Those horrid dark circles under your eyes tend to make you appear older more than wrinkles or grey hair. They make you look worn and tired, and often give the impression that you are seriously sleep-deprived.
One thing’s for sure – that “panda” look isn’t flattering at all! Learn what causes them, and ways to minimise their appearance or get rid of them.
DARK EYE CIRCLES CONDITIONS
Dark circles under the eyes, sometimes called shadows or dark rings under the eyes, are the appearance of dark skin between the lower eyelid and the top of the cheek. Dark circles under the eyes can occur for anyone – infants, children, adolescents and adults, and men and women alike.
WHAT CAUSES DARK EYE CIRCLES?
It is commonly assumed that dark circles under the eyes are due to fatigue caused by a lack of sleep or poor quality sleep. Fatigue aggravates the problem of dark eye circles as it is linked to poor absorption of essential vitamins and minerals like vitamin b6 and calcium, poor adrenal function.
If you get plenty of sleep and still have dark circles under your eyes, that’s not unusual as a host of factors could cause them to surface.
DARK EYE CIRCLES CONTRIBUTING FACTORS
What appears to be dark circles under your eyes are sometimes just shadows cast by puffy eyelids, or hollows under your eyes that develop due to loss in muscular and bone mass, which is a normal part of aging.
As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and ability to regenerate, and becomes thinner. Being the thinnest and most delicate part of the facial skin, the skin around your eyes (called periorbital skin) will be the first area to manifest signs of aging and fatigue. The periorbital skin is on average about 0.5 mm thick compared to an average of about 2 mm thick on the rest of your body. The reddish-blue blood vessels under the eyes become even more prominent with age due to the thinning of the epidermis (skin surface) that results with the slowdown in production of collagen and fats.
Prolonged and excessive exposure to uv rays prompts your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour. Areas of the skin where there is increased melanin production will become darker.
Dark eye circles can run in the family. Some people are genetically predisposed to having thinner skin below the eyes, or periorbital hyperpigmentation – a condition in which more melanin is produced by the skin below the eyes, resulting in it appearing to be a darker colour. Periorbital hyperpigmentation is more prevalent in darker-skinned people, especially those of Asian and African origins.
Lifestyle factors and medical conditions leading to fluid imbalance or local swelling can result in puffy or swollen eyelids, which cause shadows that make the area under the eyes appear darker. These include lifestyle factors (such as drinking too much coffee), chronic dehydration, anaemia, head or facial trauma, and allergies.