Here's what's causing them and how to treat them
Dark circles are a very common concern for a lot of people, and there are 3 reasons we get them: excess pigment, volume loss, and thinning of the skin. I’m going to go through all 3 of these causes and tell you exactly how to treat them!
Dark circle cause #1: Excess pigment
Melanin is the pigment in our skin, and when we have an excess of melanin in any given area we will see darker ‘patches’ of skin. When we get this excess pigment under the eyes (very common for darker skin tones) it gives the look of dark circles.
Lasers are the preferred treatment for excess melanin under the eyes. However, when doing lasers on darker skin tones you need to be careful not to make the problem worse! Because excess inflammation in darker skin will cause the body to create even more pigment as a defense mechanism. But when done correctly laser treatment under the eyes has beautiful results! The lasers I like to use most frequently for this (in order of least to most aggressive) are Clear and Brilliant, Pico, and Fraxel.
Dark circle cause #2: Volume loss
When we lose volume under the eyes it creates a sunkenness, which in turn casts shadows under the eyes and gives the appearance of dark circles. So while you might not have pigment or visible vasculature, your circles are purely caused by shadows due to the hollowness under the eyes.
Treatment: Tear trough filler
I want to start by saying filler is not a cure-all treatment! I think we are currently in an era of overfilling people and filler fatigue, but in this case to address loss of volume under the eyes tear trough filler is going to be your best option. By adding in a little filler (I start with ½ syringe under each eye) you can bring back the volume that has been lost and prevent the shadowing that’s causing the appearance of dark circles. You can add more filler later if needed, but I always recommend starting slow and working up from there. You’ll often be surprised by how little filler you need in this area to make a dramatic difference!
Dark circle cause #3: Thinning skin
As we age and our skin begins to thin we can start to see underlying vasculature that we haven't seen previously. The veins and blood vessels under our eyes give a blue-ish hue under the eyes that appears as dark circles, making us look tired or sick.
Treatment: VBeam laser
VBeam is commonly used to treat redness or rosacea, because this laser is attracted to redness in the skin. Due to this it works beautifully under the eyes when the cause of dark circles is visible underlying vasculature (redness from blood vessels). Patients usually need 1-3 treatments of this and the results last about 2-3 years. So you’ll need a bit of maintenance, but it can be so worth it to save you time and money by erasing the need for concealer every day!
As always, with any of these treatments it’s very important to go to someone who is very experienced and conservative in their treatment methods. Make sure you go to someone who will be honest with you and recommend the right procedure, even if it means referring out to another specialty physician if needed!
In addition to the treatments discussed above it is very important to use a high quality eye serum or cream. The delicate under eye area is the first to show signs of aging. Early and continued daily use of an eye serum or cream can go a long way in prevention. I have formulated my Regenerative ECM Eye Complex with ingredients that will stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin while reducing the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and fine lines.
For more detail on each of these treatments you can check out my YouTube video below! I post new videos every Sunday, so make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss out!