Pack Those Bags

By Cheryl Walker

July 18, 2008 4 min read


Brides can say goodbye to dark, puffy eyes

By Cheryl Walker

Creators News Service

Because most eyes are focused on the bride on her wedding day, she should make sure her own peepers look their best. The last thing a woman needs on her big day is puffy, wrinkled eyes or dark circles around them.

There are many causes for the problems that affect eyes. Surprisingly, what most people don't know is that it can be hereditary. If mom had eye puffiness, chances are that her daughters do, too.

Other common causes are allergies, fluid retention (either due to hormones or the weather), diet, aging and medications. Probably the worst, but the easiest to control, is alcohol and tobacco intake. Alcohol can also cause eye redness.

"Generally, you can trace early-morning puffiness to your activities of the previous day -- you drank fluids at bedtime, ate salty foods, spent all day with your head bent over a garden or stayed up half the night," said Dr. Mary Stefanyszyn, associate surgeon in ophthalmology at Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia.

So what steps should a bride take to make sure her eyes look their best? Fight bags under the eyes with another kind of bag -- tea bags. Moisten two tea bags with cold water, lie down and place them over the eyes.

"The tannin in the tea may help pull the skin taut and reducing the puffiness factor is the coolness, which reduces swelling," said Dr. Stefanyszyn.

Dr. Lawrence Gibson, a Mayo Clinic dermatologist, offers a few suggestions.

"Get enough sleep at night," Dr. Gibson states. "For most adults, seven to eight hours a night appears to be the best amount of sleep. Sleep with your head slightly raised. Add an extra pillow or prop up the head of your mattress. This help prevents fluids from accumulating around the eyes."

To reduce puffiness, a diuretic can be taken. Start the morning by splashing cold water on the face to get circulation going.

A home remedy that is still used is applying cucumber to the eyes. Chill it and then slice two thick pieces. Lie down and place the cucumbers over the eyes for about 15 minutes.

There are also other remedies, but not everyone agrees with them. A popular story that has gone around for many years is to apply hemorrhoid cream under the eye, which supposedly helps puffiness as well as reduce wrinkles. But there is no clinical evidence that this is effective.

If a bride plans to try such a home remedy, give it a test weeks before the wedding in case there is an allergic reaction. There's also a chance this cream could irritate the skin and cause inflammation and dryness.

Spas offer a number of eye treatments and creams. However not everyone agrees with the use of creams.

"Although they market creams that claim to reduce eye puffiness, no creams actually do that," said Dr. Alan Rockhoff with the Rockhoff Dermatology Center in Brookline, Mass.

Dark circles can also be hereditary or due to lifestyle, but the most common cause is nasal congestion. When the nose is congested, veins that usually drain from the eyes into the nose become dilated and darker. Darkness around the eyes can also be caused by skin conditions, including eczema.

(c) Creators News Service

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