What Causes Dark Under-Eye Circles?

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It happens to the best of us, for a variety of reasons, but dark under-eye circles can cause us to look tired and lifeless. Different than under-eye bags, dark circles are caused by blood that pools in the vessels lying close to the skin’s surface. This can occur from fat deposits, sun exposure or allergies. A lack of sleep, as well as dehydration, can greatly emphasize the problem. If you’re getting enough sleep and water and concealer isn’t quite doing the trick, there are other options.

“Dark circles can be challenging to fix, especially if there are cultural or genetic ties,” says Richmond, VA, facial plastic surgeon Alan Burke, MD. “Hydroquinone can help to lighten the area to some degree if the problem is more about discoloration than shadowing.” Try products that contain vitamin K. Vitamin K strengthens and clots blood vessels to stop the pooling that causes the darkness.

If your dark circles are a result of excess fat, hyaluronic acid fillers are a good way to counteract them. When injected into the shadows under the bag, they can camouflage the darkness by plumping the area.

For dramatic results, lower eyelid surgery may help. Once the protruding fat is tightened or removed, there is no puffy area to create a shadow, helping to diminish the dark circles.

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