Dark circles also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation is common condition which affects both men and women. The dark circles are often accompanied by bags and make you look older than you already are and sometimes they are quite difficult to get rid of.
Dark circles are most likely to affect people who are elderly, have darker skin tone and are predisposed genetically to get this condition.
Most people assume that the dark circles under the eyes appear because of fatigue or lack of sleep but there are a number of factors that actually contribute to this.
Causes of dark circles under the eyes
- Fatigue. This is the most common cause for dark circles under the eyes. Extreme fatigue, oversleeping or sleep deprivation can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. They make the skin to become dull and pale thus showing the blood and dark tissues beneath the skin to show. There can also be a build up of fluid underneath the eyes, making them to appear puffy.
- Allergies. Whenever you have an allergic reaction, the body releases histamines to deal with the bad bacteria but this causes itchiness, redness and puffy eyes. Histamines also cause the blood vessels to dilate thus making them more visible beneath the skin. Allergies also cause you to want to rub the itchy skin around the eyes thus causing swelling, inflammation and blood vessels which results in dark shadows under the eyes.
- Genetics. Some people are genetically predisposed to develop dark circles under the eyes.
- Dehydration. When the body is lacking the proper amount of water, the skin under the eyes looks dull and sunken due to its close proximity to the underlying bone.
- Eye strain. Straining your eyes especially when you are watching the tv or computer screen can cause the blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge which causes the skin around the eyes to darken.
- Age. The skin becomes thinner as we age in addition to losing collagen and fat which maintains the skin’s elasticity. This causes the dark blood vessels under the skin around the eyes to become more visible thus darkening the area under your eyes.
Treatment for Dark Circles under the eyes
Dark circles underneath the eyes often temporary for some people and can be easily treated at home. However if you notice that the swelling and discoloration is worsening with time then seek a medical opinion.
Medical treatments are a more effective and permanent solution in reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Always discuss your options with the doctor before settling on any cosmetic procedure.
Some of the medical treatment options for dark circles are;
- Laser surgery which helps in skin tightening and also skin resurfacing
- Chemical peels which reduce pigmentation
- Medical tattoos which are used to inject pigment into thinning skin areas
- Fat removal is used to remove the excess skin and fat thus revealing a more even and smoother surface
- Tissue fillers are used in concealing blood vessels and melanin which cause skin discoloration under the eyes
- Fat transfer or surgical implants beneath the eyes.