Dark circles is a broad term. In fact, these circles can actually be any of the following concerns:
- lower eyelid puffiness
- hollow circles in the lower eyelid
- pigmented dark circles in the lower and/or upper eyelid
- Or if you’re really unlucky, all these symptoms at the same time.
As the skin around the eyes is 5 times thinner than on the rest of the body, it is more vulnerable to external aggression and is particularly fragile and sensitive. Dark circles may look different and have various causes, but they do have one thing in common: they make the eyes look significantly older and more tired.
Puffiness under the eyes
How does it form?
The symptoms of dark circles include puffiness under the eyes, which makes the eyes look particularly tired. It is important not to confuse this with puffiness under the eyes in the morning, which is not treatable because it disappears a few hours later. This type of puffiness is caused by poor lymphatic circulation as we lie on our backs while sleeping.
The puffiness under the eyes which is treated with aesthetic medicine has several causes:
- Accumulated fat
- Poor blood circulation
- Water retention
Lower eyelid puffiness can appear at any age, but it does worsen as we get older. In fact, the older we become, the more tired and weaker the blood and lymphatic system under the eyes becomes, allowing fat, water and blood to accumulate and form puffiness.
What’s more, the skin under the eyes is the most highly pigmented and thinnest area of the face. As we age, pigmentation can become more visible and darker. Aging also causes fine lines and wrinkles to appear, and they are worsened by excessive sun exposure and smoking. In addition, the face is made up of fatty areas located right under the skin. These fats give the skin young-looking contours, particularly around the cheeks and eyes. When we get older, these fatty areas lose their plumpness, become empty and droop under the effect of gravity. The combination of these two factors causes dark circles to appear under the eyes.
There are also rarer causes:
- Liver dysfunction
- Intestine dysfunction
- Poor diet (too much fat and/or sugar)
What treatments are there for puffiness under the eyes?
Puffiness under the eyes is generally treated with a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty, which simply involves removing the fat that forms puffiness.
In aesthetic medicine, there are techniques to diminish this puffiness without surgery and without removing the fat:
Hyaluronic acid injections: by injecting hyaluronic acid around the puffiness, the physician will fill the hollow areas, eliminating the puffy appearance. This procedure is painless, quick, does not need anesthesia and leaves no scars. The effects last for around 1 year.
Medical eye rejuvenation protocol: this protocol fights aging in the eye area and helps to reduce puffiness with hyaluronic acid injections. This protocol includes botox injections in the crow’s feet to diminish them, and at the tail of the brows to lift them. Hyaluronic acid injections then fill the hollow areas around the puffiness to help to get rid of it, and in the temples and cheekbones.
What causes them?
Dark circles make the eyes look extremely tired. In general, they are caused by poor blood circulation, but there are different colors and other causes too:
- Blue/purple dark circles, mainly due to the extremely thin skin which makes the muscles visible.
- Red circles with blood vessels, the appearance of blood vessels gives this red color.
- Dark/black circles, generally dependent on ethnic origin and are therefore genetic.
Pigmented circles can appear at any age, but the problem worsens over time, as a result of aging, tiredness, stress and an unhealthy lifestyle.
How are dark circles treated?
Several treatments exist to reduce the color of dark circles:
- Volumizing hyaluronic acid injections: to thicken the very thin lower eyelid skin, concealing the muscles and blood vessels. These injections cannot be administered in the upper eyelids because the weight of the hyaluronic acid injection could make the eyes droop.
- Fraxel laser: the fraxel laser sends microscopic pulses of fractional laser beams to eliminate the melanin that gives dark circles their brown color. As a result, the collagen is stimulated for several months.
- Fractional CO2 laser: this type of laser uses a similar technique and gives comparable results to the fraxel laser, but it delivers carbon dioxide laser pulses and is considered to be a more invasive treatment.
- Peels: by revealing a new layer of skin a peel helps to regenerate new, melanin-free skin.
- Vascular lasers: to treat the microvessels that cause “vascular dark circles”.
- Medical eye rejuvenation protocol: this protocol fights aging in the eye area and helps to reduce dark circle pigmentation with hyaluronic acid injections. This protocol includes botox injections in the crow’s feet to diminish them, and at the tail of the brows to lift them. Hyaluronic acid injections are then given to thicken the skin in the dark circles, and in the temples and cheekbones.
Hollow dark circles
Why do dark circles become hollow?
They become hollow because of fat loss in the eyelids. This process gradually occurs as we get older and affects other areas of the face, such as the temples and cheeks. When they become hollow, the orbital bone is visible; this is called the “skeletonization” of the eyes. As hollow dark circles appear with age, they make a person’s eyes look significantly older and make them appear unwell.
Naturally, someone with a genetic predisposition will be more likely to develop hollow dark circles.
The solution to hollow dark circles:
As hollow dark circles are caused by fat loss, there are two possible solutions:
Volumizing hyaluronic acid injections: to fill the hollows.
The medical eye rejuvenation protocol: this very comprehensive treatment protocol helps to rejuvenate the whole eye area. It includes hyaluronic acid injections to fill hollow dark circles, as well as the temples and cheekbones. Botulinum toxin injections are then given to diminish crow’s feet and lift the tails of the brows.