Author: Dawn Sasiela, RN (originally published on Dawn’s blog: aestheticnurseconsultant.com)
Facial swelling or puffiness due to fluid retention can be a chronic issue for some people. Swelling around the eyes, in particular, is a common complaint from patients.
There are numerous culprits (salty food, crying, lack of sleep, allergies and drinking too much, to name a few). Swelling is frequently worse in the morning upon arising, because we sleep with our heads more dependent, allowing fluid to accumulate in facial tissues. Frequently what looks awful in the morning can be significantly improved by mid day, simply by having our heads elevated, allowing fluid to drain. But, what else can help besides gravity?
Sleeping with your head slightly elevated can prevent fluid from accumulating, or at least minimize it. But when you have swelling and want a fix, here are a few suggestions.
- Cool compresses (old school, but it works)
- An eye cream with caffeine (Neocutis Lumiere)
- Drinking fluid and flushing out that accumulated fluid
- Drinking or eating something to help with diuresis to help your system release the fluid, such as coffee or tea or certain fruits and vegetables.
- Avoid high sodium foods as the sodium will encourage your system to hold on to the fluid.
- Taking care of the thin skin around the eyes can, over time, help to minimize puffiness. If the skin is in good shape, the puffiness is less evident. When the tissues are cared for and collagen and elastin are being supported ,the skin is tighter and less likely to show bulging or swelling. We frequently recommend SkinMedica™ TNS Eye Repair or Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment™.
Ultimately, one day, you may find the puffiness never truly goes away. This can be the result of the orbital fat pads herniating through the muscles and thin eye tissues. At this point it may be time to see an oculoplastic surgeon to address the issue. The fat pads can be removed or repositioned to improve the appearance of the eye area (it is called a lower blepharoplasty). The doctors at TOC Eye and Face are experts in oculoplastic surgery. They all specialize in both cosmetic and functional eye surgery.