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 26

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

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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

Reducing Puffy and Tired Eyes with Skincare

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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 95 reviews

The most common questions my patients are concerned...

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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
4.8 out of 5 stars 158 reviews

Get Rid of Puffy Eyes that Causes Tired Appearance

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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
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 reviews

Tired, puffy eyes are easy to treat

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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
Providence Plastic Surgeon

Dark circles and puffiness

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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 195 reviews

Dark circles

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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
4.2 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

How To Treat Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

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Skin pigment does contribute to the dark circles under the eye, but it’s not the main cause. The main issue here is that there is a natural depression under the eye that creates a perception of a dark shadow. We all have this depression to a variable degree. It is caused by the thin eyelid skin and the underlying muscle that adheres tightly to the bone in that area. This depression creates an uneven surface, which with light reflection appears as a dark band under the eye.

To correct this dark area under the eye (also known as the tear trough), the surface has to be made smooth and the depressed area either raised or camouflaged. The use of fillers is an excellent treatment option that can produce dramatic results. It usually takes a small amount of a specific type of filler, injected with finesse, under the eye to give you an amazing, fresh look.

In some patients, the area of depression is so pronounced that a surgical release becomes necessary to achieve the desired results. This is obviously a more invasive approach with more downtime, but provides permanent results that look beautiful.

Mohammed Alghoul, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Tired and Puffy Eyes

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Dark circles and puffy eyes are usually caused by herniated fat and sun damage. Depending upon on your age you may be happy with a little filler and some laser resurfacing to help with your skin texture and to improve the crease between your eye fat pads and your cheek.  If, when I examine you, I feel you would get a much more long-term result then I will offer you a blepharoplasty. That would be determined at the time of your consultation.

An eyelid surgery may be performed through the eyelid lining with no scar visible or it may require re-positioning of your fat pads, re-positioning of the muscle, and a tiny scar in the crease between your smile lines in the corner of your eye.  The use of surgery or non-surgical techniques with or without laser techniques are best left to the time of consultation. It’s best that your surgeon has all of those arrows in his quiver to talk to you about what is your best choice both from a recovery stand point and your budget. Long-term results of course are the goals of plastic surgeons and indeed in my practice I like to discuss the longevity of outcomes based on your anatomic assessment.

Paul Vanek, MD
Cleveland Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 34 reviews

Tired Eyes-Get Rid of Eye Bags and Dark Circles

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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

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.