Periorbital dark circles are dark blemishes around the eye area. Periorbital puffiness (bags or swelling) eyes refers to the appearance of swelling in the tissue surrounding the eye area. Either one or both of these conditions for many reasons affect many people at some point in their lives and they are affected to many different degrees.
In most cases, the dark circles under the eyes are burst blood capillaries that can be seen through the skin. The skin around the eyelids (perorbirtal skin) is the thinnest skin in the body. The capillaries close to the surface of the skin are tiny and the blood cells can only pass through them in single file. Any random cells or capillaries that are damaged or have burst are cleared up buy enzymes in your body that break down the red blood cells, including their haemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red colour) but there can be a left over bluish tint which leaves a bruise like appearance – the darkness you can see.
What causes dark circles under the eyes?
There are many different causes for dark circles under the eyes:
Hereditary – Very thin or very transparent skin can be an inherited trait, also very deep-set bone structure
Liver Problems – Dark circles can be a sign of liver disease
Aging – As collagen is lost and skin becomes thinner as we age, dark circles can become more noticeable and more permanent
Hyperpigment – Periorbital hyperpigmentation is when there is more melanin then usual produced around the eye area (usually in darker skin types)
Allergies – Any condition that causes itching or rubbing around the eye area can contribute towards obvious, damaged capillaries
Medication – Any medications that cause blood vessels to dilate
Fatigue – Lack of sleep can enhance the effects of dark circles but is not a course of them as widely thought
Anemia – Lack of nutrients in the diet, iron deficiency being the most common, can be more visible in women during pregnancy and menstruation
Treatment for dark circles
Depending on how severe the under eye area darkness is and what is causing the underlying condition there are a number of different procedures that may help alleviate the symptoms:
Diet – A healthy diet high in iron
Sleep – An appropriate amount of sleep on a regular basis
Medical Grade Skin Care - Advances in skin technology have produced eye creams – that can help to diminish and help to lighten darken areas with regular application
Make-Up – Under eye concealer to disguise the darkness
Antihistamine – Taking the appropriate medication before allergies worsen and excessive rubbing bursts capillaries
IPL – Intense Pulse Light can help to reduce dis-colouration but it is not recommended if it is too close to the eye itself
Dermal Fillers – Dermal fillers (a natural occurring substance) can help by “plumping up” the area under the eye to give a brighter more youthful look
Surgery– Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty), treats the skin on the upper and lower eyelids, along with the skin around the eye, to reduce the appearance of dark circles.
Causes for puffy eyes
There are two main types of under eye bags. The first can start to occur at even a very young age. It is almost exclusively caused by fluid build up around the eye. The skin around the eyes is very thin and is full of blood vessels, which make it very sensitive.
Puffy eyes happen when the skin around the eyes begins swelling due to a variety of factors:
Hereditary – Excess under eye fluid build up may be passed on through genetics
Kidney or Liver – Puffy eyes may be the first sign of fluid retention due to Condition – a medical problem, such as kidney or liver disease
Medication – Swollen eyes can also be a side effect of certain medication
Fluid retention – Anything that causes fluid retention, such as pre- menstrual bloating, too much sodium (salt), excess alcohol
Allergies – Certain reactions can cause swelling
Fatigue – Both not enough sleep or over sleeping
Ageing - As the skin around the eye becomes thinner it may swell or droop, sometimes an exaggerated pocket of skin can excessively fill with fluid that stays there permanently.
The secondary type of “eye bag” condition that may occur, usually starts to show approximately around the age of 40 although can happen either earlier or later. As aging occurs, along with the fluid retention under the eye, the skin starts to thin under the eye area as well. We all have fat in our faces, and it’s held in place by ligaments and muscles. As we age, those ligaments and muscles weaken, and everything starts to sag, therefore making the fat more visible and giving the appearance of puffiness.
Treatments for puffy eyes & eye bags
Depending on how severe the eye area puffiness or eye bag is and what is causing the underlying condition there are a number of different procedures that may help alleviate the symptoms:
Calming – Cold tea bags, cucumber or a cool cloth applied to the area that is swollen can constrict the blood vessels and help diminish puffiness
Diet – Monitoring salt, carbohydrates and alcohol intake to reduce fluid retention
Head elevation – Keep head elevated while sleeping
Medical Grade Skin Care - Advances in skin technology have produced medical – grade eye creams that can help to calm and sooth the eye area with regular application
Dermal Fillers – Dermal fillers can be helpful with under eye bags caused by ageing by filling in any deficit areas and therefore creating a more even appearance
Redensity-a unique Hyaluronic Acid that hydrates and repairs the skin – a new concept known as Beauty Booster.
Surgery – Surgery is an option when thinning skin, which accentuates under eye fat, causes the eye bag. A small incision in the skin around the eye is made to remove excess fat.
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