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How to Shrink Puffy Eyes

Updated March 23, 2017

Both men and women will experience puffy eyes from time to time. Puffy eyes appear swollen, especially around the eyelids, as they are often filled with excess fluid due to dehydration or lack of sleep. Fortunately you can eliminate or reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.

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  1. Take 200 milligrams of ibuprofen. Swallow with water. If your puffy eyes are a result of allergies, take an over-the-counter allergy medicine such as Claritin or benadryl.

  2. Position your face upright, elevated above your chest, to decrease blood flow from the face. This basically means do not lie down. Eyes often appear more puffy in the morning after a long night's sleep.

  3. Gently tap on your eyelids and under the eye with your index fingers. This will help to drain fluid out of the eye area.

  4. Apply a cold compress to the eyes. Leave it on for five to 10 minutes. The cold temperature will reduce the swelling. Although it may be uncomfortable, try not to lie down.

  5. Use foods to soothe and reduce swelling in the eye area. Allowing sliced strawberries, cucumbers, potatoes or a face cloth soaked in cold milk to rest on your face for several minutes may help. Keep your head elevated and make sure to wash your face afterward.

  6. Dry your face and apply a product that is made specifically for puffy eyes. The new eye rollers work great. To increase their effect, store the roller in the refrigerator or pop it in the freezer for several minutes before use. When using an eye cream, apply with your index fingers only, let dry and repeat if need be.

  7. Tip

    You may try all or some of these steps, depending on the amount of time you have and the reason for your puffy eyes Give yourself at least a half hour to complete these steps before heading to work, school or a special event. Prevent puffy eyes before they start. Among the causes for puffy eyes are consuming too much sodium, alcohol or caffeine (dehydration), lack of sleep, crying and rubbing of the eyes (swollen blood vessels).


    If you believe your puffy eyes to be cause of a hangover, drink as much water as possible. Severe dehydration may land you in the hospital. Seek medical help if you believe your puffy eyes to be the result of a severe allergic reaction.

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Things You'll Need

  • Ibuprofen (optional)
  • Allergy medicine (if needed)
  • Cold compress
  • Face cloth
  • Milk
  • Strawberries
  • Potato
  • Cucumber
  • Anti-puff eye roller or eye cream


About the Author

Katarina Fitzpatrick

Katarina Fitzpatrick has written professionally since 2006. Her work has been published on EOnline.com, TriMedMedia.com, LIVESTRONG and for the newspapers, the "Hanover Mariner" and the "Norwell Mariner" in Boston and the "Jamestown Press" in Jamestown, R.I. She is a 2006 graduate of Emerson College, where she earned her undergraduate degree in print and multimedia journalism.

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