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Dark Circles: What Causes Them and How To Treat Them

One of the top concerns in both my male and female patients no matter what the age are dark under eye circles. By the time they come in to see me a board-certified dermatologist they have tried: eye creams, eye masks, massaging the area, and a whole host of other treatments. Most have not worked.


What Causes Dark Circles?

Dark circles can have multiple causes so the treatment will be different depending on this factor. And yes you can have a combination, meaning there are several reasons for your dark circles. It is not always just lack of sleep. Genetics play a large role, normal aging, and volume loss can also impact this area.

When we age, the ligaments elongate, we lose bone, and the fat pads in our faces can shrink and shift which can contribute to volume loss. When the fat pads shift downwards, you see the hollow in the under-eye area causing a shadow and darkness to appear.

Tow other common causes of dark circles can also be caused by hyperpigmentation from sun damage and chronic rubbing your eye area due to allergies.

How To Prevent Dark Circles?

Using SPF daily is important. I recommend at least SPF 30 and the use of a skin brightening product like a vitamin C. Apply your Vitamin C first and make sure it is a formulation recommended for the eye area, then over top of the vitamin C apply your sunscreen. This is a great combination. (You do want to be careful since the skin under the eye is delicate and can be sensitive).

How Can You Improve the Appearance of Dark Circles?

If your dark circles are the result of pigmentation topical treatments may help lighten the area.

If you have dark circles that are the result of fat loss which is a volume issue, topical creams won’t help. Treatments like PRP, filler, and microneedling may be helpful.

In terms of hydrating the area under the eye may help with skin texture and light reflection which can temporarily make the area look better.

For the best options for you, get a customized treatment plan from your Board Certified Dermatologist.

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