Skin Concerns > Dark Circles

Dark Circles

This is a very common concern we see at Dermology. To have dark circles under your eyes can be very frustrating, especially if you do not know how to treat it and maintain.

Unfortunately we live in a time where we work hard AND play hard. The problem with that is that SLEEP gets neglected tremendously, and therefore a condition called FATIGUE is getting more and more common.

Due to lack of sleep, our eyes can become puffy/tired, and this creates shadows under the eyes which can be seen as dark circles. Due to naturally ageing and the skin around the eyes being the thinnest, the area under the eyes can appear sunken or hollow, and this also creates the dark shadows which looks like dark circles. Dark circles may result from oxygenated blood pooled beneath the under-eye skin. It can be due to poor blood circulation or other factors that contribute to it. Many people suffer from dark circles under the eyes. They are embarrassing and make you look older than you are.

There are lots of ways adults and children can develop these dark circles under their eyes. Yes, some people have dark circles under their eyes because of lack of sleep or too much alcohol. But those aren’t the only reasons. Let’s talk about other possible reasons why you have dark circles under your eyes and what you can do about it. Dark circles may also be visible due to pigment changes in the skin area around the eyes, this can be caused by excessive sun exposure or other triggers.

What is Causing the Dark Circles Under My Eyes?

• Dark circles have a variety of different causes. And despite what some people think, fatigue isn’t one of them. Besides alcohol and lack of sleep, illnesses also cause these circles to appear. The combination of a fair complexion and thin skin is often the culprit.

• Lifestyle. Excessive smoking or drinking can contribute to under-eye circles. Also, people who drink too much coffee or who use cocaine or amphetamines may have difficulty getting enough sleep.

• Allergies. Nasal congestion can dilate the blood vessels that drain from the area around your eyes, causing them to darken.

• Age. As we get older, we lose some of the fat and collagen surrounding our eyes. This loss, combined with the thinning of our skin, magnifies the appearance of dark eye circles.

• Skin pigmentation abnormalities. The skin around the eyes is thinner, which is why your blood vessels are more readily visible through it.

• Sleep deprivation is the most common cause, and the easiest to prevent, but …

• Oversleeping can also cause dark eye circles.

• Eczema and Stress

• As we get older, our skin becomes thinner.

• Iron deficiency can prevent the blood from carrying sufficient oxygen to eye tissues.

• Minor trauma that causes the appearance of a black eye

• Heredity. Dark circles under the eyes can appear in childhood, and are often an inherited trait. Some children will outgrow them, but others will not.

• Additional causes for dark circles under your eyes:

• Crying

•Fluid retention, as may occur with pregnancy or weight gain.

• Excessive exposure to the sun. Sun exposure encourages your body to produce more melanin.

• Mononucleosis can cause the eyes to appear puffy and swollen. This is due partly to the fatigue that people feel when they are suffering from it, and partly because this illness causes a yellowing of the eyes and the skin around them (this is called jaundice).

• Periorbital cellulitis. This is a bacterial infection of the eyelid or eyelids. If it is promptly treated with antibiotics, however, it is nothing to worry about.

• Excess salt in the diet causes fluid retention throughout your body—including underneath your eyes.

How to Prevent Dark Circles Under the Eyes?

While you can not totally prevent it, there are ways to minimize them. You need to get enough sleep, minimize alcohol intake and maintaining a rather healthy lifestyle. Slightly elevate the bed while sleeping to prevent fluid from building up under the eyes.
It is very important to use the correct products for your skin, recommended by a therapist that specializes in skin treatments and skincare. They will be able to recommend the correct treatments and help you to minimize or prevent this appearance.

• When sleeping, elevate your head with an extra pillow in order to minimize fluid pooling beneath your eyes.

• Avoid excess sun

• Cover your dark eye circles with cosmetics

• Cold compress: a cold washcloth or a bag of frozen peas can sometimes work wonders. Cucumber slices often work too, of course, but only because they are cool, not because of any component of the cucumber; cutting cucumber slices may therefore be more trouble than it is worth if simpler options are available (and they always are).

• Beauty products tend to be more effective at concealing dark circles rather than “curing” them. Some products may be effective, however. Topical products that contain alphahydroxy acids can help to thicken the skin around your eyes.

Tips on how to Concel Dark Circles Under the Eyes?

• Never allow make-up to become “caked on” to your face. This increases the appearance of age to a considerable degree.

• First, it is important to apply moisturizer before applying cosmetics to the skin. Many cosmetics can dry the skin, which of course can worsen the dark-circles problem.

• Next, you should apply foundation make-up to your face. Use a foundation with a matte or semi-matte finish. Facial powder can lessen the appearance of wrinkles by reflecting light, but it is a bad idea for anyone who has dry skin.

• Concealer is another particularly useful product for hiding imperfections around the eye. Try to find a concealer that closely matches your skin tone, and be sure to apply it with a brush rather than with your fingers—using your fingers can cause it to smear or smudge.

• Blush can help to conceal the dark circles under your eyes, and powder blush is especially useful because it blends well on top of foundation.
Treatment for Dark Circles
Book Appointment
Laser treatment destroys some of the melanin that can darken skin, and can also be used to tighten loose skin, or to remove excess skin that causes the appearance of “baggy eyes.” Studies have also shown that laser treatment can also encourage the formation of new collagen in the skin. There are certain areas on our face that reveals our age very quickly, the eye-area is one of them. Dark Circles under the eyes can appear due to a number of causes, as mentioned above. Topical treatments specific for hyper pigmentation that may target dark circles will also help to treat this specific concern. Eye cream/serums, Pulsed light therapy, resurfacing and Injectables can all help to improve the appearance At Dermology we improve the skin around your eyes, depending on the cause:

• Skin Tyte II™
• BBL Forever Young™
• Skin Tech Easy
• Nano Peel™
• Profractional XC™
During your initial consultation with one of the Dermology Experts, your skin concern will be assessed and the correct treatment plan will be discussed with you. Our Dynamic team at Dermology Sandton will guide and assist you throughout the entire process.


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Western Cape


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Dermology’s goal is to produce the best results possible for all our patients, however, everyone is different. Responsiveness to procedures, protocols or ingredients may vary from person to person. Consultation are compulsory.