There are some simple home remedies that you may have tried over the years to remove the dark circles around your eyes, such as - more sleep, cucumber slices and green tea bags. However, these methods aren’t permanent cures, especially if you have very pronounced dark eye circles.
Dr Wong Kee Seng, the Founder and Medical Director of Kowayo Aesthetic Clinic in Singapore, is a certified medical aesthetic doctor who has helped many patients with their dark eye circles. In this article, he shares his insights on how to reduce dark eye circles through non-invasive treatments.
What causes dark eye circles and how do I define the severity of mine?
Although dark circles under your eyes are most commonly caused by lack of sleep, there are other external causes that could visibly heighten the appearance of dark circles under your eyes, including:
Smoking accelerates aging because it breaks down the collagen and elastin in our body. If you’re a smoker, the delicate tissue around your eyes regenerate slower, resulting in the blood vessels underyoureyesbecomingmore prominent and appearing as dark circles.
What you consume is vital in protecting your general health including the skin under the eyes. Overindulging in preserved food, meat,caffeine, andahigh salt diet can cause dehydration andadull skintone, thatcan worsen dark eye circles.
Allergic rhinitis, Sinusitis or Eczema
Nasal congestion eczema is often associated with slow blood circulation around the undereye area. This may result in blood pooling and swollen veins, creating dark circles and puffiness.
Prolonged exposure to sunlight and electronic devices
UV light, or Blue light emitted by electronic devices can affect skin, especially the thin skin area around the eyes. Constant exposure to UV or blue light can accelerate aging and cause dark circles.
Besides these four factors, other causes of dark eye circles are genetics and the natural aging process. If your parents have dark eye circles, you are likely to have them too. You may have inherited thin skin around the eyes that make dark circles more prominent. Also, as we age, loss of collagen will form hollowness under the eyes, which subsequently casts shadows that appear to be dark eye circle.
But fret not, according to Dr Wong, your dark eye circles can be classified under three main categories that can help you choose the right treatment to get rid of them.
The first category is Vascular, which means there is poor micro-circulation of the blood and lymphatic system around the eye. They appear bluish/purplish. This is especially obvious in allergic rhinitis with congested nose and slow lymphatic drainage around the eyes.
The second is Pigmentary, which is an accumulation of melanin (skin pigment) due to sun exposure. As the skin is very thin around the eyes, any excess pigments will cause dark circles to be obvious.
The third kind is Structural that occurs due to the nature of bone structure. The shadowing and indentation arising from deep sunken eye sockets can produce a prominent tear trough, thus making dark circles more apparent.
So, what are the best treatments in Singapore to eliminate dark eye circles?
Depending on the diagnosis of the type of dark circles under your eyes, Dr Wong recommends two main non-invasive treatments:
Recommendation 1: Dermal Fillers
Since the 1990's, dermal fillers have evolved to absorbable fillers that are safer with more natural results. There are two types of fillers - Hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers and Non-Hyaluronic acid (Non-HA) fillers.
HA fillers are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) from 2006 and deliver predictable results because the ingredient of hyaluronic acid exists naturally in our skin. HA fillers act as a volumiser to fill up the sunken undereye area and supplement the treatment area with antioxidants, in order to lighten the dark circle.
On the other hand, non-HA fillers, acts as both volumiser and collagen stimulator. Not only does it refill the volume of sunken eyes, but it also promotes collagen growth, to achieve longer lasting results compared to traditional HA fillers, such as the Polycaprolactone (PCL)-based collagen stimulator.
Bonus Benefits:Non-invasive (scarless), little to no discomfort/downtime, long lasting (1-2 year), no post-treatment care required.
Doctor's Take:“There are various kinds of fillers that are suited for different areas of the face so it is vital that you speak with your doctor to find out more. At Kowayo, we always do a thorough consultation to determine which dermal fillers may suit you best based on severity, skin thickness, expectation and budget. We usespecific fillers that combine hyaluronic acid with vitamins and antioxidants to restore volume and rejuvenate the tear trough that treats dark eye circles. Sometimes, we choose a collagen bio-stimulating filler that helps to improve the resilience of the skin under the eyes, giving a natural brightening effectthat reduces dark eye circles,” explains Dr Wong.
Recommendation 2: Eye Thread Lift
Unlike conventional thread lifts, threads for under eye rejuvenation do not ‘lift’ like threads used for the lower face area. In this instance, threads are inserted under the eye for support and to stimulate the production of collagen. This helps reduce wrinkles, loose skin, and eye bags.Most threads are made from Polydioxanone (PDO), and it is inserted under sterile conditions with a blunt cannula for safety - making it rather painless. The threads will gradually dissolve in the body naturally.
Bonus Benefits: Non-invasive (scarless), little to no discomfort/downtime, long lasting (12-18 month), no post-treatment care required, additional skin tightening and eye bag reduction effect.
Doctor’s Take: “If there is no volume loss under the eyes or if you had an unpleasant result from fillers, then eye thread liftis a good choice. Sometimes, patients come up to me asking if it would overkill to do both treatments. In fact, combining treatments can actually help to produce more results as each method is used to address different underlying causes of dark eye circles. Eye threading not only helps to reduce dark eye circles but through collagen stimulation and lipolysis, it can improve eye bags too. So, combining treatments would enhance the end results.” advises Dr Wong.
As noted above, the treatments mentioned in this article do not involve any surgical incisions, which means that there is no or very little recovery time needed. This greatly minimises any potential risks and complicationsoccuring during or after the procedures. However, it’s always good to do your research and consult a doctor who has sufficient experience in these treatments.