Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why do I have dark circles under my eyes, even when I'm not tired - and how do I get rid of them?"
I have dark circles under my eyes every day, and I hate them. They started when I was about 22 and hasn't stopped (about ten years now). They're always there, no matter how much sleep I get (I average about 8 hours a night), and they make me look like a raccoon. Why won't they go away, and how do I get rid of them?
Dark circles under the eyes are one of the most common cosmetic complaints that people have. They occur when dark blood pooling in veins under the skin shows through. The reason this occurs specifically in this area, under the eyes, is that the skin there tends to be thinner than on other parts of the body.
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This problem tends to worsen with age and sun and other damage to the skin, as the skin deteriorates over time. There is no simple treatment for this problem. Often correcting lifestyle factors that contribute to eye puffiness can help, including sleep deprivation, diet, and stress. Additionally skin toning creams may be of some minor benefit by making the skin appear more youthful and tight. Similarly, many people apply cosmetics to cover up the discoloration. The other thing you can do is make certain there are no medical conditions making the eye puffiness and discoloration worse. The most common condition that falls into this categories is allergies (eye allergies, nasal allergies, sinus congestion). If you have these problems, you should have them treated by your primary care doctor and see if you notice a difference. Finally, laser resurfacing and other more invasive procedures are available from some cosmetic dermatologists.
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