The appearance of dark shadows or discoloration of skin under the eye is known as dark circles. Dark circles under eyes are not a serious disorder and not associated with any serious problem, but due to dark circles people look diseased, unhealthy, exhausted, tired, and aged.
What causes dark circles under eyes?
Most of the people think that dark circles are associated with shortness of sleep and fatigue, but it is not true. There are several causes of dark circles and these causes are divided into 3 categories.
- Lifestyle choices
- Fascial aging
- Other potential causes
- Lifestyle choices
These causes are associated with our lifestyle and include the following:
- Nutritional deficiencies
- Sleep deprivation
- Use of Alcohol
- Use of caffeine
- Hyperpigmentation due to sun
- Facial aging
Due to aging following changes appear that can move towards the appearance of dark circles under eyes.
- Bulging under eye fat
- Under eye volume loss
- Puffiness under eyes
- Thinning of skin under eye
- Loss of collagen due to aging
- Lower eyelid laxity
- Volume loss or fat descent in the cheeks
- Other potential causes
Other potential causes beside lifestyle and facial aging include the following:
- Environmental exposure
- Unhealthy food and water
- Anemia or iron deficiency
- Congestion of blood vessels under eye
- Nasal congestion
- Rubbing or scratching of eyes
- Hyperpigmentation due to melasma
- Medical conditions like thyroid problems, atopic dermatitis, contact dermatitis etc.
How to get rid of dark circles under eyes?
It is not so difficult to get rid of dark circles.
A single treatment option is enough, but combinations are used in severe cases or especially if there is more than one factor associated with dark circles. There are following ways to get rid of dark circles under eyes.
- Dark circle under eye cream
Different types of creams are available to treat the dark circles under eyes. The recommendations of the cream depends upon the cause of the dark circles like in case of hyperpigmentation from sun damage or melasma, topical bleaching and skin lightening agents are used. Hydroquinone, kojic acid and licorice are commonly used agents in case of hyperpigmentation.
If dark circles are due to vascular issues, then caffeine based creams may be recommended by dermatologist to reduce dark circles. Creams containing the Arnica extract have also been used to reduce the signs of dark circles results from vascular issues and it also reduces the inflammation under the eyes that can worsen the condition. Creams containing the antihistamine agents are used in allergic condition.
- Almond oil
Almond oil is used as a natural ingredient to reduce the signs of dark circles. Almond oil contains many nourishing vitamins and moistening agents that are used to solve many skin problems. Antioxidant agents of almond oil to enhance the flow of blood to reduce the signs. Moistening agents present in almond oil, reduce the dryness and dullness of skin. Fatty acids like omega-3 present in Almond oil maintain good nutrition, decrease volume loss and increase the blood flow. It also decreases the signs of wrinkles around the eyes.
- Collagen and retinol
Use of collagen maintains the collagen level and reduce the pigmentation to clear the dark circles. It decreases the deposition of fats and maintains the blood flow. It also reduces the dryness, dullness and wrinkle formation. Retinol or Vitamin A also helps to reduce the dark circles under the eyes by stimulating the production of new cells and collagen.
Tannin present in tea bag reduce the dark circles under eyes and swelling. Tannin is present in large amount in green tea as compared to black or herbal tea. Green tea also contains the natural ingredients that reduce the sign of inflammation. But black tea contains caffeine that stimulates the blood flow. So, usage of tea bags depending upon the causes and signs and symptoms of dark circles. Use of cooled and brewed tea bags for 10 to 15 minutes, reduce the signs of dark circles to a significant extent.
Cucumber is used as a natural ingredient to reduce the signs of dark circles. It contains the skin lightening agents that diminish dark circles under your eyes. Use of fresh and cooled cucumber slices for 10-15 minutes, reduce dark circles under eyes. It increases the blood flow because of its astringent property that refresh the appearance of skin.
Potato contains the enzymes and bleaching agents that lighten the dark circles under the eyes. The potato has been used to get rid of dark circles under the eyes for many years. It is successfully used in Hong Kong, South America, Africa, Canada and China to reduce the dark circles and inflammation. Use of fresh and cooled potato slices or potato paste for 20 to 30 minutes eliminate dark circles under the eyes.
Lemon also reduces the dark circles under the eyes because of its skin lightening properties. It also possesses the antioxidant property that reduces the dark spots. The vitamin C present in Lemon decreases the shadows under eyes because of its bleaching property. Daily use of lemon juice for 10 to 15 minutes for 2-3 weeks helps to get rid of dark circles under eyes.
- Rose water
The daily use of rose water helps to get rid of dark circles under eyes. The ingredients present in rose water have incredible skin care properties. It owns the soothing properties that provide relief and decreases the tiredness. Mild astringent properties of rose water increase the skin tone and blood flow. The daily use of rose water for 10 to 15 minutes for few weeks helps to get rid of dark circles under eyes and revitalizes the skin.
Sometimes dark circles are associated with skin allergy that worsen the condition due to itching and cause puffiness. Skin allergy causes swelling and redness around the eyes due to leakage of capillaries under the skin. Itching and rubbing associated with allergy increase the chances of hyperpigmentation. So, use of antihistamine agents provides the relief in allergic condition and decreases the signs and symptoms to a significant extent.
- Intense pulsed light therapy
Intense pulsed light therapy is used when dark circles under eyes are associated with dark blue or purple signs. It is recommended only in dark circles associated with vascular pigmentation issues.
- Hyaluronic acid facial fillers
Hyaluronic acid facial filler is recommended when dark circles under eyes are associated with thinning under eye skin or fat and tissue loss. Restylane is a commonly used hyaluronic acid filler for restoring volume depleted. The duration of therapy is too short but results obtained in a few months to one year. Fat injection also helps to get rid of dark circles under eyes by a similar mechanism.
- Cold compress
Cold compress or cold water helps to get rid of dark circles under eyes by constricting the blood vessels. It also helps to reduce the eye puffiness. Daily use of soft cloth soaked in cold water for 5-7 minutes for few weeks eliminate dark circles under the eyes. You can also use the ice cubes wrap in soft towel instead of cold water.
- Other remedies
One can also use the following options to get rid of dark circles under eyes.
- Tomato paste
- Mint leaves
- Apple slices
- Coconut oil
- Chamomile Tea Bags
- Vitamin B, C, D, E
- Sun block (more than SPF 20)
- Chemical peel therapy
- Laser resurfacing therapy
How to prevent dark circles under eyes?
It is not difficult to prevent dark circles under eyes.
One can prevent the dark circles under eyes by adopting the following simple things.
- Avoid rubbing the area around the eyes
- Use nasal decongestants to prevent the dilation of blood vessels like salt water or saline spray
- Use cold compress or black tea bags to prevent the dilation of blood vessels
- Avoid smoking, alcohol and caffeine
- Use healthy and nutritious diet
- Drink enough pure and clean water
- Avoid sun and environmental exposure like traffic smoking
- Get enough sleep
- use an under eye cream
- Try to resolve the associated medical conditions like thyroid problems, atopic or contact dermatitis etc.
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