Swollen eyes and dark under-eye areas can be caused by several reasons such as not getting enough sleep or too much stress. Over time, our puffy eye bags will become more and more noticeable if we don’t take the necessary steps to improve our eye condition and prevent it from worsening. In this article, we will discuss how to treat these common eye problems by simply using ice cubes.
Common causes of dark circles
There are several things that can give us unattractive dark circles in our under-eye area. Here are the usual causes of this problem:
Orbicularis oculi muscle congenital hypertrophy or genetically induced skin pigmentation. Genetics can play a huge part in having darker under-eye areas. If most members of your family also have dark circles in their eye area, then this may most probably be because it’s a hereditary trait.
Most women use make-up, either because they love to do it, or it’s necessary in order for them to look professional and presentable at work. Dark pigments of your eye shadow have a tendency to infiltrate into the eyelids. Black eyeliners and mascaras can also leave residues when not washed off properly, staining our eye area with an unattractive dark shade.
Whenever we feel stressed and our body lacks the proper rest it needs, our blood circulation will not be normal. When this happens, more blood is directed to our main organs, making our face look pale and tired. When vascular blood circulation is not smooth, this also results in orbicularis oculi muscle and venous blood stasis. This causes darker vein blood color, producing dark and gray circles to appear in our eye area.
The appearance of dark varicose veins on our eye socket or eyelid can also make our under-eye area look a bit gray
Contusion of the eye socket or eyelid can cause subcutaneous hemorrhage, causing a darker appearance for our under eye
Common causes of swollen eyelids
Just like the appearance of dark circles, swollen and puffy eyes can also be brought about by several causes. For this part, we will discuss some of the things that can be the cause of swollen eyelids.
This is the body’s response to a certain emotion that leads to more blood flow to the eyes, causing them to swell afterward. Crying can also make the eyes tired and weary.
Excessive water retention
This can be caused by eating food with too much sodium content, insufficient sleep and excessive drinking
The symptom for other diseases
Eye edema, or puffy eyes, can also be a symptom for other eye diseases, and you may need to be examined by a professional ophthalmologist. For severe cases of eye edema accompanied by pain, discomfort, blurred vision, and other conditions, consulting with a doctor is advised.
Some people have very noticeable puffy eyes. If you get swollen eyelids even while you were younger, it is most likely genetic.
Useful Tips When Using Ice Cubes to Lessen Eye Swelling and Dark Circles
Don’t apply them directly on your skin
Ice cubes are a simple yet effective way to improve your eye problems. However, you can’t directly apply these ice cubes to your skin, especially around your eye area as this part of your face is where the skin is most sensitive and fragile.
Applying ice cubes directly will irritate your eyes and freeze its underlying tissues causing unattractive and uncomfortable frostbite. Due to their low temperature, ice cubes will also make the skin contract sharply when they touch the skin, and this can easily lead to wrinkles in our eye area.
Wrap the ice cubes before applying it to your skin
Put the ice cubes in a plastic bag first, then wrap it in a few layers of cloth or towels before pressing it on to your skin where cold compress is needed.
Don’t apply it for too long
There is an optimal time limit and frequency when applying a cold compress to your skin. Excessive application of ice cubes will lead to pore blockage, causing tiny bumps or small acne to appear on your skin.
Methods of Cold Compress and When to Use It
Cold compress with ice cubes, for swollen eyes after crying
This method is the best in soothing puffy and swollen eyes after crying. For this, you can choose to wrap some ice cubes in a towel, or soak the towel in ice water, and then applying it to your eyes. This will effectively make the blood vessels around your eyes to contract, helping to reduce the swelling of muscles and ease blood congestion in your eye area.
For this method, you have to close your eyes and then apply the cold compress to that area for about 10 to 15 minutes.
Cold compress + hot compress, for swelling caused by trauma
The swelling of the eyes caused by trauma are best treated with cold compress followed by hot compress. A cold compress should be done within 24 hours after the injury so you can prevent the swelling from spreading. After 24 hours, hot compress is then applied to the swollen area to promote blood circulation.
To perform this method, you need to use cold towels and apply it to your eye area for 10 minutes. This can be done several times just as long as you don’t exceed 10 minutes for each application. After 24 hours, use a hot towel and apply it for about 5 minutes. This can also be done several times until the swollen area improves.
Cold compress + hot compress, alternately, for fatigue and excessive water intake
Applying cold compress followed by a hot compress is the right way to ease swollen eyes caused by fatigue or excessive drinking of water before bedtime.
For this method, apply a hot towel and a cold towel in your eyes alternately. You can repeat this several times until swelling is reduced.
Other Ways to Ease Swollen Eyes
Blinking frequently will help reduce discomfort caused by swollen eyelids and makes it less noticeable. It also gradually helps in clearing eyelid lines. This helps especially if your swollen eyes are caused by crying.
Apply milk to eyelids
Frozen milk can also be used for a cold compress. Just dip a cotton stick in frozen milk and then apply it on your eyelids for about 10 minutes. Rinse it off with clean water afterward, and you’ll see that the swelling around your eyes has significantly improved. While any milk will do, using skim milk for this method is recommended.
Use a frozen eye mask
Using a frozen eye mask can quickly calm the skin and eliminate eye swelling. Eye masks can be bought in local pharmacies and even skincare boutiques. Place these eye masks in the refrigerator overnight and then apply it on your face the next morning. Leave it on for 10 minutes, then you can wipe off your mask and wash your face with clean water afterward.
Hot and cold compress using ice cubes and boiled eggs
Just like you normally would for a cold compress, wrap some ice cubes in towels and then apply it to your face for 3 to 5 minutes. This will help shrink blood vessels and reduce swelling. For hot compress, you can boil some eggs, wrap them in cold towels for a while just to help them cool a little bit, and then gently scroll it on your eyelids. It is important to note that swelling will not immediately disappear. Avoid rubbing your eyes and do anything that will aggravate the blood congestion in this area of your face. Just patiently apply cold and hot compress alternately until the swelling is reduced.
Make a DIY cucumber eye mask
Remove eye edema by making your own eye mask using cucumber. To do this, prepare half a cucumber, wash it, and then cut it into thin slices. You can also mash it if you prefer. Apply it on the eyelids and then after 15 minutes, wash it with clear water.
Sleep on your back
Lying down or sleeping on your side can aggravate your swollen eyes so make sure to sleep on your back. Putting a high pillow to elevate your face also helps as this will prevent moisture from accumulating in your eyes.
The hot steam helps in soothing swollen eyes. To do this, just fill a glass with hot water, and then let the steam reach our eye area in a safe and comfortable distance. Be careful not to be too close to the mouth of the glass as this can be too hot. You can also opt to buy the steaming machines available in the market.
Cover it with makeup
While this does not permanently solve your eye problem, it’s the most effective way of hiding puffy eyes or dark circles. This is also great when you don’t have enough time to go through all the processes of cold and hot compress. For puffy eyes, go with two to three shades of dark eye shadow and try to create a gradient effect on your eyelids. For dark circles, concealers will go a long way in covering this unattractive skin pigmentation.