Dark circles under the eyes are a frequent sign of fatigue. In some cases, the skin is not actually darkened -- instead, the eyelids become swollen, casting a shadow on the under-eye area.
Dark circles caused by fatigue can be cleared up with rest and, where necessary, vitamin-enhanced skin creams. Sleeping with your head elevated to prevent fluid from pooling in the face will help. But there are other possible causes that may require medical treatment to reduce the appearance of these circles.
Potential Causes of Dark Circles
Besides fatigue, allergies and skin infections such as contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis can cause the eyes to swell.
In some cases, exposure to the sun can cause the skin to produce excess melanin, darkening the skin around the eyes. The skin can also produce melanin irregularly, causing uneven skin color -- this can be particularly pronounced in patients with darker-colored skin. Patients may also be genetically predisposed to dark skin around the eyes.
As you age, your facial skin will also become thinner, and the fat and collagen that support the skin can be lost. This causes the skin to become slack, creating hollows under the eyes that gather shadows. At the same time, the blood vessels beneath the skin will stand out more obviously, which can also produce a purplish or brownish color beneath the eyes.
Ways to Reduce Stubborn Dark Circles
Dr. Robert Schwarcz, a facial oculoplastic surgeon can help reduce the appearance of dark circles beneath the eyes once and for all. Click here to learn about all the cosmetic treatment options to eliminate unwanted under eye dark circles.
One popular anti-aging treatment is facial fillers such as Restylane, which can be used to easily and naturally fill out the volume lost when collagen and fat shrink. This reduces the appearance of hollows and prominent blood vessels in the skin.
In cases where the skin is actually discolored, due to genetics or sun exposure, we can lighten the color by a variety of means including laser treatment and chemical peels.