Dark circles under the eyes can be defined as defined as bilateral, round, homogeneous pigment macules on the infraorbital regions. Medically it is known as Periorbital hyerchromic macules and patches and in common language as Panda eyes.
Dark circles under eyes are round pigmentation which is found in both eyes. It can be caused due to various reasons including dermal melanin deposition, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to atopic or allergic contact dermatitis, periorbital edema, superficial location of vasculature, and shadowing due to skin laxity.
Dark circles are major concern for many people. It is an unpleasant condition. As there is more demand to look fresh, physically and intellectually active, dark circles are matter of concern. It affects individuals of any age. It is equally seen both genders and in all races.
As age advances, dark circles are further worsens with loss of elasticity of skin under eyes which results in skin sagging and abnormal deposition of lipid under eyes. It affects social life of individual, as it changes face appearance. Person looks tired, sad or gives a hangover look. It is seen that some person hide dark circles to show their positivity.
Dark circles can often be seen in more than one member of family. It is seen more commonly in individuals who have dark skin, hair and eyes. It is often seen after the age of 20.
What Causes Dark Circles
Dark Circles can be result of a variety of factors including deep facial anatomy, soft tissue changes, as well as contributions from the skin. Various anatomic factors contributing to dark circles include the facial ligamentous architecture, the bony structure, midface soft tissue including prominence of the orbicularis oculi muscle and vasculature and thin eyelid skin with minimal to no subcutaneous tissue. Skin ageing and environmental-related changes throughout are also responsible factors.
Dermal melanin deposition
This is caused by thickening of the dermis which may be due to odema under eyes. This swelling can cause light reflection which gives appearance of increased darkness of the skin.
Post inflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to atopic or allergic contact dermatitis
It is seen that allergic person are often affected with dark circles. These individuals have a tendency of rubbing and scratching the skin around the eyes. Allergy to face can also causes accumulation of fluid under eyes. Patients with allergies frequently rub their eyes.
Dermal melanocytosis and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation condition usually appears as curved band of brownish skin around eyes. This is seen more worse if patient has bulging lower eyelids. Bulging lower eyelids causes shadow effect which results in worsening of dark circles.
Environmental factors also cause dark circles around eyes. This include sun exposure and intake of drugs.
As eyelids have sponge like properties it causes accumulation of fluid. It is observed that fluid accumulation get worse in the morning or after taking salty food. Important feature of this type of dark circles is that patient says that there is change of intensity of dark circle from day to night.
It is seen that with age there is loss of fat around eyes, so skin become thin and skin atrophy results. It leads to visibility of blood vessels around eyes.
Some individuals have a tear trough depression which is centred over the mid section of their face. This depression deepens with age as fat under eyes is displaced forward which creates shadowing below eyes. This worsen with aging of eyelid and mid face because of loss of fat and thinning of skin over the orbits in addition to loss of fat in cheeks which produces hollowness around eyes. Persons with deep set eyes seen with clear darkening because of shadowing. As light comes from above and is shielded by the upper brow, it casts a shadow on the lower lid giving the appearance of darkness.
Lack of sleep
Lack of sleep is common cause of dark circle. This is seen in children of school going age. In this case if a person get adequate sleep then dark circle improves.
Sometimes presence of extra pigment around eyes can cause dark circles. This is normal condition and is not related to any disease condition. Use of skin lightening creams and retinol creams is often used as a treatment.
Exposure to sun often dark circles
Sun exposure often results in fine wrinkles which causes skin darkening effect. For this eye moisturizing creams are often used. It should be kept in mind that this cream should never be applied on the eyes as it may cause irritation and sometimes damage to cornea. Cream should be applied just below lower eyelashes. Creams should be applied gently with the ring finger or little finger, as these fingers have the least amount of force.
Other Factors Responsible for Dark Circles
- Medical conditions like kidney disorders and thyroid conditions can cause dark circles.
- Any medicine which causes dilatation of blood vessels causes darkening under eyes.
- Lack of balanced diet lead to anaemia. Iron deficiency lead to anaemia.
- It is seen during pregnancy and menses as skin becomes pale due to lack of iron.
How to Reduce Dark Circles
In order to get puffiness of eyes some gels are available which has soothing effects to give cooling effect to the area which reduce puffiness.
Almond Oil (Roghan Badam Shirin) can be applied under eyes for improving skin condition.
Chilled cucumber slices are often used on the closed eyelids for 15 minutes.
Cold tea bags can be put on closed lids for 10 minutes.
Eye patches which is known as eye sheets are applied for area for decreasing puffiness.
Individuals often uses concealer to hide dark rings. It must be kept in mind that concealer should be lighter than normal skin tone to the under-eye area.
Chemical peeling can be helpful. It involves application of chemical agents which causes controlled destruction of the skin around the area. This helps in removal of lesions.
Laser treatment is also available for dark circles.
Surgery for dark circles are often recommended in some individuals.
It is often seen in individuals that dietary supplements like Vitamin C and E, chamomile and zinc results in disappearance of dark circles. Also, intake of white tea, grape seed and tomato can reduce dark circles.
Vitamin K along with retinol is available for treatment of dark rings.