How do I treat Dark circles under the eyes?

Its one of the commonest things I get asked about in the clinic. So does anything really work?

Before treating dark circles, eye bags and droopy lids, a full assessment of the issue is required. There are many different causes of the dark circles, and the biggest myth is they are a pigment problem, and can be treated with a fading cream.

The truth is that most of the time, the darkness comes as a result of loss of volume in the eye are, not from discolouration of the skin. As we age, a hollow is created beneath the eye. As the cheek area beneath descends with time, the hollow becomes more obvious. Light is absorbed, not reflected by the concavity, and the area appears black/blue. In addition the surrounding skin becomes lax and crinkly.

Sometimes there may be secondary issues such as dermatitis – which if rubbed or scratched leaving post inflammatory pigmentation. This needs to be treated with anti inflammatory creams.

So what can be done about it?


*   Camouflage – bandaid it

Don’t want to get fancy with invasive treatments, trial a “colour corrector”. This goes under your concealer and blends the unwanted colour with the rest of your skin.
Pink or peaches based tones can counteract some unwanted blue/grey. If you skin is fair use pink, if olive tone use peach.


*   Dermal Fillers – get to the root

These are placed deep under the skin to ‘lift up’ the eye area, and reduce the concavity. Placed correctly, they can improve the appearance of the dark circles, by replacing some of the lost volume.


*   Skin Tightening – smooth it

An increase in skin laxity and fine lines can worsen the appearance of the whole eye area. Treatments with radiofrequency or microneedling can tighten the periorbital skin and give the appearance of a smoother less tired look. These procedures are safe around the eyes.
 
Photo credit: Ashley Hart