How to Get Rid of Dark Circles
“You look so tired! Have you been ill?” These are the kinds of comments and questions encountered by people who have dark circles under their eyes. Even when they are healthy, feeling great and getting plenty of quality sleep, the dark circles under their eyes make them look tired and older than they really are.
People with dark circles under eyes may have been dealing with this issue for most of their lives. That’s because dark circles can be the result of genetics or heredity. In other words, if members of your family have dark circles under eyes, you’re more likely to have them too. This is usually the result of hyperpigmentation around the eyes. People of Mediterranean and South Asian descent most frequently experience hyperpigmentation that causes dark circles under eyes. Nonetheless, people of other ancestries and with different skin tones can also be troubled by hyperpigmentation.
It’s More Than Just Genes
Still, what causes dark circles can be more complicated than genetics. Sometimes the problem is that the blood vessels underneath the eyes are enlarged. Because the skin beneath the eye is very thin, only about half a millimeter or less, it’s surprisingly easy for these enlarged blood vessels to show through. Women who are pregnant or anyone who is anemic may also experience even greater thinning of the skin under the eyes, resulting in dark circles. Skin transmits blue light more effectively than red, which is why this condition shows up as bluish or greenish dark circles under eyes.
Sometimes what causes dark circles is sagging of the skin below the eyes. As the years go by, collagen and elastin break down. We also lose fat under and around the eye itself. This, coupled with sun exposure, makes skin sag and creates shadows or “bags”. Still other people experience dark circles under eyes as a result of fluid retention or allergies. Clearly, what causes dark circles can be as unique as the individuals who experience it.
Visit Your Doctor
Figuring out what causes dark circles for you might begin with a visit to a dermatologist. Your skin specialist can perform a thorough evaluation of your condition, and provide you with an educated opinion regarding why you’re dealing with dark circles under eyes. Your dermatologist will then make a recommendation for proceeding based on what’s causing the discoloration.
If your doctor concludes that your dark circles are the result of hyperpigmentation, he may make several treatment recommendations. When it comes to how to get rid of dark circles, you really do have options that are safe and effective. You’ll probably want to start using sunscreen under your eyes on a daily basis. Because you are prone to hyperpigmentation, this skin under your eyes is much more susceptible to the sun’s harmful rays. This can heighten the appearance of discoloration, and it also increases your risk for skin cancer.
Another way to deal with hyperpigmentation is to use an eye cream with retinol. Dermatologists frequently hear patients ask, “Do eye creams work?” The answer is yes, if you’re using the right product. An eye cream designed simply to moisturize will not help correct hyperpigmentation, but eye cream with retinol just might. A retinol eye cream can cause pigment to fade gradually over time. Moreover, this can be an excellent treatment for people dealing with very thin skin as retinol can stimulate collagen production. This makes skin less transparent, and dark circles under eyes seem to fade away.
For other people who have wondered, “Do eye creams work?” the answer may stubbornly remain no. Unfortunately, in particularly persistent cases, even an eye cream with retinol is not sufficient to correct discoloration. In these instances, it may be necessary to take a different approach. A dermatologist can advise you about how to get rid of dark circles under eyes using laser treatments that constrict blood vessels. Other people get improvement by trying fillers that lessen the appearance of shadows and give a fuller, more youthful look.
Sometimes a dermatologist will also suggest a serum containing brightening ingredients. Formulations containing kojic acid or vitamin C can deplete the skin’s ability to produce melanin. Used regularly, these serums can answer the question of how to get rid of dark circles under eyes. If these over the counter solutions don’t produce the desired results, your dermatologist may prescribe a cream containing a small amount of hydroquinone. This is essentially a bleach that lightens the skin.
Allergies and Other Conditions
When someone is experiencing dark circles as a result of allergies, figuring out how to get rid of dark circles is quite different. The first step may be to take an over the counter or prescription antihistamine. This can reduce congestion and puffiness. Allergies make the capillaries under your eyes swell and leak, resulting in puffiness and discoloration. Antihistamines control this reaction. It may also be helpful to use a caffeine-based topical cream that shrinks blood vessels back down to normal size.
There are also a number of things you can do in your daily life to help minimize under eye puffiness and discoloration. For instance, if your dark circles are caused by water retention, you might want to consider using more than one pillow while sleeping at night. This elevates your head and allows fluid to drain to other parts of your body. Cold compresses can also work wonders. A couple of slices of chilled, raw cucumber placed on the eyes for about 10 minutes can be very refreshing. Even better, cucumbers may introduce a bit of natural skin lightening to help with the appearance of discoloration.
Dark circles under eyes are a persistent, stubborn problem for many people. While it may seem like a condition for which there is no treatment, that is absolutely untrue. Many different methods have proven effective for alleviating dark circles. However, it’s important to first diagnose exactly what’s causing you to have dark circles. From there, it’s possible to try a number of different approaches to correct the problem. Many of these are non-invasive and topical in nature. If the problem persists, it is possible to take a more clinical approach.