What I Wish Everyone Knew About Puffy Eyes, Dark Circles, and Undereye Bags


Contributor: ……, Reviewed by Dr. Justin Harper, MD

In a room full of people, if you ask who is bothered by their under eyes, many hands will go up. However, there are many different, and universal types of under eye problems. Three major ones are eye puffiness, dark circles, and under eye bags.

As common as this complaint is, it is crucial to differentiate the causes and variances. So, what exactly is the difference between them?

Read below to clear up once and for all what’s the difference between these occurrences.

Puffy Eyes


Puffy eyes are usually due to fluid accumulation around the eyes as a result of allergies, excessive consumption of salt and alcohol, lack of sleep, dehydration, and even crying.

The collection of fluid causes pooling under the eyes, which leads to puffiness. These causes for puffy eyes are the easiest to correct with lifestyle modifications.

Therefore, it is recommended to drink enough water each day and get adequate sleep to minimize the appearance of puffy eyes.

Dark Circles


Dark circles are caused by genetics. However, allergies can also be a cause. Dark circles under the eyes due to allergies are a result of the increased pressure from congestion in your nasal passages that block blood flow and cause fluid pooling.

Additionally, dark circles can occur due to anatomy, as the tissue to the periorbital area below the eye is thinner. This allows the blue blood vessels to be more visible and create a shadowing effect. Darker skin types are more prone to hyperpigmentation to this area.

With aging, this condition can worsen as volume, collagen, and fullness in the delicate under-eye area decreases, causing the vessels to become more prominent and result in a dark silhouette.

Under Eye Bags


Bags under the eye are clearly noticeable on the face from the two occurrences above.

Whereas, under eye bags, these are more commonly caused by a combination of fat deposits under the eyes and weakening of skin laxity. Meaning, they are caused by the normal aging process and genetics.

As we age, the skin around the eye loosens as the tissues and muscles in this area weaken. The loosening results in the more prominent appearance of fat that supports the eye, which manifests as eye bags.

Unclear on certain aspects still? No worries!

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