Check-Up: Treating dark circles under the eyes

October 01, 2018

Dear Readers,

Sheila is a 52-year-old. She lives in Kingston and wonders if it's her age, plus skin dryness, why she constantly has dark circles under her eyes. She recalls being at a party where a young child asked her if she was a witch. This was because of the black circles, especially underneath her eyes. Sheila says that the problem is worsened by tiredness and lack of sleep.

Well, in a lot of people with dark rings around their eyes, age is actually involved. As we grow older, our skin loses its elasticity and stretches out a bit, becoming thinner, so blood vessels in the area seem more darkly prominent. Also, some people are just born with the darkness around their eyes and this may be genetically linked. There is a condition called periorbital hyperpigmentation, which causes more melanin pigment to be produced below the eyes, a condition mostly present in dark-skinned people. In some people, blood leaks from the small blood vessels under the eyes and will cause a dark colouration until the sediment is eventually absorbed. This is a good reason not to rub your eyes when tired or even when experiencing eye allergies with itchy eyes.

Dark circles under and around the eyes can be caused by:

- Medications which cause blood vessels to dilate.

- Sleeping on your stomach.

- Scratching and rubbing your eyes when exposed to allergens

- Liver disease.

- Ageing. This is common, as dark circles become more prominent as the skin thins and fat and collagen depletes.

- Fatigue.

- Anaemia.

- Hormonal changes.

- Sun exposure can increase melanin production.

- Under-eye darkness is often inherited.

Dark circles under the eyes tend to age you quite a bit and there are methods to reduce this problem which will include:

- Quit smoking.

- Treat sinus infection.

- Treat nasal congestion and allergies.

- Relax and de-stress.

- Apply cool/cold presses to the eyes which will shrink the blood vessels under the eyes and result in vasoconstriction and a temporary lighter look.

- Apply egg white and mud face masks weekly.

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