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Signs & Symptoms of Eye Bags

Eye bags (or bags under eyes) refer to mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes. This page discusses the signs and symptoms of eye bags.

Signs & Symptoms of Eye Bags

The appearance of eye bags can be quite different from one person to another, but they generally have one or more of these characteristics:

  • Mild swelling under the eyes (look like puffy bags)
  • Dark circles around or under the eyes
  • Loose or saggy skin (possibly with noticeable folds)

Eye bags are usually harmless. However, one should seek medical attention if:

  • The swelling is severe and persistent
  • The eye bags are accompanied by redness, itching, and/or pain
  • The swelling affects other body parts

Wo-can (臥蠶)

Eye bags that are not age-related are called wo-can (臥蠶) in Chinese communities. Ordinary eye bags usually take the shape of inverted triangles or semicircles. Wo-can, which literally means “lying silkworm”, are given the name probably because they look like silkworms attached to the lower eyelids. The swelling in wo-can is relatively minor, directly attached to the lower eyelids, and typically does not increase in size over time.

While ordinary eye bags often make people look older and are considered undesirable by most, wo-can tend to make the eyes look larger and more energetic, and are hence considered attractive by many (especially in Chinese societies). There are make-up products specifically designed for creating wo-can make-up. In fact, a plastic surgery called blepharoplasty can be performed to create artificial wo-can by redistributing the tissues around the eyes. Read more about Blepharoplasty.

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All information provided on this page is general and meant for educational purposes only.
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