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, since they can cause an individual to look old and tired. While under-eye circles are common, that does not change the fact that they detract from an individual’s facial appearance.
Even though many people have dark circles under the 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 and reconstructive surgeon, is an expert when it comes to treating dark under-eye circles. At his Beverly Hills office, Dr. Azizzadeh performs both non-surgical and surgical treatments for dark circles that otherwise hamper the appearance of the eyes. He has a comprehensive understanding of what causes these circles to appear. To educate those who are dealing with under-eye circles, Dr. Azizzadeh explores these issues and how to treat them below.
Are Dark Under-Eye Circles Common?
Some people may be more susceptible to dark circles under the eyes than others. Those who may be impacted by these circles include:
- Elderly men and women
- People who have a genetic predisposition to dark under-eye circles (referred to as “periorbital hyperpigmentation”)
- People with a dark skin tone
Regardless of why circles form beneath the eyes, it is important to address them in their early stages. That way, people can limit the risk that under-eye circles cause long-lasting damage to their facial appearance.
Dark Circles Under Eyes Causes
It is difficult to pinpoint one cause for dark circles appearing under the eyes. There are a few factors that can contribute to the formation of circles under the eyes, including:
1. 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 beneath 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. Circles under the eyes are actually dark blood vessels under the eyes seen through the skin. As an individual gets older, it is easier to see these blood vessels through increasingly translucent skin.
2. A Constant Strain on the Eyes
How well an individual treats their eyes can impact whether or not they develop dark circles. 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 circles beneath 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 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 under-eye circles.
3. Too Much Time in the Sun
While spending time in the sun is normal and healthy, overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays 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. In fact, sun overexposure can cause the body to produce much more melanin than what 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.
4. 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.
5. 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. This can cause the skin to look dull and the eyes to look sunken. It can also result in dark under-eye circles.
6. 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 than ever before. 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 dilate 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. Not only that, but the circles 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 more prominent.
7. Genetics and Family History
There appears to be a genetic predisposition to dark circles below the eyes. If a few people in a family have a history of under-eye circles, then it increases the likelihood of another member of the family developing them. In some cases, early signs of dark under-eye circles can be detected during childhood, only for these circles to become more visible over time.
At-Home Treatment for Dark Circles Under the Eyes
Before turning to medical treatments, individuals with dark circles below their eyes should first try some home remedies. Below are a few of the most successful household treatments for under-eye circles.
- 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 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 address these issues.
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 of dark circles, then replacing that lost volume should conceal these issues.
2. Fat Grafting
Fat grafting offers a natural way to add volume under the eyes. It involves taking excess fat from a different area of the patient’s body and injecting it beneath the eyes. This increases volume in the under-eye area . Fat grafting also helps patients shed fat from problem areas in different areas of the body.
3. Laser Skin Resurfacing
Laser skin resurfacing is a non-invasive treatment that can revitalize the skin on the face, specifically the area beneath the eyes. The treatment involves the use of DOT Deka lasers to improve skin tone, pigmentation, and texture and reduce the appearance of under-eye circles.
How Can a Blepharoplasty Eyelid Lift Be Used to Treat Dark Circles Under the Eyes?
Blepharoplasty, also known as eyelid surgery or an eyelid lift, may be the best way to remove dark circles from under the eyes. There are several types of blepharoplasty surgeries, including upper eyelid and revision treatments. Yet, to treat dark circles under the eyes, a patient can undergo a lower eyelid blepharoplasty.
A lower eyelid blepharoplasty surgery can be used to remove any excess skin around the lower eyelid. During this procedure, Dr. Azizzadeh repositions or removes any excess fat found under the eye. Dr. Azizzadeh is an expert at manipulating fat under the eye. As such, he ensures that dark circles can be safely removed from under his patients’ eyes.
What Is the Best Way to Get Rid of Circles Under Eyes?
There may be times when plastic surgery for dark circles under eyes is the ideal treatment option. However, certain patients can benefit from nonsurgical or at-home treatments in lieu of surgical ones to address under-eye circles.
By meeting with Dr. Azizzadeh, a patient can receive an evaluation regarding their under-eye dark circles. Dr. Azizzadeh can evaluate his patient’s facial appearance, medical history, and other factors. He can also teach his patient about dark circles under eyes causes and treatment options. This ensures the patient can gain insights into circles under eyes causes and treatments and make an informed decision about how to correct these problems.
Following a patient consultation, Dr. Azizzadeh can craft a custom treatment plan. Dr. Azizzadeh will consider the best course of action to help his patient alleviate under-eye circles and prevent them from recurring. He may recommend nonsurgical or surgical treatment options, or a combination of the two.
Once Dr. Azizzadeh and his patient initiate a treatment plan, the pair work together to ensure it is successful. Dr. Azizzadeh carefully administers treatment and tracks his patient’s progress. He asks his patient to provide feedback regarding their treatment recovery. Dr. Azizzadeh offers tips and recommendations to ensure his patient can avoid under-eye circles long into the future, too.
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 options, contact Dr. Azizzadeh today.
Dr. Azizzadeh is a renowned double board-certified facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon, with patients flying from around the world for his services. He offers extensive expertise when it comes to treating any dark circles under the eyes and similar issues. Dr. Azizzadeh also provides both nonsurgical and surgical treatment options. To schedule an in-person or virtual consultation with Dr. Azizzadeh, please contact us online or call us today at 310-657-2203.