How to get rid of dark circles
The dark circles under the eyes are a common finding in many healthy individuals.
Tips to prevent the under eye dark circles:
- If the cause of dark circles is diagnosed, avoiding the cause is the mainstay of treatment. Petrolatum or other ointment-based emollients that are free of fragrance can be applied to the affected area. The use of aerosols or hair sprays is often a reason for dark marks on the face due to reactions. This should be avoided.
- Treating your seasonal allergies with proper allergy medications and sinusitis with steroid nasal drops can help reduce the appearance of the dark circles.
- Avoid rubbing the eyes. This can lead to dark, thickened under eye skin. Always splash some cold water over the eyes in case you are exhausted or experience eye itching. Dry eyes can be treated with lubricating eye drops. Eye rubbing may also result because of poor vision, especially in children. A visit to the eye specialist may be helpful in this case.
- Your diet plays a vital role in having a good and even skin tone. Make sure you have foods high in proteins, plenty of fruits, nuts and complex carbs, and fluids.
Interventions to treat dark circles under the eye:
- There are many skin lightening creams available in the market. Always purchase them after you talk to your doctor. These creams contain azelaic acid, kojic acid, and glycolic acid in varying strength. They cause mild shedding of the outermost skin layer. There are stronger hydroquinone-containing creams that have demonstrated success in lightening under eye hyperpigmentation. They are available in 1-4% strength and must be used only under supervision. Often, you need to take a month break after regular application of these creams for over three months.
- Retinoic acid creams can help the shedding of the darkly pigmented skin. However, it should be used in small amounts. Make sure it never enters the eye.
- Chemical peels: The dermatologist uses light chemical peels containing 1-5% glycolic acid to reduce the dark circles. Jessner peels are special peels available to lighten the dark under eye pigmentation. Your skin doctor may also use these peels with hydroquinone or retinoic acid for an added lightning benefit.
- Laser therapy or an intense pulsed light (IPL) can help minimize under eye pigmentation, particularly the pigmentation due to excess sun.
- In extreme cases, the cosmetic surgeon may advise you to get a dermal filler containing collagen or your own fat in the area under the eye. This prevents the shadow effect, and the dark circles go away.