Undereye circles can greatly contribute to making us look older and more weathered and worn down than we actually are. And since the eyes are such a prominent center of attention, extreme under-eye circles can change the entire way we are perceived by the world around us.

What are under-eye circles?

Undereye circles occur when the sensitive skin immediately below the eyes becomes darker than the surrounding tissue. Under-eye circles can develop for a variety of reasons including extreme fatigue, changes in sleep schedule, exhaustion, lack of sleep, excessive sun exposure, and allergies.

Undereye circles also present a cosmetic problem because they mar the appearance of the face and leave us looking stressed, tired, exhausted, and less attractive to ourselves and our loved ones.

Do undereye circles go away on their own?

In certain cases, dark circles under your eyes may disappear on their own. For instance, you might briefly have dark undereye circles as a result of staying up several hours later than when you would normally go to sleep, or from rubbing or itching your eyes.

Beyond these obvious causative factors, many people experience under-eye circles that do not simply go away on their own. For these patients, the dark circles may not be immediately noticeable to them as they have lived with them for an extended period of time, and the circles may not have very well-defined edges—yet the whole area beneath the eye has taken on a darker skin tone than the rest of the face.

Two types of undereye circles

Broadly speaking, undereye circles occur for one of two reasons, each of which requires a different treatment type:

  • Light and shadows: The eyelid region is sunken and gaunt, causing light hitting this area to fall into a small but noticeable void. A shadow forms due to the undereye depression, giving us unwanted undereye circles. Shadows can also occur when too much fatty tissue has accumulated in the lower eyelids, again casting shadows beneath our eyes.
  • Skin discoloration: The skin in the region of the eyes is itself darker than the surrounding skin.

What treatments are there for under-eye circles?

In addition to simply getting sufficient rest, elevating your head, and applying cold compresses, if your under-eye circles are dark or persistent, Dr. Halaas may recommend one of the following treatments:

  • BOTOX and Dermal Fillers
    Botox and dermal fillers may be used to make the lower eyelid look fuller and more voluminous, helping to reduce the appearance of undereye dark spots and circles. Botox and fillers work well for treating undereye circles and dark spots caused by facial volume loss.
  • Blepharoplasty
    Blepharoplasty eyelid surgery is the best all-encompassing treatment for all age-related changes that occur in the eye region, including persistent under-eye circles or dark patches caused by loss of facial volume or an accumulation of fatty tissue in the eyelids.

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