New: A treatment designed for rosacea-prone skin

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Test pour différencier les poches sous les yeux.

Bags Under the Eyes: With This Test You Can Tell Them Apart

Eye bags can appear over time. Not only do they look unsightly, but they are also considered a sign of fatigue, make the look heavy and make the face look older. Malar, fat, and other eye bags.... Each type of eye bag requires a special solution to "remove" it. The reason is that they are based on a completely different mechanism. But how can you tell them apart? Here you will learn what to look for when distinguishing them.

The Different Types of Eye Bags

Eye bags are unsightly deformations in the area of the lower eyelids. More precisely, it is a growth of the lower part of the eyelid. Age, a short night, a salty meal, genetic predisposition, medical causes, alcohol consumption.... There are many reasons for puffy eyes. There are two types of eye bags that can occur:

  • Poches/Oedèmes malaires: these are temporary bags caused by fluid entering the infraorbital rim. They vary in severity and are very common in this area because the eyelid has great difficulty draining lymph due to the insertion of deep ligaments - the ligamentum cerne and the ligamentum malare in its extension. Malar edema can be triggered by smoking, allergies (food, cosmetics...), after a salty meal, excessive alcohol consumption, by certain drugs with muscle relaxing effects (e.g. benzodiazepines...) or in the morning as a result of lack of sleep. However, over time they stretch the skin and lead to a definitive sagging of the skin with the appearance of permanent eye bags;

  • Fat pockets: they are a bulge caused by a permanent deposit of soft tissue over the malar protrusion between the lower eyelid and the upper part of the cheek. They are usually caused by herniation of the malar fat under the lower eyelids due to the intraorbital fat increasing in volume or not being adequately retained by the septum (sagging of the skin). Thus, it slides down under the influence of gravity and skin aging when the supporting tissue slackens. As a result, the look has changed and, in addition, slight shadows appear on the dark circles and the appearance of a drooping eyelid. In some cases, the cause of these eye bags can also be genetic. In this case, the eye bags are related to the shaping of the eye socket.

Malar Edema, Fat Pads: How Can You Tell Them Apart?

It is not always easy to distinguish between fluid swelling (malar edema) and fat bulging (fat pockets). One of the diagnostic characteristics is that they are not found in the same place. Fat pockets are found below the eye circles, in the upper part of the cheekbones on the malar bone and disappear when lying down, while malar pockets are found above the eye circles.

There is also a simple test to distinguish these two types of eye bags. Film yourself standing in front of a mirror while looking up:

  • If you see that the eye bags are more pronounced and visible, it is a prolapse of orbital fat in the lower eyelids;

  • If instead the bags do not increase in volume, it may be edema and appropriate lifestyle, care and diet tips can improve the appearance.

Sources :

  • SIMON G. J. B. & al. What causes eyelid bags? Analysis of 114 consecutive patients. Plastic and reconstructive surgery (2005).

  • McCORD D. C. & al. Malar mounds and festoons : review of current management. Aesthetic Surgery Journal (2014).


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