When the skin under your eyes loses its elasticity, it may create a groove under the eyes and you end up with nasojugal fat pads. The fat pads are what may commonly be referred to as “under-eye bags”. Think of them as raised ripples of soft tissue just below the lower eyelid area.
Causes of Nasojugal Fat Pads
Let’s have a closer look at a few of the possible causes of nasojugal fat pad formation. While you can’t always prevent them, it is good to be aware of what causes them:
With age, the skin and muscles on our face and body tend to become weaker and weaker. As the skin loses its elasticity and tonus, the elastin and collagen production is also decreased. The skin under your eyes is very sensitive and thin as compared to the rest of your face. Hence, the fat finds its way through weaker muscles as well as skin and ends accumulating in the area between your eyes and nose. This results in the formation of nasojugal fat pads.
· Sleep Problems
With modern-day lifestyles, some of us find it difficult to properly sleep and rest. Prolonged lack of rest or sleep can weaken the skin and muscles while accelerating the breakdown of collagen and preventing the formation of new collagen. After a while, the fat and fluids tend to accumulate under the eyes which leads to the formation of nasojugal fat pads.
Allergies do play a role when it comes to nasojugal fat pads. Most allergies will lead to a stuffy nose and swelling in the sinus tissues. As a result, the fat can accumulate in the space between your eyes and nose, resulting in nasojugal fat pads.
We all know that smoking is harmful to your overall health and your skin. It breaks down the collagen and elastin in your face, making your skin loose and saggy. Smokers generally have a difficult time sleeping, leading to prominent nasojugal fat pads.
Alcohol dehydrates your body and makes the skin under your eyes appear dry and saggy. Chronic alcohol consumption is linked with prominent under-eye bags. Try cutting out alcohol and you might notice a difference in how your face looks.
· Heavy Makeup
If you are a fan of wearing heavy makeup every single day, it can damage the delicate skin under your eyes. A lot of people do not completely remove the makeup from their faces which worsens the problem. In the long run, it can lead to the formation of Nasojugal fat pads.
Sometimes you have just your genes to blame. If your parents have under-eye bags, chances are you will have fat pads too. There is nothing much you can do in this regard.
Preventing Nasojugal Fat Pads
There are times when you can’t do anything to prevent nasojugal fat pads especially if they are caused by genetics. However, sometimes prevention is effective. Let’s discuss some possible preventative measures to try:
· Neti Pot
Individuals who use neti pots report that they see a huge improvement in the appearance of their dark circles and under eye puffiness. For those of you who aren’t familiar with neti pot, it is essentially filled with a saltwater solution which helps with the removal of mucus and debris and prevents the formation of nasojugal fat pads.
· Tea Bags
You can try placing caffeinated tea bags under the eyes to tighten the skin and improve blood circulation. This may prevent the accumulation of fat in the nasojugal area.
· Cold Compresses
I am sure you have all heard of using a cold compress to prevent puffiness under the eyes. You can use a cold spoon, ice wrapped in a soft cloth, under eye rollers placed in the refrigerator or any cold object of your choice. The cold temperature helps constrict the blood vessels and brings immense relief to the tired eyes while minimising under eye puffiness. This is also quite relaxing even if it doesn’t prevent the formation of nasojugal fat in the long run.
· Keep Yourself Hydrated
Nearly 70% of your body is made up of water. Dehydration is one of the major causes of all beauty problems including under-eye bags and the formation of nasojugal fat pads. Keep yourself hydrated and drink a minimum of 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
· Sunscreen to the Rescue
If you spend a lot of time outdoors, this can damage your skin which eventually leads to the formation of under-eye bags, dark circles, and nasojugal fat pads. Hence, invest in good quality sunscreen and apply it religiously. Make sure to reapply it if you plan to spend a lot of time outdoors. While we are on the subject of sun protection, wear a hat and sunglasses whenever possible.
· Remove Your Makeup Properly
Some women really enjoy the process of doing makeup but aren’t fans of removing it. Make sure to cleanse and wash your face thoroughly before going to bed. Sleeping with waterproof mascara on can lead to irritation of the eyes and infection. Moreover, makeup can accelerate the ageing process of your skin while enhancing oxidative stress.
· Keep Your Head Elevated
While sleeping, try to lie down on your back and use an extra pillow to keep your head elevated. Some people also use wedges to stay more comfortable. It also prevents fat and fluids from accumulating in the lower lids which results in the formation of nasojugal fat pads.
Treating Nasojugal Fat Pads
Treating Nasojugal fat pads isn’t simple. What might work for one person might not work for another and vice versa. Here are some of the most common options for treating nasojugal fat pads:
Sometimes a simple treatment does the job. If your under-eye bags are formed as a result of allergies, your doctor might prescribe you Antihistamines to treat the underlying condition. Some OTC drugs used for the treatment include Benadryl, Zyrtec, and Claritin. However, it is better to consult a healthcare professional prior to taking any of these medications.
These medications are meant to be taken whenever you experience allergy symptoms. The first step is to spot your allergen. Some people are allergic to certain types of foods, others to dust, pollen, paints, you name it. It is important to visit a healthcare professional and get the necessary tests done to identify the allergen. Based on the test results, your doctor might recommend a short-term or a long-term treatment plan. The treatment plan varies from pills, yearly shots, or immune therapy.
2. Retinol Cream
Retinol is one of the best ingredients that can correct your skin problems. Use under eye creams that have retinol as their main ingredient. Retinol is essential for the production of collagen. You can start with any drugstore product of your choice. If your nasojugal fat pads are advanced, you might need a prescription-based retinol cream to make a difference.
This is definitely the easiest thing to try out of the list. It is important to note that you cannot use retinol-based products while you are pregnant or lactating. For some people, retinol can cause dryness and skin flaking. If it is your first time using a retinol-based cream, try choosing one with a low concentration of retinol. Use it on every alternate day in the beginning. In the morning, make sure to apply sunscreen and use a rich moisturiser to prevent flaking.
Please note that it will take some time for you to see results and not all people will be able to get rid of under eye bags with the help of a cream. However, it is worth giving it a shot.
When it comes to surgical procedures, lower eyelid blepharoplasty is probably the most suitable option for addressing lower nasojugal fat pads. The procedure involves lifting the lower eyelid area and eliminating excess tissues under the eyes. Many techniques are used for the correction of progressive fat atrophy in the lower lid and nasojugal groove area.
How is Blepharoplasty performed?
The outcomes shown are only relevant for this patient and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience, as results may vary due to many factors including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise.
- Clean Up
Even when you come to the appointment with a clean face, the staff will clean and sanitise your face one last time to ensure it is free from dirt and makeup.
The first step is the administration of anaesthesia so you won’t experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Most patients are given a choice between local and general anaesthesia.
- The Incision
Then comes the most important part of the surgery – the incision. Dr Hunt will try to make the incisions in a way that they are concealed within the natural structures of the eyelid area. The incision for lower eyelid surgery is typically made just below the lower lash line. With this incision, Dr Hunt will reposition and tighten muscles underneath the skin and remove excess skin. In some cases, a trans conjunctival incision is performed.
- Closing Up the Incisions
Once everything is in place, Dr Hunt will close the incisions with the help of sutures or skin glue. Typically, absorbable sutures are used. If not, the stitches will be removed within a week. In certain cases, Dr Hunt recommends opting for a laser or a peel to minimise the discolouration on the lower eyelid once you are fully healed.
- Results of the Procedure
You won’t be able to see the results immediately after the surgery. It is important to wait for the swelling and bruising to fade away before you see the results.
Microneedling, commonly known as collagen induction therapy, can work in preventing the appearance of nasojugal fat pads. The skin tightens as a result of increased collagen production. As a result, the fat stays in place.
Microneedling involves creating microscopic injuries in the skin with the help of a micro-needling device. It triggers the natural production of collagen and makes your skin appear tighter and plumper. You might need a couple of treatments to see an improvement. The best part about micro-needling treatment is that the results will continue to improve for up to a year after the last treatment.
5. Injectable Fillers
This is more of a temporary yet still a very common solution for addressing nasojugal fat pads. Fillers are injected under the eyes to make the transition from fat pads to cheek smooth and soft. The procedure is quick, non-invasive and generally comfortable. The results last anywhere from 6 to 12 months. You can get this procedure done during your lunch break as it will only take around 10 to 15 minutes and there is generally no recovery time involved.
Further Reading about Non-Surgical Procedures
- Read Dr Hunt’s Dermal Fillers Injections page
- Read Dr Hunt’s Skin Procedures page
- See Dr Hunt’s Real Dermal Fillers Patients Before and After Photos
Medical References about Nasojugal Fat Pads
- Analysis of Eyelid Fat Pad Changes With Aging
- An Update on Lower Lid Blepharoplasty
- Fat Pad Sliding and Fat Grafting for Leveling Lid Depressions
About Dr Jeremy Hunt – Plastic Surgeon
He is a member of FRACS & ASPS and has over 20 years of experience providing cosmetic and plastic surgery in Sydney.
Dr Hunt’s personal, one-on-one service and attention to detail has ensured that thousands of women and men from the Sydney & Wollongong NSW area and across Australia have received high quality surgical care.
Dr Hunt’s qualifications and education
Dr Jeremy A Hunt MBBS FRACS graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Sydney University in 1990 and is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and member of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgery. He completed a Fellowship at the prestigious University of Texas in the United States, where he learnt from some of the world’s very best plastic surgeons.
Next Step – Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Want more information before scheduling your consultation?
- Find out more about pricing, medical payment plans and paying for your surgery
- Request more information about the procedure – call on 1300 157 200 or contact us
- Make an Enquiry or Request a consultation with Dr Hunt
Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health professional.