I gathered a number of articles addressing the efficacy of Preparation
H and under eye puffiness. In addition I am including information and
non-surgical recommendations that could help you reduce the bags under
your eyes. In my research, it appears that there are no specific drugs
available to reduce under eye puffiness.
Baggy eyes in the morning are normally due to sleeping on stomach or
without a pillow; fatigue and alcohol make it worse. Frequent swelling
is often a sign of allergies. Bags under the eyes, mainly hereditary,
occur because fluids tend to accumulate where the skin is thinner.
Thyroid, kidney and heart disease and use of some medications make
baggy eyes appear worse; in most cases resting and sleeping on an
elevated pillow is the best you can do.
In an article at Straight Dope the use of Preparation H is discussed
as not helping eliminate bags under the eyes:
A spokesperson for Whitehall-Robins, maker of Preparation H, informed
us that the product "helps shrink hemorrhoidal tissue and is not meant
for the area around the eyes. There is no clinical evidence to support
that it reduces eye puffiness." She said they get this question less
frequently than they used to, perhaps because Prep H has been
reformulated. One of the ingredients that supposedly reduced puffiness
was "live yeast cell," but this is no longer part of the recipe.
They go on to say:
Actually, it's debatable whether anything will help puffy eyes, which
result from fluid retention caused by allergies, stress, etc. The
ingredient in Preparation H that supposedly reduces swelling is
phenylephrine HCl, which is used in nasal decongestants to constrict
blood vessels. However, according to Paula Begoun, author of The
Beauty Bible, Preparation H doesn't work where it's supposed to work,
so what are the chances it'll work in the minimal concentrations you'd
use on your eyes? Jane emphatically concurs, and Cecil politely
assumes these women know whereof they speak.
So what does work?
(1) Sleep with your head slightly elevated to minimize fluid
(2) Avoid booze and salty foods, which can cause water retention.
(3) If you have allergies, take antihistamines and don't rub your
(4) Remove any makeup carefully to avoid getting particles in your
(5) To avoid dryness that can lead to irritation and puffiness, use a
moisturizer. If nothing works and this is a chronic condition,
cosmetic surgery may be your only recourse.
Source: Straight Dope
However, Maxim Online states the opposite:
Dermatologists agree that Preparation H does the trick. It tightens
facial skin by temporarily constricting blood vessels and shrinking
under-eye tissuethe same way it constricts and shrinks rectal blood
vessels and tissue, explains Debra Jaliman, M.D., a clinical
instructor in dermatology at New Yorks Mount Sinai School of
Source: Maxim Online
Seventeens magazine Beauty myths and secrets:
One of their 17 all-natural beauty secrets is:
Preparation H (hemorrhoid cream) shrinks bags under your eyes.
Mr. Joels Weekly Beauty Column states that using Preparation H on
your eyes doesnt help.
Hemorrhoid creams can get rid of under eye bags?
It's rumored that models swear by Preparation H to cure undereye
woes. And while in theory the anti-inflammatory effect of hemorrhoid
cream could temporarily reduce puffiness under the eye, the thick
ointment isn't your best choice aesthetically.
Sleep with your head elevated. Propping up your head with a pillow or
two prevents fluid from pooling beneath your eyes while you sleep.
Try eye gel. Gels can temporarily tighten the skin under your eyes,
reducing the appearance of bags and fine wrinkles.
Use compresses. Cool, wet tea bags or cotton pads soaked in milk have
a soothing effect on the eye area and can make bags appear less
Watch salt intake. Eating very salty foods can cause you to retain
water all over -- including under your eyes.
Source: ThirdAge Inc
What can I do to get rid of baggy eyes?
That depends on what is causing them. Many environmental factors can
cause puffy or baggy eyes, including allergies, dehydration, too much
salt and alcohol and the lack of sleep. Sometimes antihistamines can
help, as does reducing salt and alcohol in your diet, and elevating
your head slightly when sleeping. If none of these remedies help, the
bags could be due to fatty tissue deposits that tend to increase in
the upper and lower lid area as we age. The only way to remove them is
Source: The Life Extension Foundation
Here are some instructions to reduce eye puffiness:
The puffiness of the eyes can be reduced with a glass of ice water and
four stainless steel spoons.
Chill the spoons in the water and then place one over each eye. When
the spoons become warm, switch them with the others chilling in the
glass of water. Keep switching until you see improvement.
Settle down for two to five minutes with a chilled, steeped chamomile
or green tea bag over each eye. The natural properties of these herbal
teas help to bring puffy eyes back down to size.
Cucumber contains anti-inflammatory properties to reduce redness and
puffiness of eyes. Slice a large cucumber, reserve two slices to place
over eyes. Peel and puree the remaining cucumber. This can be applied
as a pack onto your face. Remove after fifteen minutes. Apply
moisturizer thickly to seal in water.
A natural and effective treatment is to use vitamin E oil and rub the
oil overnight around your eyes.
Strain the juice of grated potato and saturate cotton wool pads with
it or lay the grated vegetable on the eye between the muslin. Slices
of raw potato will soothe swollen eyelids and reduce swelling and
A drop of perfectly fresh castor oil smeared along the eyelids will
also remove puffiness.
A few egg whites stiffly beaten and applied with a brush to the face
and under the eye will make the skin feel tighter and look less puffy.
Add a drop or two of witch hazel, which also reduces swelling and will
keep the egg whites from drying to rapidly.
Rinse your face in cold water when you wake up or when puffy eyes
attack anytime of the day to constrict blood vessels and reduce
Avoid foods high in saturated fat and consume more fiber in your
diet. Regularity helps move toxins out of the body, which helps
Get enough sleep. If you don't, the skin surrounding your eyes is
guaranteed to swell. If you're out late Saturday night, log in a few
extra hours on Sunday morning. You must get 8 hours sleep daily.
Sleep on your back with your head elevated by two pillows. This
allows fluid to drain overnight instead of collecting under your eyes,
Seasons India: Puffiness
Simple solutions from makeup artist Ramy Gafni of Ramy Beauty Therapy
To stop eye-bags before they occur, the night before an important
event, steer clear of salt, alcohol and caffeine, which can cause
puffiness. Don't use a cream eye moisturizer before bed; go for a gel
formula, instead. If you wake up to puffiness, apply ice or anything
cold (such as chilled spoons or tea bags) to your eyes. Engage in
aerobic exercise to help drain fluid.
According to Dr.William Trattler a board-certified ophthalmologist:
..dark circles or "bags" under the eyes are usually a hereditary
trait -- that is, it runs in families. However, the bags may appear
worse in people who smoke or who suffer from allergies. So, for some
people, the answer to making dark bags vanish might be to stop smoking
or to seek out allergy treatment.
There is no medication that gets rid of bags:
Dark circles or bags under the eyes are usually a hereditary trait.
That means your mother, father or grandparents may well have bags
under their eyes and therefore so will you. It seems that bags can be
worse in people who smoke or suffer from allergies. So if you smoke,
or live with someone who does, you might consider stopping. If you
suffer allergies then try seeking out some treatment. Currently there
doesnt appear to be any form of medication that gets rid of dark
circles or bags. Plastic surgery can modify the puffiness under the
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