Dermatochalasis or baggy eyes with mild puffiness or swelling under the eyes represent a common condition that may develop as you age. If you are bothered by the persistent under-eye puffiness, you should consider eyelid surgery as a safe and proven option. During your initial consultation, your eye surgeon will explain to you the underlying causes of dermatochalasis and help you make an informed decision.

What Causes Dermatochalasis (baggy eyes) Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui provides treatments for baggy eyes and other conditions to patients in Palm Springs, Palm Desert, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda, and surrounding locations.


The usual signs of dermatochalasis include mild swelling of puffiness under the eyes, loose or saggy skin, and the appearance of dark circles around the eyes. Aging effects can contribute to this condition in most cases. As you age, the tissue around your eyes as well as some of the eyelid supporting muscles will tend to become weak.

Normal fatty tissue that provides support to the eyes may gradually move into your lower eyelids. This will result in your lower lids looking puffy. In some cases, fluid may also accumulate within the space under your eyes, which will further add to the swelling and bagginess.

Your oculoplastic surgeon will first rule out any other potential causes that may be causing the under-eye swelling, such as an allergy, infection or thyroid disease. Once they have determined the cause, they may recommend you to have eyelid lift cosmetic surgery to restore attractive, youthful looking appearance of the eyes.


As you age, your skin will gradually experience loss of elasticity. Once you start losing natural elasticity in the connective tissue that supports the structure in the front part of your eyelids, it will cause dermatochalasis.

In this condition, the excess tissue will tend to hand down over the eyelid’s front edge. Loose tissue could also cause vision obstructions, which can be as high as 50 percent of your superior visual field in severe cases.

The weakening of the muscles and tissue structures that support your eyelids will happen with age. As a result, the eyelid skin may start drooping, and the fatty tissue that is usually deposited in the orbital area may move in the space under your eyes.


  • Gravitational effects: Gravitational forces over time will push the muscle and fat downward, causing your eyelids to sag and puffiness to occur under the eyes.  
  • Heredity factors: Genetic causes are often long-term and hard to resolve. If bagginess occurs because of heredity factors, you may have to undergo eyelid surgery even at a younger age.  
  • Fluid retention: Sometimes the choice of your foods, especially the ones that contribute to fluid retention, such as salty foods, can contribute to puffiness under the eyes.  
  • Stress, lack of sleep, environmental sensitivities, seasonal and other allergies, and certain types of medications taken over the long term can cause baggy eyes over time.  


In most cases surgery is the ideal treatment.  After your examination, Dr. Hui will give you her recommendations.
Total healing may take months, but the most significant bruising/swelling are the first 10 days, peaking around day 4 after surgery. We ask that you refrain from strenuous activities for the first week after surgery.
Yes, your eyelids will have ointment on them.  You will have some blurriness from the ointment and swelling, but your eyes will not be patched.
On the day of surgery, you will need an adult to drive you home and remain with you that evening.  After this, you will be resume most of your normal activities (with the exception of strenuous exercise).

If you are looking for more information about cosmetic eyelid surgery and non-surgical eyelid treatments and procedures performed by Oculoplastic Eyelid Surgeon Dr. Jennifer Hui and live in or around Palm Springs, La Quinta, Coachella Valley, Palm Desert, Riverside, Redlands, Yucaipa, Loma Linda California, Rancho Mirage call 760 610 2677 or click here to contact us.

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