Dark circles under the eyes make a person look tired and older than they actually are. No wonder people who have them are looking for ways to treat them. Fortunately, there are ways to make unattractive eye circles less apparent.
In some cases, dark circles under the eyes are blood vessels visible through the skin. The skin under the eyes is thinner than skin on other areas of the body, which makes blood vessels in this region stand out. People who have thinner, more transparent skin underneath their eyes are more prone to dark, under-eye circles. Heredity plays a role too. Some people inherit thinner skin around the eyes, which makes blood vessels more visible.
Sun exposure, the natural aging process and smoking can make circles under the eyes worse. People who have allergies and hay fever are also more likely to have dark under-eye circles since these conditions cause blood to pool in the vessels underneath the eyes. Some medications such as birth control pills dilate blood vessels, which makes circles under the eyes look more prominent.
In other cases, dark circles are due to deposits of excess melanin pigment in the under-eye area. This most commonly comes from sun exposure, although people with more melanin in their skin may be naturally genetically predisposed to this problem.
If you have dark circles due to allergies, treating the problem at its source can help. It’s also important to wear a sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays year round since sun exposure is a major cause of dark circles under the eyes. It damages the thin skin under the eyes and increases pigment production. Select a product that offers powerful protection against the sun’s damaging rays in a formulation that contains antioxidants to help protect skin from environmental damage.
Sunscreen alone won’t treat circles that have already formed, but there are treatments that can help. Many of these treatments contain a variety of ingredients that fight dark discoloration under the eyes including vitamin K and vitamin C. Vitamin K may improve the appearance of under-eye circles by strengthening the small veins and capillaries that run beneath the eyes. Vitamin C is an antioxidant vitamin that boosts collagen production and has anti-aging properties. Increased collagen gives the thin skin underneath the eyes more support. It’s a two-pronged attack against dark circles.
There are other treatments that help to strengthen and reinforce the delicate skin underneath the eyes. Various treatments are specially formulated with ingredients that strengthen skin and reduce under-eye discoloration and puffiness. Many also helps to diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles beneath the eyes.
For circles caused by increased melanin pigment underneath the eyes, look for products with ingredients such as kojic acid, which blocks melanin production. Always combine this ingredient with a high-powered sunscreen for best results. It’s also effective for treating other conditions associated with increased melanin such as sun spots and age spots.
Dermatologists and plastic surgeons offer laser treatments to tackle the problem of under-eye circles, but this may require several treatments. Plus, it’s costly and may involve downtime for healing. Recently, some dermatologists and plastic surgeons have been injecting fillers underneath the eyes to treat dark circles. The filler covers up the visible blood vessels and plumps up the area. Unfortunately, it takes a very skilled dermatologist or plastic surgeon to perform the procedure without leaving visible areas of lumpiness. These treatments are best reserved for when the circles don’t respond to home treatments due to the added risk and expense. Fortunately, most people with dark circles will see improvement using more conservative treatments.