Most people think that dark under-eye circles are caused by staying up late watching monster movies, or having that last drink the night before, or sitting up with your laptop trying to finish the quarterly report. Most people think that their behavior is somehow linked to dark under-eye circles.
Dark under-eye circles1 are actually a by-product of the very same mechanism that produces bruises. Changing your behavior will, in almost every case, NOT get rid of your dark under-eye circles.
Dark under-eye circles begin in the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that web the delicate skin around the eyes. Now, your capillaries are so small that red blood cells sometimes have to line up, single file, to get through. Frequently, red blood cells get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This isn’t a problem–it happens all the time–and your body has a mechanism to mop up these escapees. Enzymes in your body break down the red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color).
If you’re plagued by chronic dark circles, talk with a dermatologist about more aggressive options. For patients with excessive pigmentation, lightening creams, chemical peels or laser resurfacing may be an option2. Lightening agents, such as hydroquinone acid, work gradually by training under-eye cells to produce less pigment. Non-prescription strength lighteners are available but can take two to three months to effect a noticeable improvement. Chemical peels and laser resurfacing remove layers of damaged skin and help to make pigmentation less visible. Each option comes with cautions, and Dr. Rokhsar can determine the best approach for your skin.
*Results may vary.
Dark circles are caused3 by one of three primary reasons:
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1 Dark Circles Under Eyes. Available: https://www.realself.com/concerns/dark-circles-eyes.
2 5 Solutions for Dark Circles. Available: https://www.webmd.com/beauty/features/dark-circles.
3 What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes? Available: https://www.healthline.com/health/dark-circle-under-eyes.