Condition > Dark Eye Circles

Dark Eye Circles – Causes & Removal Treatment 

Demands create supplies. Little wonder why so many advertisements promising effective dark eye circles removal treatments vying for our attention.

Why Do We Get Dark Circles Below 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. To put it in perspective, the skin under your lower eyelid, called the periorbital skin, is usually about 0.5 mm thick whereas the skin covering the rest of your body, is about 2 mm thick on average.

Bluish Dark Eye Circles

Now, as many of us may be aware, veins often appear bluish  because your skin and the subcutaneous tissue allows only light of blue/violet wavelengths to pass through it. This is the reason, only blue light gets reflected back and the veins appear bluish to the eye.

This is the same principle at work with the skin area below your eyes. Those unattractive, dark bluish circles are formed when the blood vessels located just underneath the surface of that very thin patch of skin, begin to reflect the light falling on them. This is also the reason why facial bruises are usually more pronounced in areas located under or around the eyes; the thin skin only displays the blood from the cracked blood vessels with relatively more clarity. Let's look at the causes before jumping into your options for dark eye circles treatment.

Factors Contributing to Dark Eye Circles

  • Stress

    When the body is undergoing stress, it channels blood away from areas such as the face, to the main organs that need it more. As a result of less blood supply, the face acquires a drained and pasty complexion.  The dark circles under your eyes can look even more pronounced, when contrasted with the skin color on the rest of the face or body.
  • Collagen Loss

    As we grow older, loss of elasticity and decreased ability to regenerate, leaves our skin thinner. This is the reason why, despite sleeping longer hours,, aged persons usually have periorbital dark circles that are more pronounced.
  • Periorbital Hyperpigmentation 

    This is a condition wherein the skin beneath the eyes, produces more melanin is produced, leading to darker coloring or pigmentation of the specific area in higher quantities.
  • Genetics 

    Our genetic make up also has a major say in the appearance and severity of dark circles under the eyes. As a result, some people are more prone to dark circles formation. Particularly, if you are born  with very pale skin, then you are more likely to suffer issues with darker pigmentation. Moreover, broken capillaries are likely to stand out more prominently on your skin.
  • Iron Deficiency

    Sometimes, dark circles can be an indication  of iron deficiency conditions such as anaemia. In people suffering from less iron in their body,  the red pigment, haemoglobin, which transports oxygen to cells, gets broken down very easily, imparting a dark or bruised look to the skin in areas below the eye.
  • Broken Capillaries 

    The thinnest and most delicate skin area around your face, lies just below the eyes. Being the most sensitive skin areas on your face, the capillaries located under this thin dermis, are more prone to breaking, generally due to stress or exposure to harsh sun light. The blood cells that  spread out from these spaces, usually gather just below the skin surface, to  oxidise and form a dark purple hue.
  • Sunken-Looking Eyes

    With advancing age, the bones forming the orbit, tend to shrink and enlarging the orbital cavity. Some of the periorbital fat which cradles and cushions the eyes, is lost with the passage of time.  As a result, we end up with sunken-looking eyes,  making the dark circles look worse.

Treatment Options for Dark Eyes Circles Removal

Dark circles under your eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, including fatigue, aging, eye strain, dehydration, allergies, sun exposure, and genetics. There are multiple dark eye circle treatment options, but it will depend on the underlying cause and the severity. A combination of various modalities can also help to stimulate healthier collagen products, resulting in an improved appearance of the eyes. Here are some common treatments and remedies that may help:

  1. Topical Bleaching Agents: These medications lighten the skin under the eyes. However, they can also cause skin irritation.
  2. Chemical Peels: Light chemical peels can remove the top layer of skin, revealing fresher, lighter skin underneath. Lighter peels can often be used under the eyes safely, but deeper peels require more caution due to the sensitive nature of the skin in this area.
  3. Laser Therapy: Lasers such as fractional laser can help to tighten and resurface the skin, which may reduce the appearance of dark circles
  4. Ablative Radiofrequency (RF): Ablative RF uses energy waves to heat the deep layers of the skin to stimulate collagen production to help tighten the skin around the eyes. The heat generated by RF can also improve blood circulation which helps to reduce the visibility of dark circles caused by poor circulation. 
  5. Ultrasound Treatments : This non-invasive procedure uses sound waves to improve the appearance of the skin, it delivers focused ultrasound energy to deeper layers of the skin which stimulates the production of collagen. This treatment helps to tighten and firm the skin under the eyes, which potentially reduce the appearance of dark circles, especially if they are due to saggy and aging skin. 
  6. Fillers: Injecting fillers such as hyaluronic acid can help to treat dark circles caused by thinning skin or fat and collagen loss. However, this treatment need to be repeated frequently
  7. Surgery: In severe cases, surgical procedures such as blepharoplasty can help, but these are usually considered a last resort.

Other remedies for dark eye circles include; 

  1. Get Adequate Sleep: Lack of sleep can lead to skin looking pale, which can make the dark circles more noticeable. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep per night.
  2. Stay Hydrated: Adequate hydration can help improve the look of dark circles.
  3. Cold Compress: A cold compress can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels, helping to reduce the appearance of dark circles.
  4. Elevate Your Head During Sleep: This can help reduce puffiness and swelling in your face, including under your eyes.
  5. Limit Sun Exposure: Protect the skin under your eyes from the sun with sunglasses and sunblock. The sun's UV rays can damage the skin and make dark circles more noticeable.
  6. Eye Creams: There are various eye creams available that may help. Look for ingredients like vitamin C, retinol, and caffeine, which can brighten skin and reduce puffiness.
  7. Healthy Diet: Eating a balanced diet can help improve skin health. Certain nutrients, such as vitamins A, C, E, and K, iron, and antioxidants can be beneficial.

Remember, everyone's skin is different, so what works for one person might not work for another. It's always best to discuss your symptoms and treatment options with a dermatologist or a healthcare provider.