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Say goodbye to undereye dark circles…

The term “dark circles” is an umbrella term used to describe various cosmetic concerns around the eyes. There are many components to “dark circles” such as genetics. Genetics determine the thickness of our skin, underlying fat pads, and their placement. Genetics code for everything that makes us uniquely us. Some individuals are born with less fat in the under-eye area and, thusly, have an indentation commonly referred to as a tear trough hollow or deformity. I don’t really like to describe it as a deformity due to the negative connotation there and because I truly believe that it is just a different eye shape altogether. Some people have almond shaped eyes, some hooded and some hollowed. Everyone has a natural valley that sits atop the rim of bone that encircles the eye. This valley is a natural and normal contour that is caused by an area of compressed tissue layers. Some just have a deeper valley than others.

In photographs this valley can show up as a shadow and make us look older and tired. Since the skin and fat pads are thinner in this area than anywhere on the body the visualization of muscle and vascular bed through the tissues, similarly to the way that we can see those green-blue reticular veins through the skin on our legs, further contributes to “dark circles.” This will be more of an issue for those who are genetically coded for lighter skin because it is easier to see these vessels through the skin. In addition, these blood vessels weaken with aging (and other factors, ie: lack of sleep, nutritional deficiencies, etc.) and begin to leak leaving behind pigment in the dermis which further contributes to “dark circles”.

Let’s not forget about sun exposure. Often times we see patients for tear trough fillers and will see that due to the position of their under-eye valley at the edge of the cheek prominence they also have concentrated sun damage and/or pigment formation in that area. The overproduction of melanin (skin pigment) is yet another problem for some individuals, especially those with olive and darker tones.

Furthermore, things like allergies, food sensitivities, dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, and lack of sleep can cause puffiness and shadows. In rare cases, the latter can indicate an underlying health condition such as problems with the thyroid or adrenal glands. As you can see there are a multitude of contributing factors to “dark circles,” each with a different route to treatment. It is important that you be evaluated by someone who understands the causes of these dark circles and how to differentiate between the causes. Selecting the right treatment for you will evolve from that consultation.