Author: Brian Wu PhD. MD Candidate, Keck School of Medicine, Los Angeles, USA. DermNet NZ Editor in Chief: Dr Amanda Oakley, Dermatologist, Hamilton, New Zealand. July 2015.
Dark circles under the eyes describe a common appearance of the lower eyelids that has various causes. The dark appearance can be due to:
The appearance can be challenging to treat.
Those prone to dark circles under the eyes include:
Pigmentation under the eyes is associated with dermal deposition of melanin. Dermal melanin deposition is often due to post-inflammatory pigmentation, which may follow:
Loss of fatty tissue in the eyelid or around the eye (tear trough) is associated with:
Bulging or puffy eyelids may be due to systemic conditions, particularly:
Thin translucent skin is commonly observed with:
Shadowing is more noticeable at times, due to:
Superficially located blood vessels and blood stasis may contribute to the darkened appearance.
Correct diagnosis of dark circles under the eyes can be difficult. It involves:
Treatment of dark circles under the eyes depends on its nature. General measures include:
Unfortunately, many of the remedies on the market lack evidence of efficacy.
Medical treatments to reduce pigmentation can include:
Loss of tissue (hollowing) and tear trough can be managed by aesthetic medical and surgical procedures:
Considerable training and experience are required to optimise results. Improvement may be partial. An incorrect technique may make the dark circles look more prominent than before the procedure.
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