Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"How do I get rid of persistant dark circles under my eyes?"
I am a 29 year old college student. I run outdoors several times a week, eat whole grains, fruits and vegetables, not a lot of meat or salt, and consider myself healthy. I do have occasional hayfever, mostly in the late spring. I do not take any medications. I sleep at least 8 hours every night and wake up refreshed. I notice the purplish circles under my eyes the most in the early morning.
Dark circles under the eyes are one of the most common cosmetic complaints people have. They result from the dark colored blood in veins under the skin showing through. The reason this occurs specifically below the eyes is that the skin tends to be rather thin there, allowing the discoloration to show up. As you age, this tends to get worse because the skin thins out even more. It is not, strictly speaking, a medical problem. However, there are several medical condition which can contribute to thin and puffy skin under the eyes, which make the appearance worse. In your case, you say that you have hay fever. Precisely nasal allergies are one of the most common causes of this problem! So you may want to talk to your primary care doctor about getting your allergy symptoms under better control, as this will definitely help you out. Other than this, most people manage the problem with rest, good exercise and diet, and judicious application of cosmetics. If you are unsatisfied with this approach, you could talk to a cosmetic dermatologist, as there are some emerging treatments which, although quite expensive, might be appropriate options for a more permanent treatment of the discoloration.
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