Dark eye circles can occur around the eyes due to one of many reasons like poor sleeping patterns, poor diet, hereditary reasons, allergies etc. They are also called as Periorbital dark circles. They occur as dark discoloration of the skin around the eyes. Rubbing or scratching the area around the eyes, hay fever, allergies to food products could lead to dark eye circles. Dark circles occur due to dilation of blood vessels around the eye area which leaves the overlying skin appearing dark. This is mainly because the skin encircling the eyes is very delicate. We have elaborated the reasons for the occurrence of dark circles below for your understanding.
Causes for Dark Circles Under Eyes
Poor diet/ Anaemia – A poor diet or anaemia especially due to iron deficiency is one of the major reasons for dark eye circles. As the skin becomes pale, the blood vessels underneath the skin are clearly visible as dark patches underneath the eyes. Similarly, smoking, consuming alcohol, or excessive caffeine could also lead to dark eye circles.
Poor sleeping patterns – Poor sleeping patterns or lack of sleep causes the skin to go pale making the blood vessels underneath or around the eyes more visible through the skin and they appear dark.
Age – Dark circles are more noticeable with age and aging makes them permanent too. This is because the skin around the eyes loses collagen as we grow old and that makes the blood vessels visible over the skin and the skin looks darker in color. Sometimes some patients suffer dark eye circles due to loss of volume underneath the eyes or on the cheeks or due to bulging under the eyes also called eye bags.
Hyperpigmentation – Hyperpigmentation around the eyes is also known as Periorbital hyperpigmentation. This condition is diagnosed when the amount of melanin produced around the eyes is more than usual leaving dark eye circles. Hyperpigmentation could occur due to exposure to the sun or due to the presence of melasma.
Periorbital melanosis (POM) – Periorbital melanosis is yet another condition that results in dark circles on the skin around the eyes. A wood lamp examination is carried out to diagnose periorbital melanosis. Wood’s lamp helps us determine how deep the pigmentation has affected the patient. It may look the same as hyper pigmentation; however, it is a different symptom of the same syndrome and needs to be treated separately. The causes for periorbital melanosis could be deposition of dermal melanin, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation or shadowing from lax skin and infra-orbital swelling.
Mostly, some changes in our lifestyle and diet could help get rid of this condition. But, if the occurrence is not due to dietary or lifestyle choices, we will recommend treatment options depending on the severity of the condition. Some of the effective ways to treat dark eye circles are elaborated below.
Dark Circles Under Eyes Treatment Procedures
Eye creams – Creams that lighten the skin around the eyes to be used as recommended. However, they only can mask dark eye circles temporarily.
Fillers – Fillers or injectable solutions that contain hyaluronic acid are used to treat dark eye circles. They help restore volume under the eyes or above the cheek area. The results of this process are temporary, hence we recommend patients to rebook their appointments as soon as there is visible dark discoloration around the eyes. Using the patient’s own fat as the filler is another way to treat dark eyes circles. Fat is retrieved or grafted from another area of the body and injected into the affected part around the eyes. This process is recommended if the patient is suffering from thinning of the skin around the eyes due to tissue loss or fat loss.
Chemical peels – The dark circles that are caused because of hyper pigmentation can be treated with chemical peels. We ensure the chemical peels we use to treat dark eye circles are superficial peels like glycolic or AHA peels because these peels are mild and do not damage the eyeball as they penetrate deep enough to only cure the condition.
Micro-current – Micro-current treatment given around the eyes increases blood circulation. This drains the stagnant blood and the skin around the eyes looks hydrated and toned up.