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Dark circles? Here's what you should do!

Rima Al-Mukhtar

The dark discoloration of the under eye skin is mainly referred to as dark circles. It is also known as dark rings, shadows or panda eyes. Dark circles can be caused by DNA, aging, dry skin, crying for a long period of time, working for long hours, lack of sleep, unhealthy diets, mental or physical stress or long hours in front of the computer. Dark circles are not a serious skin problem, but they make people look tired, exhausted, unhealthy and older. You can easily get rid of these unsightly shadows under your eyes using some easy home remedies. We spoke to dermatologist Dr. Ghada Obagi at the MediSpa, who answered a number of questions regarding women's problems and concerns. What are dark circles? Dark discoloration of the skin under the eye is mainly referred to as dark circles or dark blemishes. It is also known as dark rings or shadows. It's not considered a serious skin problem, but they make people look tired, exhausted, unhealthy and older. Both men and women of different age groups can have dark circles. How does one get dark circles? The dark circles under the eyes are blood vessels that can be seen through the skin. The skin around the eyelids (periorbital skin) is the thinnest skin in the body (around 0.5 mm thick compared to 2mm in other areas). Like varicose veins, dark circles under the eyes are usually an inherited trait. When blood passes through the large veins close to the surface of the skin, it can produce a bluish tint. The more transparent the skin- also an inherited trait- the darker the circles appear. In people with a deep-set bone structure, shadowing can also contribute to the dark color under the eyes. What are the main causes of dark circles? Some of the main causes behind the formation of dark circles are: 1. Heredity 2. Allergies, asthma, and eczema (Any condition that causes the eyes to itch can contribute to darker circles due to rubbing or scratching the skin around them) 3. Medications (Any medications that cause blood vessels to dilate can cause circles under the eyes to darken) 4. Anemia (The lack of nutrients in the diet, or the lack of a balanced diet, can contribute to the discoloration of the area under the eyes. It is believed that iron deficiency can cause dark circles as well and it is a sign that not enough oxygen is getting to the body tissues. 5. Liver and thyroid problems Other causes like: aging, smoking, caffeine and alcohol consumption Volume loss or fat descent in the cheeks, prolonged crying, working for long hours in front of a computer, mental or physical stress, lack of sleep and an unhealthy diet. How can we prevent dark circles? 1. Eat healthy food full of nutrients, vitamins, especially anti-oxidant vitamins like vitamin C 2. Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption 3. Regular check-ups 4. Wear eyeglasses as protection for people who use computers a lot 5. Get enough sleep (7-9 hours) and relax. Is there a deeper and worrying issue behind dark circles? Yes, it can get worrying when there is an underlying disease behind this problem such as liver or thyroid issues, anemia especially iron deficiency anemia, allergies and asthma. How can we fix this problem? Before undergoing dark circles treatment, it is important to know exactly what is causing the dark circles. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be appropriate, especially if there are multiple factors causing the dark circles. 1. Non-cosmetic procedures include applying cucumber slices, almond oil, rose water, cold tea bags, coconut oil, tomato, raw potato slices and lemon juice. 2. Skin lightening with topical bleaching agents may be recommended by your dermatologist to reduce dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation from melasma or sun damage. Creams that contain kojic acid, Vitamins C and K, green tea, and licorice are highly recommended. 3. Skin resurfacing for dark circles: Laser resurfacing and chemical peel may be used to help reduce dark circles by increasing collagen production, decreasing pigmentation problems, and improving overall skin quality. However, laser treatments and chemical peels are most effective when used as part of a combination approach in treating dark circles. 4. Hyaluronic acid filler injection: Injectable fillers containing hyaluronic acid are often used to correct dark circles created by thinning under eye skin or fat and tissue loss in the under eyes or upper cheeks. Hyaluronic acid fillers are absorbed by the body within a few months to one year, so results are temporary. The only permanent filler typically recommended for the under eye area is the patient's own fat. 5. Fat injection: Like hyaluronic acid fillers, fat may be grafted from another body area and injected in the tear troughs to treat dark circles. Fat injections (or fat transfer) are typically recommended for correction of dark circles caused by thinning under eye skin or fat and tissue loss in the under eyes or upper cheeks. Unlike hyaluronic acid fillers, fat injection results may be permanent, however results are not guaranteed, as fat cells don't always survive the fat transfer process 6. Carboxy injection: is an injection of carbon dioxide to improve ventilation. People need between 8-12 sessions at least, each one week apart. Improvement can be seen from the 1st session onwards. 7. PRP (platelet rich plasma): is a concentrated source of platelets and growth factors, which promotes improvement of the problem. At least 3-4 sessions are needed, each being a month apart. Does age matter? Age definitely matters; dark circles are likely to become more noticeable and permanent with age. This is because as people get older, their skin loses collagen, becoming thinner and more translucent. Circles may also gradually begin to appear darker in one eye than the other as a result of some habitual facial expressions, such as an uneven smile. - Email: [emailprotected]

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Publication:Arab News (Jeddah, Saudi Arabia)
Date:Jun 3, 2015
Words:996
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