Dark Circles Under Eyes: Causes and Treatment
For those who want to look their best, dark circles under the eyes can be a constant annoyance, causing an individual to look old and tired. While dark circles under the eyes are actually quite common, that does not change the fact that they detract from an individual’s facial appearance.
Even though many people have dark circles under their eyes, most are not familiar with the potential causes and best treatment methods for this aesthetic ailment. Dr. Babak Azizzadeh, an internationally renowned facial plastic surgeon, is an expert when it comes to treating dark circles under the eyes. At his Beverly Hills office, Dr. Azizzadeh performs both non-surgical and surgical treatments for dark circles under the eyes and has a comprehensive understanding of what causes these dark circles to appear. To help educate potential patients, Dr. Azizzadeh provides a comprehensive explanation of dark circles under eyes causes and treatments below
Dark Circles Under Eyes Causes
It is difficult to pinpoint just one cause for dark circles appearing under an individual’s eyes. There are a few different factors that can contribute to the formation of dark circles under the eyes, and below are some of the most prominent causes.
The Natural Aging Process
First and foremost, getting older can lead to the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. As an individual gets older, the production of crucial fats and collagen slows down to a crawl. This results in much lower fat and collagen levels in the area under the eyes, which means the skin loses its natural elasticity and volume.
Combine this lack of elasticity with the fact that skin also gets thinner with age, and as a result, the area under the eyes can get much more transparent. The dark circles under the eyes are actually dark blood vessels under the eyes seen through the skin, and as an individual gets older it is easier to see these blood vessels through increasingly translucent skin.
A Constant Strain on the Eyes
How well an individual treats their eyes can impact whether or not they develop dark circles under their eyes. Individuals who are constantly straining their eyes to watch TV, stare at a computer screen, or read in dismal lighting have put themselves at a higher risk to develop dark circles under their eyes. Constant eye strain results in the blood vessels around the eyes having to work harder, which then causes the blood vessels to enlarge over time. As stated above, the dark circles under the eyes are caused by the dark blood vessels present under the eyes, so it makes sense that this constant straining can lead to the appearance of unwanted dark circles.
Too Much Time in the Sun
While spending time in the sun is normal and healthy, overexposure to sunshine can be hazardous for a variety of reasons. Skin cancer and other ailments are clearly the primary concern, but spending too much time in the sun can also cause the formation of dark circles under the eyes. Sun overexposure can cause the body to produce much more melanin than is needed.
Melanin is the pigment that gives the skin color, and while this can be useful for those looking to get a nice tan for the summer, it can be troublesome to the area under the eyes. Too much sun can cause the skin around the eyes to darken and lead to dark circles appearing. That is why it is important to wear sunglasses and always apply sunscreen when out in the sun for an extended amount of time.
Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation
Getting the proper amount of sleep each and every night is a crucial component of maintaining good health, and this includes the health of the skin. Sleep deprivation and the resulting sense of general fatigue can lead to the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, as it causes the skin to lose some of its natural color. This can make the dark blood vessels under the eyes even more visible than usual.
Not Drinking Enough Water
Drink more water! Water is the lifeblood of the human race’s existence, and not drinking enough of this magical elixir can cause a host of health and wellness issues. One such issue is dark circles under the eyes. When the body is dehydrated, the skin underneath the eye tends to lose its natural vibrancy and color, causing the skin to look dull and the eyes to look sunken. This can result in any dark circles under the eyes being much more visible.
An Allergic Reaction That Causes Eye Dryness
An allergic reaction and any subsequent eye dryness can cause existing dark circles under the eyes to become more visible. When an individual has an allergic reaction, regardless of what triggered the allergies, the body’s reaction is essentially the same. The body will release histamines to fight off the invading bacteria, resulting in red, itchy, and puffy eyes.
Histamines also dilates all of the blood vessels in the body, which causes the blood vessels under the eyes to become much more visible. This can lead to the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. Not only that, but the dark circles under the eyes can be exacerbated by itchy eyes. Succumbing to the urge to itch the eyes can lead to inflammation and broken blood vessels, making the dark circles under the eyes more prominent.
Genetics and Family History
There appears to be a genetic predisposition to dark circles under the eyes. If a few people in the family have a history of dark circles under the eyes, then it increases the likelihood of another member of the family developing dark circles under their eyes. In some cases, early signs of dark circles under the eyes can be detected during childhood, only for it to get more visible with time.
Home Treatment for Dark Circles Under the Eyes
Before turning to medical treatments, individuals with dark circles under their eyes should first try some home remedies. Below are a few of the most successful household treatments for dark circles under the eyes.
- Apply a cold compress to the eyes to reduce swelling and puffiness
- Elevate the head while sleeping to prevent fluid from accumulating under the eyes
- Get seven to nine hours of sleep every single night
- Apply cold tea bags to the eyes to shrink the blood vessels and stimulate blood flow
Nonsurgical Medical Treatments for Dark Circles Under the Eyes
For those who are looking for an effective treatment for dark circles under their eyes but are not interested in a surgical option, below are a few of the best nonsurgical medical treatments to remove dark circles under the eyes
Restylane is a facial filler that consists of hyaluronic acid, and it does a great job of replacing lost volume in the face. If lost volume due to old age is the primary cause for dark circles under an individual’s eyes, then replacing that lost volume should conceal any dark patches under the eyes.
A natural way to add volume under the eyes is fat grafting. Fat grafting takes excess fat from a different area of the patient’s body, and then injects that fat under the eye to provide the area with additional volume. Fat grafting also has the added bonus of shedding unneeded fat from a problem area elsewhere on the body.
Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is a non-invasive treatment that can completely revitalize the skin on the face, specifically the area under the eyes. The laser leads to skin that has an improved tone, pigmentation, and texture, reducing the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
Blepharoplasty Eyelid Lift to Treat Dark Circles Under the Eyes
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery or an eyelid lift, is the best way to remove dark circles under the eyes. There are a few different types of blepharoplasty surgeries to treat a number of different issues related to the eyelids, including an upper eyelid blepharoplasty and a revision blepharoplasty, but the surgery to treat dark circles under the eyes is known as a lower eyelid blepharoplasty.
A lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery removes any excess skin around the lower eyelid. While doing so, Dr. Azizzadeh will also reposition or remove any excess fat found under the eye. Dr. Azizzadeh is an expert at manipulating the fat under the eye so that any dark circles under the eyes are no longer visible.
Schedule a Consultation to Treat Dark Circles Under the Eyes
Dark circles under the eyes can detract from an individual’s natural beauty, making them appear older, tired, and less attractive. For those who are interested in learning more about dark circles under eyes causes and treatment, contact Dr. Azizzadeh today. Dr. Azizzadeh is a renowned double board-certified facial plastic & reconstructive surgeon, with patients flying from around the world just for his services. Dr. Azizzadeh offers expertise when it comes to treating any dark circles under the eyes, providing both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please call us today at 310-657-2203.