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How to Get Rid of Dark Circles

May 31, 2012

Have you ever looked in the mirror and asked yourself how do I get rid of these dark circles under my eyes? You are not alone. According to a 2006 study by Clinique, 54 percent of woman surveyed (just under 7,000 woman) say getting rid of dark circles is their number one beauty priority.

Dark circles under the eyes are caused by lack of sleep, allergies, dehydration, or fatigue. For some, the bags under their eyes are a permanent facial feature due to age, heredity, or thin skin. There are many treatments available today to help reduce or remove the appearance of dark circles under the eyes that range from topical creams and fillers to laser treatments and under eye surgery.

Depending on the severity of the bags under your eyes, you may opt for a topical treatment like an eye cream. Eye creams containing vitamin K and Retinol often help reduce the appearance of dark circles by significantly reducing discoloration and puffiness. Skin lightening creams that contain kojic acid or hydroquinone help to reduce or diminish the appearance of dark circles and bags under the eye. Eye creams containing caffeine also help because they constrict the underlying blood vessels resulting in less puffiness and discoloration under the eye. Although topical eye creams may provide subtle to noticeable results, eye creams do not always produce permanent results.

Botox is not an option for those with dark circles. However, there are dermal fillers that can be topically injected in the area under the eye. Dermal fillers that contain hyaluronic acid, like Restylane and Juvederm are injected under the muscle known as the “tear trough”. Once injected, the hollow areas under the eyes are plumped making the shadow and discoloration less extreme. Treatment for dark circles around the eyes with a dermal filler injection will produce immediate and noticeable results but will have to be performed approximately every six months to maintain plumpness under the eye.

Chemical Peels are also an option to get rid of black circles under the eyes. A chemical peel is generally performed by a dermatologist or aesthetician. The chemical peel helps to remove the outer layer of skin that causes the dark circles allowing for healthy new skin to replace it.

Intense Pulse Light (IPL) treatment reduces dark circles by destroying the pigment cells that cause discoloration, while also smoothing the skin under the eye. IPL uses a high energy light wave to penetrate the skin under the eye. This light wave constricts blood vessels resulting in less noticeable discoloration. IPL treatments are a non-invasive and effective dark circle solution, but a costly one. A patient may require multiple sessions to achieve the desired result. The IPL treatments are performed in a series that generally costs $200 or more per treatment. The number and frequency of the treatments depends on the magnitude of the circles as well as the overall health, diet, and lifestyle of the patient.

Laser treatment is another non-invasive option for banishing dark circles under the eyes. With laser treatments, the fat deposits under the eye are the primary target of the laser. After laser treatment, the skin is stronger, smoother, and less inclined to appear discolored. In laser treatments, an ultraviolet light or infrared invisible light is used to create wavelengths that release energy as they move over the skin. The energy is absorbed through the skins layers and promotes a smoothing effect while correcting the dark and irregular skin pigments that cause the dark circles. Laser treatments are a preferred solution for those who have dark circles due to heredity and should be performed by a cosmetic surgeon due to the intricate nature of the procedure. Most people will need multiple treatments, depending on the extent of the discoloration. The cost of laser treatments vary between $1500 and $6000 depending on the type of laser and the number of sessions required to achieve the desired result.

Get rid of bags under the eyes for good with under eye surgery. Lower lid blepharoplasty, surgery under the eye, should be performed by a facial plastic surgeon. Lower lid blepharoplasty is performed exactly as a traditional blepharoplasty or “eye lift” only under the eye. Fat deposits in the pockets under the eye are removed resulting in less puffiness, a lifted eye, and less shadowy under eye bags. There are two types of under eye surgeries. One is a transconjuctival lower lid surgery where the surgeon makes the incision behind the lower lid and the fat is removed or repositioned. The other is the transcutaneous lower lid blepharoplasy. This involves a 1 or 2 mm incision below the lower lid eyelashes. It is an ideal solution for those who have more skin under the eye.

If you are considering blepharoplasty to get rid of dark circles, weight the pros and cons of the surgery. Under eye surgery is a surgical procedure and you will be placed under local anesthesia for comfort. Once the surgical procedure is completed, you can expect some bruising and swelling for about a week. Ice packs may be used to decrease swelling. Learn more about recovering from blepharoplasty and the surgery in our blepharoplasty section.

Results from under eye surgery last a long time. It is actually rare that the procedure needs to be repeated. The cost of the procedure on average is $3000 with most people enjoying the results for many years.

When searching for solutions to get rid of dark circles, you always want to consider your treatment options. You can also help by taking care of yourself, getting the rest and nutrition your body needs for optimum health no matter what your course of action may be. Getting rid of dark under eye circles may be a challenge for young and old but between cosmetics and treatments there are solutions to the problem. 

 
 


 
 

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