Home Blog Skin Care What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes and How Can You Treat It? | Dr. Gale

What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes and How Can You Treat It? | Dr. Gale

Every time you see your face in the mirror, especially as you grow older, are you increasingly taken aback by how dark and drooping your lower eyelids are becoming? Do friends or family make comments about how sad or tired you look even when you’re happy and well-rested?

Dark circles under the lower eyelids are widespread in both men and women of all ages. Often accompanied by bags, these may make you appear older than you really are.

As you age, puffiness under your eyes often becomes more visible. Unfortunately, this drooping of the skin beneath the eyes can happen a lot sooner than you may expect. Regardless of when you first notice it, which could even be in your 20’s, the dark circles and puffiness under your eyes is never welcome.

Causes and Risk Factors Treated at Home

Some of the causes and risk factors leading to dark circles under the eyes can be treated at home, and these include:

  • Extreme fatigue: Sleep deprivation can cause dark circles to form under your eyes, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels to become visible beneath your skin.
  • Eye strain: This can cause blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge, and as a result, the skin surrounding your eyes may darken.
  • Allergic reactions: When accompanied by eye dryness, this can trigger dark circles as your body releases histamines causing blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin.
  • Dehydration: When your body is not receiving adequate amounts of water, the skin beneath your eyes may begin to look dull, and your eyes appear sunken.
  • Overexposure to the sun:  Too much sun — especially around the eyes — produces an excess of melanin resulting in pigmentation in the surrounding skin to darken.

Causes and Risk Factors Treated With Surgery

If the home remedies, corrective steps, and precautions outlined above are not doing enough to help reduce the dark circles under your eyes, then you should schedule a visit with board-certified, multi-disciplinary plastic surgeon Dr. Derrick Gale. He’ll be able to explain to you how blepharoplasty or eyelid surgery can tighten droopy upper eyelids, reduce bagginess from under your eyes, and help you regain your fresh, vibrant look.

Causes and risk factors leading to dark circles under the eyes that require expert medical advice include:

  • Older age: Loss of fatty tissue and the thinning of the skin around the eyes is part of the aging process, making dark circles appear more prominent in older adults.
  • Genetics: Dark circles can be hereditary and found in other family members. Having parents with dark eye circles probably means you are more predisposed to have them as well.
  • Natural aging: As you get older, you lose the fat, collagen, and elastin needed to maintain your skin’s elasticity, resulting in the darkening of the areas below your eyes.

As part of the aging process, the body gradually stops producing collagen and elastin, which are proteins essential for plump, healthy, and elastic skin. Without these proteins, the skin loses its elastic qualities and begins to sag. Muscle tone deteriorates, and fat diminishes. The natural aging process can affect virtually any area of the body — including the regions around the eyes.

As a result of this loss of collagen and elastin, the upper eyelids often start drooping. When severe enough, this can impede the line of vision, lead to sagging lower eyelids, and result in dark circles or “bags” under the eyes.

Regain That Wide Awake, Youthful Look

To make sure that the appearance of your eyes reflects the way you feel, contact Dr. Gale at the Ear, Nose & Throat Center of Utah in Salt Lake City, UT by calling (801) 506-6344 or scheduling a consultation today! Find out how we can help you restore a rested, vibrant look.