Dark circle also known as periorbital dark circle are dark blemishes around the eyes. A person with dark circles under his/her eyes looks more aged and exhausted. More than grey hair or wrinkled skin, having dark circles under the eyes represents tiredness, fatigue and ill-health. Dark circles can be temporary and generally not connected to any critical medical condition. But the haggard and aging look can be demoralizing and warrant
Who can get Dark Circles?
Common belief is that people who keep late hours get dark circles. Actually it is not true. Almost everybody sometime or other gets dark circles. Both men and women can develop dark circles under the eyes. Most often developed in adulthood, even children seem to be affected by it. Natives of Asian/African descent are more prone to get dark circles from pigment irregularities. Aging can contribute greatly to developing dark circles.
There is a popular belief that too much late night partying or too much fatigue causes dark circles.
Actually there are other contributing factors like
- Edema around eyes.
- Loosening of skin.
- Excess presence of black pigments of skin (melanin).
- Eczema/atopic dermatitis.
- Thinning of skin and loss of collagen/fat.
Puffy looking or swollen eyes/eyelids because of the excess fluid generally cause shadows which make under eye areas look darker.
But what may cause the skin thinning/loosening or puffiness? Risk factors that can precipitate dark circles can be anything like
- Exposure to sun.
- Excess or lack of sleep.
- Skin allergies.
- Sinus/Nasal congestion.
- Kidney/intestinal problems.
- Insufficient blood circulation.
- Personal habits like
- Excess caffeine intake
Getting medical help
Dark circles are not just surface skin color they are round under-eye areas with darker pigmentation. These are more due to volume loss in under-eyes areas creating hollows that look dark in color. If the discoloration worsens gradually or if this occurs only under one eye, then you need to go to your physician. He will do a physical exam and explore reasons and factors and give you a treatment plan for your dark circles and might even suggest some simple home remedies.
Once the underlying issues causing the dark circles are ascertained and treatment started, you will notice improvement rapidly. In the meanwhile, you can learn to use concealers expertly for camouflaging the dark circles. Laser therapy, chemical peel, intense pulse light treatment, and injecting dermal fillers are some procedures that may help. There are a host of self-care measures which can help greatly.
- Indian Journal of Dermatology, Venereology and Leperology – Periorbital melanosis is an extension of pigmentary demarcation line-F on face (Subrata Malakar, Koushik Lahiri, Uttam Banerjee, S Mondal, S Sarangi) view
- Mayo Clinic – Under Eye Dark Circles view
- WebMD – Under Eye Circles Treatment view
- US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health – What causes dark circles under the eyes? view
- Natural Therapy Pages – What Really Causes Dark Circles? view