen

The first important step in reducing the appearance of tiredness in the lower eyelids is to address these two factors with effective medical based skin treatments. In doing so, the pigmentation of the lower eyelids improves, thereby reducing the dark skin and hallow eye areas. Second, prescription based topical eye creams improve the resiliency of the skin by promoting the production of linear collagen and elastin.

Surgical treatment is not the first stage in improving the lower eyelids. If surgery is indicated, it should complement radiant, glowing skin.

Raffy Karamanoukian, MD, FACS
Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 93 reviews

Tired, puffy eyes are easy to treat

Blepharoplasty surgery creates such a remarkable rejuvination of the face by eliminating the bulging fat & the excess skin. There are basically 2 approaches to removal of fat: transcutaneous & transconjunctival. The advantage to the transcutaneous incision is that the scar is placed at the lash line so it is barely perceptible, and the excess skin can be removed to flatten the lid and restore youthful eyes. I have found that the wrinkles are best addressed with skin removal, even in very young patients.

Kimberley Lloyd O'Sullivan, MD
Pawtucket Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Dark circles and puffiness

There are many causes and many treatments for dark circles, depending exactly what produces them.

If puffiness is caused by excess fat, this can be reduced by a transconjunctival blepharoplasty.

If dark circles are the result of hollowness, volume can be replaced temporarily with hyaluronic acid filler or more permanently with fat or LiveFill (nontraumatized fascial fat grafts).

If hollowness is the result of cheek descent and volume loss, various cheeklift procedures are available, with or without volume restoration or fat preservation.

The same is true if loose skin is present on the lower eyelids. If properly supported with midface elevation and canthal support, the skin of the lower eyelid can be tightened to reduce the crepiness. Also some laser resurfacing or fractional laser resurfacing may help.

Pigmentation is very difficult to treat but may benefit from laser treatments or possibly pigment lightening gels.

A few consultaitons with board certified plastic surgeons should sort out which, if any, would be the most beneficial.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 134 reviews

The most common questions my patients are concerned...

The most common questions my patients are concerned about are their tired look, and sometimes that tired look to the patients is their upper eyelids and sometimes it can be in the lower eyelids. They often seek eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) to reduce the under-eye puffiness and skin hooding of their eyes.

During the blepharoplasty consultation we talk about removal of primarily excess skin on the upper lids and primarily fat or bags under the lower lids. That's the blepharoplasty goal: to clean up and freshen up both the upper and lower lids.

William Portuese, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

Tired Eyes-Get Rid of Eye Bags and Dark Circles

Thank you for your question. The most common causes of tired eyes are:

  • Dark Circles Under Eyes
  • Puffy Lower Eyelids
  • Eye Bags
  • Hooding of the Upper Eyelids

Modern Eyelid Plastic Surgery is safe and effective. The general name for correction of tired looking eyes is the term Blepharoplasty. Today lower eyelid aging is most commonly treated with a procedure called Transconjunctival Blepharoplasty. This procedure is done on the inside of the eyelid so that there is no visible scar and eyelid shape is not changed.

Removal of dark circles under the eye requires an additional strep called the arcus marginalis release and fat grafting. Read more in the link below.

I use the laser to do this type of surgery. In my experience there is less bruising and bleeding using the laser

Get Rid of Puffy Eyes that Causes Tired Appearance

Puffiness under the eyes and dark circles are issues I deal with every day. There are many causes for both these conditions. Typically, puffy eyes which don't change regardless of amount of sleep or management of allergies and sinus problems are usually due to "lower eyelid fat prolapse".

This means that the fat pockets normally around the eyes have bulged forward and don't improve. This usually requires a procedure called lower eyelid blepharoplasty. The details of the procedure should be discussed with a qualified Cosmetic Surgeon as there are a few different ways to do this procedure. Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by allergies, genetics, sun exposure and even smoking.

Proper skin examination is necessary to determine the best plan. Options for treatment can include topical creams, chemical peels and lasers. In my practice, when dark circles are caused by sun damage, I use the Mixto SX microfractional CO2 laser with very nice results. Before choosing a procedure, a proper diagnosis needs to be made.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.3 out of 5 stars 59 reviews

How to fix puffy, tired lower eyelids

What you describe is one of the most common complaints in facial plastic surgeons' offices. The cause of this can be any of a number of things, alone or in combination. For example, it may be caused by 'edema' of the lower lids, fat herniation of the lower lid fat pads, loss of midface support or volume, exposing the inferior orbital rim, thin skin of the lower lids, and even the bony structure of your midface, etc.  So, determining how to treat these is best done by evaluation of all of these issues and determination of which are most responsible for the 'tired' look. The treatments for these conditions vary.

Hope this helps.

Sam Most, MD
Bay Area Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 60 reviews

Getting rid of dark circles

The dark color generally does not respond to laser, chemical peels, topical creams, such as Vit K, C, or other; the color is made up of several components which respond to very little. The biggest change will be to correct any existing hollow under the eye -with either a filler or micro-fat grafting.

Grafted fat or filler will correct the hollow and get rid of the dark shadow under the eye- thus the remaining dark color can be camouflaged with make up. The claims of removing the color otherwise will at most give very limited results.

The lower eyelid is a complex structure and needs to be treated with great respect and support. A three step surgery-

  1. Micro-fat graft to correct the holllow
  2. Removal of the puffing fat
  3. Support of the eyelid tendon, muscle and redraping of the skin will shape the eyelid and give an excellent result.

The traditional eyelid surgery will not provide this type of result.

Trevor M. Born, MD
Toronto Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 102 reviews

Dark circles

Treating dark circles is almost impossible. This is usually due to the thin upper lid skin.  What you see as dark is the underlying muscle and blood vessels. Sometimes the darkness is a shadow. This can sometimes be treated with a facial filler. If it is specifically skin color issues, hydroquinone can help.

Steven Wallach, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
4.1 out of 5 stars 24 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.