Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does a lack of sleep cause bags under my eyes?"
I sleep about four hours a night most nights. Now my eyes look really tired. Is this why I have bags? I try to sleep more but I can't.
Bags under the eyes occur due to congestion of venous blood in this tissue and the accumulation of fluid. This is worsened with aging, as more fat tends to be deposited here and the skin loses its elasticity, making the baggy appearance worse. Although it is true that lack of sleep tends to make the congestion of blood and fluid retention in the skin worse (for unclear reasons) there are also many other factors that contribute. Therefore, for those who can not sleep more, there are still several things that can be done to improve the appearance of these areas of skin. For example, eating less salt may help reduce fluid retention under the eyes (and in other parts of the body). Therefore, many people find that reducing intake of processed foods makes this part of their skin appear more attractive. Similarly, allergies such as nose allergies (allergic rhinitis) and eye allergies (allergic conjunctivitis) are very significant causes of bags under the eyes. The chronic inflammation of the eyes or nasal passages causes a buildup of fluid under the eyes; fortunately, if you have allergies, the medicines that treat them are very effective. Talk to your primary care doctor! If these options do not work for you, consider talking with a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for more advanced options.
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