Life is busy, and we're all tired. Whether a stay-at-home mom chasing kids or a busy executive chasing accounts, we all do too much, and sometimes it starts to show. Puffy eyes can add years to your face, but there's a simple remedy in your own refrigerator. Our mothers and grandmothers have believed for decades that cucumbers are a good cure for puffy eyes. As usual, they are right.
What Causes Puffy Eyes?
Puffy eyes have many causes, including allergies, overindulgence in alcohol, dehydration, too much salt in your diet, crying and lack of sleep.
Nail polishes and other beauty products that contain formaldehyde may also irritate your eyes and make them swollen.
When to See Your Doctor
Most eye puffiness is mild and easily treated at home. However, if your eyelids swell to twice their size; you cannot close or open them all the way; there is any kind of redness, rash or discharge; or the puffiness does not go away; you should contact your doctor immediately. The swelling in these cases might be the result of an insect bite, an allergic reaction or even an indication of thyroid problems.
Why Cucumbers and Not Eggplant?
Cucumbers are made primarily of water, but they also contain caffeic acid and vitamin C, both of which are known to soothe irritated skin and reduce swelling. Eggplants contain no caffeic acid.
Chilled eggplant slices--or strawberries, or any other mild, nonacidic or low-acid fruit or vegetable--will also work just because they are cold, but cucumbers have a clean, mild scent, are perfectly sized to fit on most people's eyes and they don't turn brown in the air the way an eggplant slice will.
How Do I Use Cucumbers to Treat Puffy Eyes?
Thoroughly wash and dry a cucumber and then chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour. Cut the cucumber crosswise into slices that are thick enough not to tear, yet still flexible. You can also slice and then chill it in a bowl of water before drying it.
Place a cucumber slice on each closed eye, lie back on an elevated pillow and relax. You should see a difference after about twenty minutes. You can replace the slices as they warm, though this is not necessary.
Side Effects of Using Cucumbers to Treat Puffy Eyes
So long as you don't get any small pieces of the cucumber in your eye, there should be no side effects.
People who suffer from the ragweed variety of Oral Allergy Syndrome are sometimes sensitive to cucumbers, and should avoid them entirely.
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