Tips & remedies for puffy eyelids

Updated April 17, 2017

Eyelids may look puffy because of lack of adequate sleep, water retention, crying, or medical reasons such as allergies or rashes. When dealing with puffy eyes, finding a remedy may become a priority to avoid looking tired or worn out. There are a number of different tips and treatments for puffy eyelids, whether natural, or with medication or creams.

Fruit and Veggie Slices

Applying slices of certain fruits and vegetables can help tame swollen eyelids. Placing cool potato, cucumber, or apple slices over puffy eyes can reduce both inflammation and dark circles. Apply the slices to the eyes, then lay down for 10 to 15 minutes.

Cold Compress

Placing a cold compress on the eyes should reduce eyelid swelling by soothing the skin and tissues. Ice packs work well. Also, placing some ice cubes in a washcloth can be used as a makeshift ice pack. Stores also sell eye masks that work in the same way as ice packs, but are designed specifically to be worn over the eyes.

Teabags and Milk

Cold-steeped teabags can reduce puffy eyelids. Tea contains tannic acid, which constricts blood vessels and reduces inflammation. Black or chamomile tea bags are recommended. Another way to combat eye puffiness is milk-soaked cotton pads. After soaking the pads in cold milk, the pads should be squeezed of excess liquid then placed on the eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes.


Water retention in the eyelids can be a symptom of dehydration, which can be countered by drinking plenty of water. Reducing the amount of salt consumed during the day will also help keep water from being retained in the eyelids.

Creams and Medication

Anti-inflammatory creams can help with eyelid puffiness in lower lids. Things like haemorrhoid cream or antihistamine creams work by reducing eye irritants and inflammation. If eyes are puffy because of allergies, taking an antihistamine should reduce allergy symptoms, including eye puffiness. Aloe vera also works well to soothe the skin. Applying a bit of lotion or gel should reduce the swelling.

Dietary Changes

Avoiding soft drinks should help reduce eye puffiness. In addition, processed foods, fried foods, and red meats can contribute to eye puffiness. Reducing your intake of these foods may help with swelling.

Lifestyle Changes

Getting the proper amount of sleep each night will lessen your chances of having eye puffiness. Outside, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from UV rays, which can cause puffy eyelids. In addition, sunglasses keep wind---which irritates sensitive eyelid skin and can cause puffiness---from your eyes.

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About the Author

Ticara Gailliard is a college graduate with a degree in communications/film and video production from the University of Memphis. She has been a writer for over 15 years and has been published in local writing magazines such as "Grandmother Earth." She also edited two books for her high school.