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Puffy eyes and dark circles are not only beauty, but also a health issue. If you often wake up with swollen eyes and dark circles around them the problem is fluid retention in your body.

Dr. Sherrif Ibrahim F. from Rochester University Medical Center for “The Huffington Post” explained that the skin of the eyelids is the thinnest. As result you can see any changes in the hydration of the body in that area. How exactly sleep affects fluid retention is not known.

When it comes to the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles around the eyes, there are many factors that cause them. But Dr.Sherrif emphasizes that the dehydrated blood vessels under the skin are responsible for the dark skin tones under your eyes.

Before reaching for some remedies or treatments for diminishing the dark circles, make sure you know the reason for their appearance.


  • Genetics is the first and crucial factor.

Blame it on your ancestors. If you have inherited fair or thin skin under the eyes, you will surely have blood pools there. The reason may be slower circulation or lack of sleep.

  • Age is the second factor.

As we age, skin loses collagen and thins. The fatty tissue which normally protects the eye inside the bony eye socket starts to push forward and fill in space below the eye. As result bags or patches start forming under the eyes.

Other factors include:

  • Overconsumption of salt, which causes fluid retention
  • Allergies that can lead to inflammation and swelling
  • Sinus problems
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue and lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Crying
  • Alcohol


When we sleep we don’t blink. As result we wake up with swollen eyes. When we don’t blink there is nothing to “milk” the trapped water. Once you open your eyes and start blinking, you release the trapped fluids back into circulation. Soon the swelling will be decreased. Here’s a simple tip which can reduce the puffiness. This helps if you struggle with vascular issues. In your bedroom double up on pillows at night to prevent blood from building up under your eyes. In the morning, apply a cold compress for about 5-10 minutes to tighten the blood vessels.


If the reason for your puffy eyes is genetics or aging, you should consult your eye doctor or cosmetic surgeon.  They will suggest some cosmetic solutions such as: chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing procedures, certain cosmeceuticals (prescription skin products) and eyelid surgery known as blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty involves removing extra fatty tissue and excessive skin from upper and lower eyelids, as well as tightening skin and muscles to reduce puffiness and wrinkles.

There are many temporary remedies that can help reduce the swollen look and dark circles around eyes. They are inexpensive and easy to do.

  • Apply eye drops for irritation caused by allergies, if appropriate
  • Drink plenty of water to prevent dehydration
  • Apply iced compresses. Remain sitting upright as you do this and use mild pressure (15-20 min)
  • Applying cucumber slices or chilled tea bags over closed eyes. (15-20 min)
  • Use creams and other skin products specially designed for use around the eyes
  • Reduce salt in your diet
  • Consume potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, to eliminate excess fluids in your body
  • Splash cold water over your face and eyes
  • Get plenty of sleep and rest


If you experience significant swelling around the eyes that does not improve or if you notice fluid retention in other areas of your body, contact your doctor as soon as possible. This may be a sign of a serious medical problem, such as kidney or liver disease.


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