Puffy Eyes

Author: Dr. Bobby Buka

More than half of everyone has experienced allergies before. While they’re typically harmless, the reaction of your allergies can be quite annoying, like allergic shiners.

What are allergic shiners?

Allergic shiners are dark circles under the eyes. People who suffer from nasal allergies may experience darkness or swelling underneath one or both eyes on a fairly constant basis.

These allergic reactions can be unsightly, but they do not usually indicate a serious problem. Instead, they’re simply the result of congestion in the sinuses that slightly affects blood flow.

allergy shiners

Why do allergies cause puffy eyes?

When the sinuses became congested, some of the smaller blood vessels beneath the skin may enlarge and show up as darkness (often purplish) right under the eyes.

Most people have dark circles in conjunction with real allergy symptoms, especially allergic rhinitis. Some have them without this, and they may, in fact, indicate other conditions.

If they’ve appeared suddenly and there’s not a clear cause like allergies, the sufferer should consult with a medical professional. Usually, if a person truly has allergic shiners, there is not a good treatment for them, except those that address the underlying allergy symptoms.

Some cosmetics such as eye care products, ie eyeliner, mascara, concealer, etc.) can create havoc with your eyelids and skin beneath your eyes due to an allergic reaction to one of the compounds (ie. fragrance, preservative, etc) in your products.

Certain testing can help pinpoint any unsightly swelling, itchiness and puffy appearance due to a skin allergy.

How to treat allergic shiners

First and foremost, get properly hydrated and keep up with your daily amount of fluids (H2o works!), thus reducing the “sag” associated with mild dehydration.  Also, alcohol beverages and caffeinated drinks may also promote dehydration, too.

Sleep, well that’s another thing for all of us that are true “workaholics”.


Work with your allergist and dermatologist on underlying sinus, allergies and skin conditions to feel and look your best in 2014!