21 years old and have had under eye bags my whole life..options? (photos)

I have suffered from and struggled with prominent under eye bags my whole life and in the last few years they have significantly impacted my self esteem. I sleep enough, eat well, and have tried everything. I believe it is genetic as my father and some of my aunts have the same. Being 21 money is somewhat tight and surgery seems extreme. Do I have any options?

Doctor Answers 8

You do not have herniated orbital fat so lower eyelid surgery will not help you here.

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I would be profoundly careful with grafted fat which often heals in a less than satisfactory fashion.  Under eye fillers with Restylane has a proven track record of helping issues like this and is the state of the art.  The key is finding the right injector.

Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Lots of options!

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Great question and thanks for the photos! Don't be discouraged! Hyluronic acid (HA) fillers are a great option for you. Some people lose volume in their face as they age and others are born that way. HA fillers are relatively safe when injected by an experienced injector. Be careful who you let perform the injections as putting filling under the eyes can be technically difficult to get great results. As always, make are to see someone in person for a consultation as they will be able to give you a better idea of the costs and risks. Remember, it's your face, know who's injecting it! Best of luck in your area. ~Dr. Sieber

David A. Sieber, MD
San Francisco General Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews


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Hi there, you have several non-surgical options. Undereye bags are usually genetic and have little to do with sleep, diet, or exercise. There is a filler called Voluma that is FDA indicated to last up to 2 years and is great for correcting undereye bags. It is $799 a syringe at my practice and looking at your eyes you probably need 2 syringes for full correction. They have a rewards program called Brilliant Distinctions where you can sign up and earn free points toward this treatment. Results of the treatment are immediate. I train other doctors on how to inject Voluma and have done this procedure specifically for underlies over 100 times.

Justin Harper, MD
Columbus Physician
5.0 out of 5 stars 24 reviews

Eyelid Surgery

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Thank you for your question. You are young for surgery, and a more suitable solution will be hydraulic acid fillers. Please find comfort knowing that under eye bags are a commonly inherited trait and they are treatable. I suggest that you consult in person with a board certified facial plastic surgeon. Best wishes,

Ross A. Clevens, MD
Melbourne Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 124 reviews

Lower eyelid tear trough

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Thanks for your question, and I'm sorry to hear that this bothers you so much. I usually address this problem by adding filler or even fat to this area to help camouflage the contours. It can work very well. The fillers will be less expensive, so you might start there. I'd find a plastic surgeon near you for a consultation. Best wishes.

Paul J. Leahy, MD
Leawood Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 8 reviews

Dark Circles, Eyelid Wrinkles/Bags Treatment -- Laser Resurfacing, Clear+Brilliant, Micropen, Viva, Ultherapy/Thermage

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Probably your eye bags are genetic. They should improve after lasers, microneedling/PRP, and fillers. See an expert for  treatment options.  Best, Dr. Emer

Jason Emer, MD
Los Angeles Dermatologic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 207 reviews

Tear troughs

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Hi,Thank you for posting your question and photos. It appears that you have deep tear troughs that give the appearance of bags under your eyes. Like Dr. Martin mentioned, these are usually genetic in young people like yourself. The best conservative treatment is hyaluronic acid filler treatment to help build volume in that area to give you a less tired look. Another option is fat transfer/grafting (a minimally invasive procedure where fat is taken from stomach/thighs and transferred to the face). Both options are effective and each have their pros and cons. Visit a qualified surgeon who does facial cosmetic surgery for an assessment and a discussion of the details. Hope that helps.

Jeffrey Jumaily, MD
Beverly Hills Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Lower lid hollowing

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You have very hollow lower lids with a deep tear trough.  As you stated, this is genetic.  Your best option is to put some HA filler such as Restylane into the area.  The added volume will smooth out the area, and will decrease the appearance of the dark circles.  

John J. Martin, Jr., MD
Coral Gables Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 31 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.