Dark circles under the eyes are often accompanied by puffiness too. Its quite common in both sexes and they often have the effect of making you look older than you really are. To make things worse, they aren’t the easiest thing to get rid of either. This article looks at the the problem, the main causes and also reveals some ‘at home’ and medical remedies.
Why Do I Have Dark Circles Under My Eyes?
Dark circles under the eyes are a relatively common condition that can affect both men and women.
They are most prevalent in people who are:
- Genetically predisposed to the condition ( called periorbital hyperpigmentation)
- From non white, ethnic groups. ( Its a fact that those with naturally darker skin tones are more likely to experience hyperpigmentation around the eyes).
Causes Of Dark Circles Under Eyes
There are a number of explanations for this condition.
For years it was believed that it was merely down to fatigue, now while it is a major cause, there are a number of other reasons why you are experiencing under eye puffiness and dark circles.
Fatigue is a major cause of under eye dark circles
Not getting sufficient sleep daily is a major cause of dark circles, even missing few hours after a late night out can cause the problem to appear.
Sleep deprivation can cause your delicate under eye skin to become pale and dull, allowing the darker blood vessels and under layer of skin tissues to show through.
A lack of a good nights sleep can also cause a build of fluid under the eyes, this can make them appear puffy.
In some cases the dark circles can literally be an illusion, simply being shadows being cast by the puffiness around the eyes.
Another common cause of dark circles is simply getting that little bit older. Heavy eyelids are another telltale sign.
As we age, the skin beneath the eyes gets thinner, it starts to lose essential collagen and fat which is essential to maintain the skins elasticity and volume.
Should this occur its common for the darker blood vessels in the lower layers of the skin under the eyes to show through and cause the dark appearance.
Too Much TV Or Computer
Over use of a computer or watching TV for extended periods of time can cause eye strain.
This can cause the blood vessels that surround your eyes to enlarge
These start to show through the skin, which causes the appearance of dark patches
Dehydration – a big no no if you want to avoid under eye dark circles
Another common cause of dark circles under the eyes is being dehydrated.
If you are not drinking enough fluid on a daily basis, the skin can become dry and brittle.
It can also cause the eyes to become sunken and give them a dull appearance.
The reason for this is because the skin under the eyes is thin and rather close to the bone.
More thicker skin on other parts of your body takes longer to react to the lack of hydration.
Having an allergic reaction can also be a trigger for dark circles under your eyes.
When your body reacts to an allergic reaction it releases histamine to try and alleviate the problem.
Histamines however, can cause some uncomfortable symptoms that include redness, puffiness and itchiness.
They can also cause blood vessels to swell beneath the skin, making them appear more visible.
Too Much Exposure To the Sun
We all love getting our faces out in the sun, but too much exposure can be quite detrimental.
When exposed to the sun, our body produces ever increasing amounts of melanin, the natural compound responsible for giving our skin its colour.
If our faces are exposed to too much sun, it’s quite probable for the delicate skin around the eyes to become darker as increased amounts of melanin are produced.
Your family’s genetics are another reason for under eyes dark circles.
Some family groups have a general predisposition to the problem.
In a nut shell, If your parents or grandparents have/had them, it is quite likely that you will too.
Other genetic health conditions can also cause dark circles, a common one being thyroid disease.
Treating Dark Circles Under Eyes At Home
Treating the appearance of dark circles actually depends on whats actually causing the problem.
here are some home based remedies that can help treat many cases of this condition.
Apply A Cold Compress.
A cold compress is quite effective at reducing the appearance of swelling, puffiness and dark circles under you eyes.
It works by reducing swelling and the appearance of dilated blood vessels.
Easy to make, simply take a couple of ice cubes, wrap them in a clean washcloth and apply against the skin below your eyes for 20 minutes.
Another method is to soak a wash cloth in cold water, squeeze out excess water and hold against the skin under the eyes – again for 15-20 minutes
As the water warms while in contact with your skin, its necessary to repeat the process to make sure the water stays cold.
Grab Some Z’s
We know that not getting enough sleep can cause the problem, so catching up some lost sleep can make a great difference.
Try to get 7-8 hours to ensure that your body is getting sufficient sleep.
Raise Your Head Whilst Asleep
It has been shown that alongside getting enough sleep, your sleeping position can also help or hinder the problem.
Try sleeping on an extra pillow as raising your head can help stop fluid build up under your eyes, causing that puffiness that accompanies dark circles.
Cold Tea Bags for Under Eye Dark Circles
Apply 2 cold tea bags to the skin underneath your eyes.
Packed with antioxidants and caffeine, tea can help stimulate circulation and reduce swollen blood vessels.
This reduces puffiness and helps to reduce those unwanted dark patches.
Using either black or green tea bags, soak 2 bags in hot water for 5 minutes.
Remove and place in fridge until cold.
Apply to the skin under the eyes and leave for 20 minutes.
After removing, rinse the eyes with cool, clean water.
Dig Out The Concealer
Using makeup and over cosmetics will not stop dark circles from appearing, but they can help reduce their appearance.
A good concealer will really help to mask the dark circles but make sure that you use one with the right skin tone so it blends in with your skin colour.
If you do experience any reactions or side effects, stop any treatment immediately and seek assistance from your doctor.
Medical Treatments For Dark Circles Under Eyes
Should the problem persist, or these home treatments to not work, then you might consider going to see your doctor.
They do have a range of medical treatments that can be used to help reduce dark circles and patches.
- Laser surgery to resurface the skin, and help tighten the skin, reducing puffiness.
- Chemical peels can help reduce discolouration around and below the eyes.
- Medically tattooing the area, to put lighter, skin coloured pigment into the area.
- Injectable fillers to plump the skin, hiding those blood vessels that can show as dark patches, beneath the eyes.
- Removing any excess fat deposits from around the eye, to provide a smoother more even surface.
- Implanting fat or synthetic products to boost and plump sagging, shrunken skin.
Our Final Say On Dark Circles Under Eyes
Although they are unsightly and very upsetting to have, the fact is that dark circles are for most people, just a temporary problem.
Usually caused by tiredness or the ageing process, its a relatively easy problem to treat in most cases.
We have uncovered several at home remedies that have been shown to help reduce these unwanted dark patches and under eye bags.
If these do not work, your doctor has a number of treatment options at their disposal.
If you cannot get the dark circles under your eyes to fade, or they actually start to get worse, its absolutely essential to get to your doctor and let them diagnose the problem.
They will then recommend the right course of treatment for YOU.