How To Treat Dark Circles And Bags Under The Eyes
How To Treat Dark Circles And Bags Under The Eyes
Dark circles and bags under the eyes come into our lives uninvited for all sorts of reasons: lack of quality sleep, stress, being deficient in certain vitamins—it might even have something to do with our ethnic background. Whatever the reason, is there a way to make those haggard-looking eyes vanish and maybe even banish them forever? If you’re tired of hearing those three awful words— “You look tired”—read on to learn how to treat dark circles and under eye bags to get those peepers looking peppy, perky, and pretty.
What Are Dark Circles?
To get a closer look at what’s happening around those windows to your soul, it’s important to understand what dark circles are to begin with. Medical experts say that dark circles under your eyes come to light when the skin underneath your eyes looks darker (sometimes a lot darker) than the rest of your face. You know the discoloration isn’t from bruising, say, or the redness and swelling we see when we have an eye infection. Good news though, dermatologists say that dark circles under your eyes aren't usually caused by an underlying health problem. They’re often just one of those pesky eyesores.
What Are Bags Under The Eyes?
Bags under the eyes, on the other hand, are just as they sound: mild swelling or puffiness around the eyes that tend to resemble little sacks or bags. Bags under the eyes can be a by-product of the aging process for some people because the tissues and muscles supporting the eyes around the eyes weaken with time, making the skin sag. The normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, which causes the lids to look puffy. The space below your eyes can also gather fluid, making the area under the eyes look puffy.
Who Is More Predisposed To Dark Circles?
Dark circles can affect basically anyone of any age. But those who may be more prone to dark circles beneath the eyes are people like the elderly, and those who have a genetic tendency towards this condition—this is called periorbital hyperpigmentation. Also people from non-white ethnic groups could also be predisposed to dark circles.
Causes of Darkness Under The Eye Area
So if you don’t fall in any of the above categories, or you don’t believe genetics or ethnicity is a factor because your dark circles have seemingly made their appearance quite out of the blue, there could be more going on than to what meets the eye (or in this case, eyes).
Eye Strain Is A Pain
For one thing, it could be eye strain. We’re living in the digital age mixed up with the dreaded pandemic age. This means that many of us are working from home and doing Zoom meetings a mile a minute. What are we doing in between all this Zooming? We’re staring at our computers or staring at our smartphones. What are we doing during our downtime? We’re staring at our television sets or staring at our smartphones or our I-pads. All of this can cause a huge strain on our eyes and also cause the blood vessels around our eyes to enlarge. The result is that the area surrounding our eyes can darken significantly.
Allergies Can Aggravate The Eye Area
Many of us who suffer from seasonal allergies know that the eyes are often a telltale sign of our reaction to our environment. Allergic reactions in the form of eye dryness can bring on dark circles because when your body releases histamines in response to harmful bacteria. Symptoms such as itchiness, redness, and puffy eyes also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible under your skin. And rubbing them doesn’t help the situation because it can worsen any swelling and inflammation around the eyes. Dark shadows happen to love dry, itchy eyes.
Dehydration And Dark Circles See Eye To Eye
People don’t think of it, but dehydration can actually be a common cause of dark circles under the eyes, because when your body isn’t getting enough H2O, the delicate skin under your eyes tends to look dull and your eyes can look sunken, experts say.
Blame It On The Sun
Getting too much sun can make your body produce too much melanin—the pigment that gives your skin color. So try not to overexpose yourself to the sun—especially without sunscreen—as this can cause the pigmentation around your eyes to go darker.
Family history can be a factor when it comes to dark circles: even children can have them. If genetics is the culprit, darkness under or around the eyes can worsen or get better with age. In some cases, doctors say that predispositions to other medical conditions such as thyroid disease—either hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism—can cause dark circles or bags under the eyes. Medical experts say that treatment for thyroid disease can have a significant impact in improving the appearance around the eyes.
What’s Behind The Bags?
Now that we know the usual suspects behind dark circles, what’s behind the bags? Bags under the eyes can be caused by factors you may not realize such as a smoking habit or fluid retention (especially after a salty meal) which can cause or aggravate bags under the eyes, as well as a lack of sleep. There’s also the usual culprits in this case too—namely lack of sleep and family history. Aging is also on the list because with time, the tissues and muscles supporting our eyes tend to weaken.
How To Make Dark Circles Disappear
While we do think it’s best to talk to your family doctor or dermatologist to rule out a potential underlying cause to your dark circles, there are some common steps you can take to lighten up the appearance of dark circles.
Medical experts say that applying a cold compress can help to shrink dilated blood vessels, thereby reducing the appearance of dark circles. We suggest wrapping a couple of ice cubes in a clean washcloth and applying it to your eyes in the evening when you have some time — 20 minutes is a good rule of thumb. If the mere thought of applying ice cubes sends a shiver down your spine, you can dampen a washcloth with cold water instead. Keep it cold though: repeat the process of the ice starting to melt if the cloth gets warm. You can also go the spa route and apply cold cucumbers instead.
Tea bags are also a good idea because tea has caffeine and is infused with antioxidants — both of which help promote blood circulation, shrink blood vessels, and reduce liquid retention beneath your skin. Experts say to soak two black or green tea bags in hot water, then chill them in the refrigerator for 20 minutes. Apply for about twenty minutes and let those tired eyes soak up all that antioxidant goodness at the end of the day.
Speaking of tiredness, you don’t need us to tell you this but we’re going to do so anyway: get some more, good quality sleep. Put the phone away by 9:00pm and try to have lights out by 10:00 or 10:30. A solid seven or eight hours can not only help those dark circles disappear, but it can also help prevent them from popping up in the first place. A sleep aid that can help is to invest in a good quality, high pillow that elevates your head. Keeping your head up can stop fluid from filling up underneath your eyes.
There are many skincare products on the market that target dark circles under the eyes including Estée Lauder’s Major Eye Impact Repair & Brighten system.
The 3D Rollerball Eye Serum for Dark Circles & Aging Spots uses kinetin—a type of cytokinin which is a chemical compound that is effective for uneven pigmentation.
They may not be the cure, but concealing with makeup is another option. Concealers can cover up those shadows under the eyes. Make sure to choose the right concealer for your skin tone and blend (by quick tapping, not rubbing!). Also make sure your hands are squeaky clean before you apply and stop using if you get an allergic reaction (see your family doctor if this happens). A dermatologist might be able to recommend a mineral-based concealer that won’t bring out a reaction and won’t clog pores.
Another cosmetic option is to get a chemical peel: this can reduce pigmentation. Laser surgery can also resurface the skin under the eyes, but of course talk to a dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon before going this route. More invasive medical treatments can be heavy on the wallet, be painful, and include recovery time, so there’s a lot to consider with this option.
Bags Be Gone
Like dark circles, bags under the eyes are most often more of an eyesore rather than a medical issue (although talk to your doctor if you suspect that there may be more going on behind the scenes—or in this case—eyes. Here are some lifestyle adjustments that may help give those bags the heave-ho.
Talk to your family doctor about the possibility of allergies. If allergies could be the culprit, your doctor may be able to suggest an over-the-counter medication or prescribe something that could work for you.
Eye creams such as Luxebiotics Dark Circle, Puffiness and Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream and Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Marine Dew It Right Eye Gel can also be an effective treatment for both bags and shadows under the eyes.
Chemical peels could work here too as could laser resurfacing. Not only can these improve overall skin tone, but they can also significantly improve the appearance of bags under the eyes. You can also gently reduce puffiness around the eyes from the comfort of your own home with the Silk'n Titan AllWays - Wrinkle Reduction & Skin Tightening Device. This cordless device also works on crow’s feet around the eyes and is an effective anti-aging support to add to your beauty arsenal.
Eyelid surgery could also be an option: blepharoplasty is when the surgeon removes the excess fat by incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid or inside the lower lid. The surgeon then puts the skin back together with tiny dissolving stitches. Blepharoplasty can also help repair baggy and puffy upper eyelids—especially when the excess skin interferes with your vision. This procedure can also take care of excess skin on the lower eyelids as well. There are side effects that you should also discuss with your doctor if you consider this route such as dry and watery eyes, pain, swelling, bruising, and blurred vision. There may also be some rare complications that you should know about and discuss as well.
Get Dark Circles and Under Eye Bags in the Bag
With the above remedies and treatment options, you can get a handle on dark circles and bags under the eyes with time. Silkn’s line of anti-aging products used in conjunction with the above treatments and products will provide soothing support and put you well on your way to healthy, youthful looking eyes.