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What causes puffy eyes?

Skin around the eyes is sensitive and very thin so it can easily become irritated, red and puffy. Many women may experience minor puffiness upon arising, but this tends to resolve on its own by mid-morning as gravity drains the fluid that has accumulated throughout the night.

Puffy Eye Treatments

There are many reasons why we may suffer from puffy eyes and though there aren't any magical solutions, there are some topical preparations that you may wish to try if nothing else works:

1. Preparation H Cream with Biodyne - Believe it or not, anecdotal evidence suggests that the hemorrhoid cream – Preparation H with Biodyne - may help to eliminate puffy eyes. Biodyne, also known as Live Yeast Cell Derivative (LYCD), a peptide, is only found in Preparation H from Canada (and not in the version found in the US). Studies show that LYCD accelerates wound healing and is biologically active on skin cells.
2. La Roche Posay Hydraphase Eyes - La Roche Posay Thermal Spring Water, high in selenium, a skin soothing ingredient helps to calm swollen and puffy eyelids

9 Tips for Relieving Puffy Eyes

  1. Hydrate yourself - When your body becomes dehydrated, it begins to retain water. This can lead to puffy eyes. Ensure that you consume enough fluids - aim for 8 to 10 glasses a day and try to pay attention so that when you're thirsty you remember to drink.  
  2.  Eliminate or avoid allergens - If redness and itching accompany your puffy eyes, then you may be dealing with allergies. Eliminate potential allergens, which may include feather pillows, fabrics, face creams, dust, pollen or some foods. Take an antihistamine if you need to.  
  3.  Sleep with your head elevated - Sleeping flat and on your front results in poorer circulation and allows fluid to collect around your eyes. Sleep on your back instead and use a pillow. In some individuals, not getting enough sleep may cause puffy eyes.  
  4.  Always remove your make-up - Not removing cosmetics, especially if around the eye may cause irritation of this area. Also watch for old make-up, especially eye products, which may build up bacteria that can potentially irritate the eye and eye area.  
  5.  Limit alcohol and salt - Alcoholic beverages and salty foods may increase fluid retention which ultimately can lead to puffy eyes. Try to limit intake of alcohol and salty foods.  
  6. Resolve underlying health issues - Some women retain water prior to their menstrual cycle and in certain individuals this may appear around the eyelids.  You can help by trying to maintain hormonal balance - eat a diet rich in fruits and vegetables and low in glycemic foods.  
  7.  Exercise. Work with a qualified healthcare professional to correct an underlying hormonal imbalance if you suspect you may have one. Certain conditions including high blood pressure, dermatitis, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid), orbital cellulites (an infection of the orbital tissue), chalazion (small benign tumors on the eyelids), kidney infections and thyroid disorders may all result in puffy eyes. Seek treatment.  
  8.  Slow down skin aging - Though genetics and past behavior (like excessive exposure to the sun) can't be changed, there are ways we can help. Skin loses elasticity as we age causing swelling around the eyes. Use a good UVA/UVB blocking sunscreen like Anthelios around the eye area every day to help to reduce damage from the sun's rays. Choose a minimum of SPF 30 if you're out for more than 15 minutes. Eat a diet rich in antioxidants and take a supplement if you can't.  
  9. Moisturize, moisturize - If you suffer from dryness around the eyes, then choose a good moisturizer. Preventing dryness in this area may help to relieve the swelling.
    Treat with cold - Cold works wonders to relieve puffy eyes and you may want to try cold compresses comprised of the following:
    a. Cold water/gel masks - Cotton wool pads soaked in cold water or cold milk and applied for 10 to 15 minutes
    b. Black or chamomile teabags soaked in cold water and applied for 5 to 10 minutes
    c. Slices of cucumber, potato or apple slices  

What works for you?

Sharmani Pillay is a Registered Pharmacist who specilializes in anti-aging skincare and wellness issues in women. She owns and operates an online skin care store at www.pharmacymix.comand a counseling practice at www.midlifebalance.com. 

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