How do I deal with dark circles?
Many people visit the clinic for treatment of dark circles. Before we can embark on how you can deal with dark circles, lets spend some time figuring out what causes the dark circles.
Causes of Dark Circles
Anemia, thyroid disorders, ageing, UV induced damage, raised blood insulin levels, diabetes, excessive use of skin cosmetics may all contribute to darkness around the eyes. Many people are also genetically prone to develop dark circles around the eyes.
A very common cause for dark circles (particularly in Indians) is a tear trough. This is like a guttering under the skin of the eyes. People usually complain of puffy eyes and dark circles. Under the skin, there are pockets of fat. With age, these pockets sometimes melt away. The protuberance of the cheeks is reduced and a hollow appears below the eyes. This makes one look tired and like they haven’t slept well whereas they may be very well rested.
Should I get some tests done for the dark circles?
We often recommend a full blood count along with iron studies to rule out anemia. We also suggest checking your thyroid functions and a fasting glucose test. The fasting glucose is generally recommended if one is over 40 years and has not had a test in the past 6 months. Some other skin signs like skin tags or darkening of the underarms or side of the necks also suggest that one is at a slightly higher risk of developing diabetes and we recommend a fasting blood glucose test in these circumstances.
What Can I do at home to manage the Dark circles?
We would advise you to use a sunscreen regularly. You need a sunscreen with spf 30 or more and PA++ or more. Apply the sunscreen 15 minutes before you step out of the house. Re-apply the sunscreen once every 2 hours when you are outdoors. I would also recommend that you use goggles with UV protective filters for added protection.
At night, you can use some skin lightening creams along with some anti-ageing creams around the eyes. These will help slow down further deterioration and may also help improve the tone and texture of the skin. A dermatologist will be able to help you with a prescription of the appropriate creams.
If you have an underlying medical issue like anemia, thyroid imbalance or high glucose levels, you must get them treated.
Treatments for Dark Circles
Chemical peels may help in treating dark circles. Repeat treatments are required every 3-4 weeks to maintain the improvement.
Hyaluronic acid fillers may be very useful in treating tear troughs. In India, the majority of dark circles and tired looking eyes tend to be due to tear trough due to ageing of the skin. This problem can be easily corrected using some hyaluronic acid fillers.