Why Preparation H Is Bad for Puffy Eyes
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Why Preparation H Is Bad for Puffy Eyes

Why Preparation H Is Bad for Puffy Eyes

Why Preparation H Is Bad for Puffy Eyes

Having puffy eyes in itself is not a serious condition but it is unsightly nonetheless. When the complaint is chronic (long lasting) it can be quite bothersome for the sufferer. This is especially the case when others start to notice and make comments. The most common symptom is a reddening and extreme puffiness around the thin, sensitive skin of the eye area called the orbits. Quite often this will resolve without any kind of medical intervention. In cases where it doesn’t, there are other effective eyebag removal treatments to consider.

Familiar Causes of Puffiness

There are many causes for this unattractive eye condition. Some of the most common include:

  • Allergies (those which cause inflammation and swelling)
  • Bloating (abnormal swelling of the abdominal area)
  • Dehydration (includes alcohol induced dehydration)
  • Fatigue (as in extreme tiredness)
  • Genetics
  • Hormone imbalances

Finding the root cause behind this is not always easy. The reason is because there can be more than one factor at play. It’s why people treat eye bag removal by targeting the symptoms rather than the initiating cause of the problem. You might have read somewhere that “Preparation H” is an effective way to treat the symptoms, but is it true.

Preparation H® Explained

Some of you will know Preparation H® as a haemorrhoid cream, and that’s exactly what it is. Preparation H contains a synthetic compound called phenylephrine, which is a powerful constrictor of blood vessels. The cream contains about one percent hydrocortisone, a steroid hormone that acts as an anti-inflammatory agent.

The way Preparation H works with haemorrhoids is by constricting blood vessels. This in turn squeezes the blood out of the haemorrhoid causing them to shrivel. You will find plenty of bloggers writing about how Preparation H can do a similar thing for puffy eyes, at least in theory.

The Problems with Preparation H

One disadvantage with this medication is that the fix, if it works, is short lived. Another, more serious problem is that the cream is hostile if any gets into the actual eyes. In fact, some of the additional ingredients in the product may even cause severe damage. This makes it a risky topical application for eyebag removal. Furthermore, there is no scientific evidence to back up the claims that it works in lessening eye puffiness. Using a haemorrhoid cream to treat the symptoms of tired or aging eyes is little more than a contemporary legend than a real fact.

Even the labelling on the product states that the user should keep the cream away from around the eye area. There are other problems associated with the continual treatment of topical steroids such as hydrocortisone too, namely:

  • Skin thinning (at just 0.5 mm thick the eye skin is already very thin)
  • Increased skin frailty
  • Inflated blood vessels
  • Issues with the adrenal gland (the body’s natural steroid producer)

Anyone who uses this cream over a prolonged period of time will result in eyes that look worse, never better, than before the treatment.

Safer Alternatives

Eye Bag

Those who use haemorrhoid cream to treat puffy eyes will be doing so at their own risk and not on the advice of a medical professional. There are safer alternatives for this. Three simple choices include:

  • Place cold water compresses directly onto the affected area
  • Sleep keeping your head in a slightly elevated position
  • Apply quality makeup and good eye cream

Regarding that last point, go for those eye creams that claim to be “firming.” A quality product should help to temporarily tighten the skin.

OK, so far we have looked at what not to do and what to do as a way to treat the “symptoms.” However, the only dependable way to resolve under-eye puffiness is by addressing the underlying root cause. Although there can be many causes, there are three common triggers for unsightly eye bags.

  1. Lack of sleep/rest
  2. Dehydration
  3. Allergies

Let’s look at each of these in turn, starting with the sleep issues.

A Lack of Sleep or Sleep Quality

A Lack of Sleep or Sleep Quality

Sleep is something we all need but many of us don’t get enough of it. There are two main problems here. One is a lack of quality slumber and the other is not getting enough hours. Just because someone is in bed for seven or eight hours, that doesn’t always mean they sleep well. The reasons can be varied and unique to the individual.

The other, more common issue with sleep is not getting enough hours. Sleep is so important to health and wellbeing that experts call it the third pillar of good health. The other two are diet (nutrition) and physical activity (exercise). Aside from bedtime, it’s also important to rest and relax whenever you get the opportunity.

The Dehydration Issue

The Dehydration Issue

Dehydration is another area where so many people fall short. The problem here is that we tend to drink water only when we feel a thirst coming on. There are guidelines for how much water a person should consume on average, but this varies depending on situations. For example, someone who lives in a hot country and works outdoors will need to drink a lot more than someone who lives in a cold climate or works indoors.

Tip: If you don’t like drinking water when you’re not thirsty, try adding a little fresh lemon or lime juice to it. This really is a simple yet effective way to make water so much more palatable.

Potential Allergies

Potential Allergies

And finally we have allergies. The way to check for allergic reactions is to closely monitor your eyes. Maybe you become aware of the puffiness at a particular time every year. If so, then there’s a chance that you could just be susceptible to seasonal sensitivities. If your problem is year-round, there’s a possibility that you have an allergic reaction to any number of things. This may be airborne allergens (grass, for example) or even certain foods. An elimination diet should help to determine that. If in doubt, schedule an appointment with your doctor to discuss your concerns and go over some possible treatments.

Other Options


In some cases, puffiness around the eyes is a hereditary condition. If this is something that runs in your family, there is very little any of the above suggestions can do to help. That doesn’t mean there’s no hope, because there is. But it will require invasive actions by way of cosmetic eyelid surgical procedures. Alternatively you could try a quality concealer. This is a flesh-toned cosmetic that covers facial blemishes and dark circles under the eyes. Concealers are simple to apply, effective, affordable, and best of all they’re pain-free.

Summing Up

Stay well clear of Preparation H or the steroid hydrocortisone. These are not safe or effective treatments for eye puffiness and will result in doing more damage than good. Remember that eye puffiness is often an indication of an underlying health issue. Look at your sleep, potential allergies and dehydration. Try to identify the root cause of the problem rather than addressing only the symptoms.

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