Under-eye dark circles are one of the most common signs of aging. They cause people to look tired or sad even when in reality they feel alert and vibrant.
Some people try to conceal their dark circles with makeup or minimize the appearance with creams and gels. But even full-coverage formulas may not be sufficient for more prominent dark circles, and OTC topical treatments have little effect.
Effectively treating dark circles is a complex matter, one that requires a more specialized approach.
If you have dark circles and want to find the optimal way to make your face appear brighter and more refreshed, Dr. Donald Hause, one of Sacramento’s leading plastic surgeons, can help. Below he discusses the best solutions for dark circles.
What Causes Dark Circles
It’s important to understand the underlying causes of dark circles in order to achieve optimal results. Here are some of the potential causes:
- Excess skin pigment or melanin
- Bulging fat or extra skin beneath the eyelid casting a shadow
- Veins that become visible beneath the eyes as the skin thins, blood circulation slows and fluids build up
- Deep hollows in the tear trough, the area that starts in the inner corner of the eye and extends down and out to just before the cheek
Solutions to Dark Circles
Depending on what is causing a patient’s dark circles, there are several potential treatment options:
TCA chemical peel
A TCA chemical peel is an effective way to increase skin firmness and lighten dark circles. A mild formula should be used beneath the eyes, however, as the skin in this area is thinner and more delicate. For best results, patients may also need several peels.
A number of laser treatments can be used to improve the appearance of dark circles. The laser treatment that offers the best results depends on the cause of the dark circles.
Dark circles caused by excess melanin, called pigmented dark circles, are treated with a laser that targets and eliminates skin cells with hyperpigmentation.
Dark circles caused by visible veins, known as vascular dark circles, are reduced with a laser treatment that invigorates blood vessels beneath the skin’s surface and encourages blood flow.
For dark circles caused by multiple factors, a comprehensive approach is best. This could mean multiple types of laser treatments or a laser treatment combined with another solution, such as a prescription topical containing hydroquinone.
For a more dramatic, long-lasting fix to dark circles, surgeons can take fat from one area of the body, usually from the inner thigh or stomach, and transfer it to the tear trough to replace the fat that’s been lost, smooth out the transition between the upper cheek and lower eyelid area and reduce the appearance of the hollow, dark circles. This process is called fat transfer.
If you are serious about removing dark circles, surgery may be the best option. Eyelid surgery treats displaced and excess fat and loose skin from beneath the eyes to restore a brighter, more rejuvenated appearance. Eyelid surgery involves a week-long recovery, including time off from work.
If you would like to learn more about what you can do to improve the appearance of dark circles, Dr. Hause is here to help. Call Sacramento Aesthetic Surgery at (916) 646-6869 or send us an email to set up an appointment.