What causes dark circles under eyes?
Dark circles appear under the eyes for many reasons and may simply be a genetic condition. ‘Periorbital hyperchromia’ – is a technical name that refers to the area around the eye socket caused by excessive pigmentation and is one of the most common reasons for circles under the eyes seen in all ages.
Other people have the appearance of dark circles just due to their anatomy and the shape of the structures around the eyes. In certain lights shadows are cast in any hollows and under any protruding eyelids or eyebags which make the area look dark.
Other causes of Dark Circles include:
- Dehydration of the skin cells, making dark circles more noticeable.
Simply drinking more water can bring about a marked reduction in the circles. Sometimes a topical B5 serum is needed to improve the skins hydration.
- Stress / Lack of sleep: can make the skin appear more sunken, or make eye bags look more puffy which can make dark circles more noticeable.
- Drinking alcohol: The consumption of alcohol allows the small blood vessels in the skin to dilate, or expand, so dark circles under the eyes may become more prominent. Dehydration also occurs which adds to the problem.
- Ageing: As people age, their skin becomes thinner due to a reduction of fat and collagen, making the blood vessels beneath it more noticeable, which thereby makes the area under the eyes appear darker. In addition the ligaments under the eye weaken and in some people the fat loss causes the skin to sag and create a tear trough and sometimes a bag. These create a shadow on the skin, creating the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.
- Pigmentation: The skin of the eyelids is ofter darker than that of the rest of the face. But in some people this can be more pronounced. This can be genetic or caused by environmental factors the most common cause is sun exposure. Pregnancy, hormones and trauma to the skin such as excess rubbing of the eyes can also increase pigmentation. A good SPF eye cream is recommended if you are at risk of high sun exposure.
- Vascular congestion: This is an area containing many, small blood vessels. In some people, these are congested, causing a somewhat purple discoloration. Patients who suffer from allergies could get venous congestion under the eye creating dark circles.
What can be done to improve dark circles?
To improve dark circles you first need to understand the cause.
Some times using the right coloured concealer applied in the right way can make a massive difference. If you struggle to do this it is worth booking in with a reputable makeup artist who can teach you how to do it more effectively.
Sometimes drinking more water or applying a B5 serum for hydration is all that is needed.
Treatments to be considered include:
Treatments to reduce pigmentation:
Topical treatments can be applied to gently lighten the skin and an SPF can be applied to prevent further pigmentation for any sun exposure.
Xela Rederm is a Redermalization treatment made by Hyalual® Institute. This injectable treatment introduces hyaluronic acid and succinate into your skin cells and provides a powerful visual anti-age effect and reduces pigmentation. 2-3 sessions are usualy required 2 weeks apart. View more about this treatment and view some before and after images here.
RRS Mesotherapy is a prescription-only injectable treatment designed to improve skin quality by plumping and lifting the skin and boosting collagen. It is also used to treat pigmentation, dark circles and fine lines under the eyes which can enhance your other treatments. Usually the result can be seen after two treatments but it may be necessary to do 4 to 6 treatments in the same amount of weeks. View more about this treatment and view some before and after images here.
Treatments to improve skin texture:
Improving the skin texture and stimulating increased collagen helps obscure the vessels under the skin that create the appearance of dark circles.
Topical treatments can be applied to stimulate collagen our most popular products for this are Dermaquest Peptide Eye Firming Serum, Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Cream or Obagi ELASTIderm Eye Gel and NeoStrata Skin Active Intensive Eye Therapy.
Collagen Stimulation using Radiofrequency technology can also be effective using the Endymed 3D Deep or ThermaClinic these treatments are relaxing and non invasive with no downtime but a course of 6 is required every 1- 2 weeks.
Ultraformer HIFU treatment is a little bit more painful and more aggressive but is more effective. We recommend 3 treatments one every month.
The CACI Eye Revive is a three step treatment that stimulates collagen using radiofrequency and also by infusing products in to the skin that hydrate stimulating new collagen. It can give a temporary improvement after one treatment but for best results a course of treatments is recomended. It is also a great way of boosting the eye area before a special event.
Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) is one of the latest anti-ageing and skin rejuvenation procedures available and has the power to trigger your body’s own tissue regeneration potential. PRP is a naturally occurring component of your own blood. It encourages skin rejuvenation by stimulating the growth of your own collagen. It also improves the blood supply to the tissues and greatly improves skin tone and texture. PRP also reduces fine lines and wrinkles, all by stimulating your body’s own regeneration systems. PRP can be injected all around the eye to stimulate collagen and elastin. The regeneration process is gradual and natural and takes 2-3 months to develop after a single treatment. Two to three treatments, 2-3 months apart are recommended for most people for significant results.
Xela Redermalization is an injectable treatment that introduces hyaluronic acid and succinate into your skin cells and provides a powerful collagen stimulation effect and also reduces pigmentation. We recommend 2-3 treatments, 2 weeks apart. View more about this treatment and view some before and after images here.
RRS Mesotherapy is a prescription-only injectable treatment designed to improve skin quality by plumping and lifting the skin and boosting collagen. It treats pigmentation, dark circles and fine lines under the eyes. We recommend at least 2 treatments but sometimes 4-6 treatments are necessary.
View more about this treatment and view some before and after images here.
PRP with Redermalization:
A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology showed that PRP and rederm injections combined gave the best results.
Treatments to improve Tear Troughs:
Tear Troughs develop due soft tissue volume loss in the cheek and eye area. The ligaments of the lower eyelid weaken and the bony area under the eyelid becomes accentuated. This can also lead to the appearance of lower eyelid fat pockets (eye bags) and both of these changes can lead to a dark shadow or hollow beneath the eyes and can cause a tired appearance.
At Cheshire Lasers we treat Tear Troughs with the following:
At Cheshire Lasers we use hyaluronic acid Dermal Fillers to treat tear troughs. These fillers slowly break down over time and in most patients results can last a year. A top up procedure is sometimes required to achieve best results.
Depending on your anatomy and your medical practitioners preference they may use Juvederm, Restylane, Belotero or Teosyal Redensity 2 a filler designed especialy for the tear trough area.
PRP treatments for the under eye and the upper eyelid lead to stimulation of your own collagen and elastin and regeneration of new healthy skin tissue for gradual, natural and real results that improve in the 2-3 months following a single treatment.
We recommend two to three treatments, 2-3 months apart. PRP injection treatments below the skin in the under-eye area do not have the immediate results. Unlike Dermal Fillers which are instant, PRP is resorbed by your body within 2-3 days. There is then a gradual tissue regeneration which continues for months. You see the final results 3-4 months after each treatment. PRP treatments improve fine lines, texture, loose skin, loss of volume, deep wrinkles and some pigmentation.
Other things to consider:
Treatments to improve Eye Bags:
In most cases the best treatment for eye bags is surgery. Some of the treatments we have mentioned above can help, but are not as effective and will not last as long.
The CACI Eye Revive can give a temporary improvement and is worth trying. If it helps it is a great way of boosting the eye area before a special event.
What can I do at home to enhance my results?
The skin under the eye is the thinnest of the face. As we age the blood vessels underneath become visible and create a darkened reflection. Investing in an Eye Cream: that includes Retinol, Peptides, Caffeine, and Antioxidants is key. Retinol works by exfoliating dead skin cell leading to collagen production. Peptides applied topically send “signals” to through the skin to prompt the formation of new collagen. Caffeine constricts blood vessels which will reduce puffiness and redness. Antioxidant (ex: Vitamin C or Green tea) offer powerful protection from the sun and also brighten the skin.