I Got Sudden Bags/puffiness Under the Eyes? (photo)

I got sudden bags/puffiness under the eyes about 2 weeks ago, never had it before. I am 32 years old, get plenty of sleep, exercise regularly, am not stressed, and my diet hasn't changed. I have tried cucumbers, cold eye mask/compression, and eye rollers and creams. Nothing works. I am going to my doctor next week to check for allergies. But other than that, do you guys have any other ideas? Any non-surgical ways to fix this cosmetically? How much would that cost and how long is the recovery?

Doctor Answers 5

Allergic response??

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If it is truly a sudden onset of bags then allergies are a possibility. Other possibilities include thyroid eye disease, though that's more gradual, or volume [water] retention due to kidney problems.

However, the most likely scenario is a sudden realization of a longstanding and gradual problem. Based on the photo, this looks like classic lower eyelid fat prolapse, however, an in person exam can better determine level of swelling.

Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Eye Bags Treatment

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Hi BubbaGump.  For a non-surgical solution, we would look no further than a good injector with Restylane in the syringe.  This should help to smooth out the area of concern.  If this did come on suddenly, it is prudent to get checked for allergies as this can sometimes be the cause.

Harold J. Kaplan, MD
Los Angeles Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Puffiness under eyes

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If your doctor determines that there is no medical condition causing the puffiness under your eyes, then there are two main options for improvement.  You could have a filler, like Restylane, injected under the bags to help or you could have surgery to remove some of the excess fat that is causing the puffiness.  The cost of each will vary from doctor to doctor and the immediate recovery for the surgery would be about a week.  

Michael I. Echavez, MD
San Francisco Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

Sudden Eye bags ?

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The fact that this has come suddenly does may me think more of a medical problem and I agree with the decision to see your primary MD ASAP to check some labs etc. 

If it is not medically or allergy related I would treat this with a lower lid transconjunctival blepharoplasty with fat transposition. 

You are young and you would do well with this procedure.

Cost at my practice $ 3,500.

Recovering is 2 wks but I prefer patients to prepare for 3 wks. 

Results are appreciated at about the 2-3 month mark.

Hope this helps.

Best of luck,


Benjamin Caughlin, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 13 reviews

Consult first with an opthamologist and allergist for sudden causes, but you likely have lower eyelid fat prolapse

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I’m going to first advise you that if there’s truly a sudden onset of puffiness then you should rule-out anything related to the thyroid such as Graves' Disease or thyroid-eye disease, otherwise known as thyroid-related immune orbitopathy. Although you don’t have the classic appearance of someone with Graves' Disease, I advise you to see an endocrinologist and ophthalmologist to check for this sudden onset of swelling.

What you likely have is called lower eyelid fat prolapse. This means that the fat that’s normally behind your eyes pushes forward and creates a bulge known as herniated fat. Since it is a fat pocket pushing forward, it is impractical to consider any non-surgical options. As a specialist in cosmetic eyelid surgery, I routinely see patients who have tried every non-surgical, do-it-yourself, and over-the-counter product such as cucumbers, tea bags, hemorrhoid creams, and all kinds of topical treatments that don’t work. Also, a certain percentage of people will visit a non-surgical physician like a dermatologist or an aesthetic physician and get injectables. An example is called Restylane that camouflages the bag.  In my experience, I see patients almost every week who come in to have those injectables dissolved. This is because when you have a volume of fat pushing forward and you try to add a volume of hyaluronic acid that attracts fluid to try to camouflage it, you get larger bags.

Based on your photos alone, I would suggest a surgical procedure called transconjunctival blepharoplasty. In this procedure, the fat pockets that have pushed forward can be reduced, sculpted and repositioned from the inside of the eyelid. By doing that, there is no scar and no one would be able to tell that you had surgery.  In my 20 years of cosmetic surgery practice, I’ve dedicated myself in finding a quick recovery approach. Most of my patients actually get back to work in a few days or less than a week. For example, if somebody had a surgery on a Wednesday, they can go back to work on Monday. Although there is still a little bit of bruising and swelling under the eyes, patients can choose to apply moisturizer, foundation or even wear tinted glasses to camouflage the area.

We perform this procedure under local anesthesia with light IV sedation, and the procedure is usually done in less than an hour. I recommend finding a cosmetic surgeon who is in the oculofacial field because of the extensive experience in eyelid surgery, and someone familiar with people like you who need a quick recovery.  I hope that was helpful, and thank you for your question.

Amiya Prasad, MD
New York Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 80 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.