Condition > Dark Eye Circles

Dark Eye Circles – Causes, Treatment & Recommended Removal Method

What Causes Dark Circles Around the Eyes?

Periorbital dark circles are a result of the thin layer of skin below your eyes showing the blood vessels and the blood they contain more clearly than anywhere else on your body. (For reference, this skin around your eyelids, called periorbital skin, is on average about 0.5 mm thick compared to an average of about 2 mm thick on most of the rest of your body.)

Now, as you may or may not already know  the reason, veins often look blue isn’t because the blood inside them is blue; it’s because your skin/subcutaneous tissue only lets blue/violet wavelengths of light pass through it. As a result, only blue light is reflected back and the veins look, well, bluish.

It’s the exact same concept with the skin below your eyes. Those dark bluish circles are (usually) just the result of light being reflected back off of the blood vessels sitting just below the surface of that incredibly thin patch of skin. This is the same reason facial bruises are more prominent below or around the eyes; the thin skin just shows the blood from the ruptured blood vessels a little bit more clearly. So what are the causes for your dark rings? 

  • Stress – When you are stressed more of your blood is directed to your main organs where your body needs it most rather than to your face which is left looking drained and a bit pastier. The contrast between the rest of your skin and the circles beneath your eyes, can make the darkness appear more noticeable.

  • Loss of Collagen – As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and ability to regenerate and as a result, ​ it becomes thinner. This is why more often than not, elderly people will have rather prominent periorbital dark circles regardless of how much they sleep. As with those who are genetically predisposed to having thinner skin below the eyes, it’s just biology.

  • Periorbital Hyperpigmentation – Another thing that can cause dark circles beneath the eyes is something known as periorbital hyperpigmentation, which is basically a condition that results in more melanin being produced by the skin below the eyes, resulting in it appearing to be a darker color.

  • Genetics – Unfortunately, there are some people who are just more prone to develop dark circles. If you have naturally very pale skin in particular then the darker pigmentation and any broken capilleries are more likely to show through.

  • Iron Deficiencies – Dark rings can be a sign of an iron deficiency such as anaemia. For people with less iron in their systems, haemoglobin, the red pigment which carries oxygen to cells, is more easily broken down and can make the skin below the eye appear dark or bruised.

  • Broken Capillaries – The thinnest area of skin around your face is also just underneath the eye. This is also the most sensitive part of your face and the capillaries beneath this thin dermis are often prone to breaking, often through stress or through sun damage. The blood cells which spread out of these spaces tend to gather just underneath the surface of the skin and oxidise and form dark purple hue.

  • Sunken-Looking Eyes – With age, the bones forming the orbit shrink and the orbital cavity gets bigger. We also lose some of the periorbital fat that cushions the eyes. Over time, this can result in sunken-looking eyes and make dark circles look worse.

Dark Eye Circles Removal
Dr Chiam CT 

Treatment for dark eyes circles

Dark eyes and sunken-looking eyes can be treated by fractional lasers, ablative radio frequency or ultrasound treatments, which target collagen regeneration, and aim to tighten and tone the skin. Those with more pronounced eye bags can opt for surgery. Fillers can be injected under the eye but these need to be repeated frequently.

We utilise advanced medical technologies and combines different modalities, intended to lighten dark tints and circles, and also tightens the skin around the eyes while stimulating collagen production without surgeries. Wrinkles will also be reduced, helping to improve the appearance of the eyes.

After a consultation and thorough examination, I will design a tailored blend of treatments, combining different technologies and closely monitor your progress. We provide non-invasive dark eye circle removal in Singapore. Each session takes about 15 mins to 45 mins. No surgery or injections are needed, and there is minimal downtime.