Plastic Surgery Blog from Cincinnati, Ohio for Women Across the United States
Dark circles under the eyes have several causes, and some are more easily “fixable” than others. The first possible reason is related to blood vessels in the skin. Small veins in the area give a purplish coloration to the skin that are more visible as you age because the skin gets thinner. A second cause is increased pigmentation of the skin in the area that may be related to inflammatory conditions or genetics. Finally, the most common cause is related to the formation of “bags” under the eyes as we age. One of these causes or a combination of them may be causing dark circles under your eyes. So, what can you do about it?
To find a cure, we must first find the cause. Dark circles resulting from puffy bags under the eyes are basically just shadows cast under the bags. If you pull the skin tight, eliminating the bags, and you see the circles disappear, the bags are the culprit. If the circles improve, but partially remain, the bags are part of the equation, but another cause is present, too. Dark circles not caused by shadow are related to blood vessels or pigment in the skin. Your plastic surgeon can help determine the exact problem.
Dark Circles from Blood Vessels
These dark circles happen when aging skin gets thin enough and transparent enough to show tiny blood vessels. The red or purple color of the blood gives the dark circles their color. The cheapest, least invasive solution for this is some sort of concealer makeup. A longer lasting solution involves skin care products to improve skin quality (like Retin A) and laser treatments to shrink the blood vessels.
Dark Circles from Skin Pigmentation
Inflammation around the eyes from allergies and other medical conditions can stimulate more pigment production in the skin. Also, some people just have a genetic tendency to form pigmented circles around the eyes. Skin lightening products like hydroquinone can help in this situation.
Dark Circles from Bags Under the Eyes
As we age, fat bulges under the eyes. These puffy bulges cast shadows that look like rings under the eyes. Plastic surgeons call these “tear troughs.” Injectable fillers can be helpful in softening these if you want a minimally invasive solution. Lower eyelid lifts (blepharoplasty) will help significantly, but usually do not erase these rings completely. Additional procedures like fat injection or filler injection may be necessary to fine tune your result and get maximal improvement.
Many people have dark circles from a combination of these causes. Our Cincinnati based plastic surgeons consider all of them when we put together a treatment plan for our patients. Contact us to set up a consultation. If you found this article helpful, “like it” on our Facebook page to help your friends learn! We appreciate your comments, questions and suggestions for future blog topics.