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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Dealing with Dark Circles

Dark circles are a cosmetic concern for many people. Age, fatigue and stress often contribute to this issue. Although these factors can influence their formation, it is important to pinpoint the specific causes for the dark coloration so it can be properly resolved.

It’s also important to note that the skin under your eyes is thinner than anywhere else on your body. For this reason the dark-colored blood vessels under the skin are naturally more exposed in this area. 

Typical causes for dark circles include eczema, physical or emotional stress, nasal congestion, sun exposure and thinning skin with loss of collagen and fat.

Physical and Emotional Stress
Physical and emotional stress, including associated behaviors like smoking and chronic alcohol consumption, can disrupt your vitamin balance and cause dehydration. Vitamin imbalance and dehydration can accelerate the aging process, causing the skin to thin and lose fat and collagen around the eyes. This exposes the dark blood vessels under the skin’s surface, causing dark circles to appear very pronounced.

Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion can create dark circles by dilating veins under your eyes, causing the skin to appear darker.

Sun Exposure
Sun exposure increases your body’s melanin production, which can lead to darker pigmentation.

Dark circles can be hereditary, meaning they can be attributed to particular family genes. Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid your genes, but there are ways to help remedy the problem.

DIY Solutions
If you are concerned about dark circles under your eyes, try the below treatments. Many times, these remedies help reduce or remove that unwanted discoloration without a visit to a doctor.

Cold Compresses
Hold chilled peas or ice cubes wrapped in a towel under your eyes to dilate blood vessels.

Extra Sleep or Pillows
Lack of sleep can give your skin a pale appearance. Make sure you’re getting your eight hours! And don’t forget how you sleep. Lifting your head when you sleep can stop your blood vessels from pooling with too much blood, which causes dilated vessels.

Sunglasses and Sunscreen
Protecting your eyes from the sun’s UV rays, which increase melanin production, can prevent long-term skin darkening under your eyes.

Saline Washes or Sprays
These can help relieve nasal congestion that sometimes causes dark circles.

Cosmetic Creams
Some people see relief after using serums that contain certain root extracts, such as Brazilian Suma.

Medical Solutions
It is best to follow the directions above to see how your skin responds to certain treatments. If those treatments prove futile, your medical professional can recommend a more effective treatment. Options a medical professional can prescribe include prescription creams, laser therapy, chemical peels, injectable fillers and surgery.

Prescription Creams
Retinoic acid, commonly called tretinoin, is a topical treatment that helps lighten dark or discolored skin. Other prescription creams include Tri-Luma, Eladopaque, Alustra and Glyquin XM.

Laser Therapy
Lasers send rays of light under the skin to be absorbed by the blood vessels. The light absorption brightens the skin, as well as reduces fine lines and wrinkles. 

Chemical Peels
Chemical peels can remove the top layers of skin that have been permanently altered to a darker color as a result of sun damage. Removing the older skin reveals fresh, lighter skin.

Injectable Fillers
If the space under your eyes appears hollow or sunken, certain derma-fillers can be injected to eliminate the shadows that form dark circles. Fillers also separate your dark blood vessels from the skin by placing a padded layer in between. This can diminish the dark color of the blood vessels.

A belpharoplasty procedure can remove bags around eyes that cast dark shadows, creating the appearance of dark circles. Surgery is always the most extreme option to treat a problem, so I recommend a detailed discussion with your medical provider before looking into this option.

Dark circles are not harmful to your health, but they can be unpleasant and difficult to hide or cover up. If you see little to no results with DIY remedies at home, I encourage you to seek the counsel of your medical professional. If you have any other questions about dark circles or other skin care topics, please call 901-759-2322 or visit our website


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