Periorbital puffiness

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Eye bags - minor periorbital puffiness usually detectable below the eyes only.
Periorbital edema.

Periorbital puffiness, also known as "puffy eyes" or swelling around the eyes, refers to the appearance of swelling in the tissues around the eyes, called the orbits. It is almost exclusively caused by fluid buildup around the eyes, or periorbital edema. Minor puffiness usually detectable below the eyes only (although at times they could be present all around) is often called eye bags. Such transient puffiness is distinct from the age related and gradual increase in the size of the fat pad lying below the lower eye lids (suborbicularis oculi fat - "SOOF") which can also be colloquially referred to as eye bags.[1]


While some degree of puffiness may be normal for a given individual, factors such as age and fatigue may make the swelling more prominent. The periorbital tissues are most noticeably swollen immediately after waking, perhaps due to the gravitational redistribution of fluid in the horizontal position.
Eye puffiness may also be caused by:


Puffy eyes are usually only a temporary cosmetic worry, but occasionally, individuals become concerned about the cosmetic effect of periorbital swelling and seek surgical correction. Severe and persistent puffiness may be a sign of other serious medical conditions.


For someone predisposed to eye puffiness, changes to diet and lifestyle (under the supervision of a physician) may be required to reduce the possibility of swelling. A cold compress near the eye can act as a short-term remedy as cold temperature constricts blood vessels, preventing the flow of fluid into tissues and diminishing puffiness in the process.[7]

Live Yeast Cell Derivative (LYCD) may be effective;[8] however for reasons that are unclear it was banned in the USA by the FDA in 1993. It is available everywhere else[citation needed].


Elevating the head while sleeping can prevent the gravitational redistribution of fluid that is associated with eye swelling. A low-carb diet can prevent eye puffiness by preventing water retention. Eating foods rich in vitamins, especially A, C and E, helps to reduce eye puffiness and to maintain clear, moist skin.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Plast Reconstr Surg. 1995 Jan;95(1):37-42.The suborbicularis oculi fat pads: an anatomic and clinical study. Aiache AE, Ramirez OH.
  2. ^ The Look You Like; Paul Lazar, M.D.
  3. ^ Plast Reconstr Surg. 1995 Jan;95(1):37-42.The suborbicularis oculi fat pads: an anatomic and clinical study. Aiache AE, Ramirez OH.
  4. ^ The Merck Manual, 18th Edition, Merck Research Laboratories, 2006.
  5. ^ Markell and Voge's Medical Parasitology, John and Petri, Ninth Edition
  6. ^ Carroll GG. Multiple Cranial Neuropathies. Semin Neurol. 2009;29(1):53-65. 
  7. ^ The Doctor's Beauty Hotline; Fredric Haberman, D.D.
  8. ^ Composition and method for under-eye skin lightening USPTO Patent number: 5643587
  9. ^ Nourishing your skin from within