Dark eye circles are a common concern in many of our patients, be it working adults, C-suites executives, or students. With the recent post-pandemic shift into remote work, the lines between work and rest have become blurred, making it difficult for many to get adequate hours of rest. With over 40 years of rich experience in medical and aesthetic practice, our doctors are pleased to offer answers to frequently asked questions about acne removal treatments in Singapore that work for our patients. Continue reading to find out everything you need to know about dark eye circles.
How do I identify dark eye circles?
It’s actually very easy to spot and varies from patient to patient. Different patients who have this eye concern may identify them as dark rings under the eyes, dark eye bags, dark under-eyes, dark under-eye circles, or panda eyes.
How do dark eye circles form?
Although the eye area is a small part of the face, it requires meticulous treatment due to its anatomy and physiology. There are many factors contributing to the formation of dark eye circles. There are 4 main types of dark circles:
- Pigmented dark eye circles The undereye area may appear darker due to constricted blood vessels causing hyperpigmentation, resulting in pigmented dark circles.
- Vascular dark eye circles Vascular dark eye circles are caused by a poorly functioning lymphatic system, causing pigments in your blood to accumulate under the eye area.
- Violet-reddish dark eye circles Violet-reddish dark eye circles usually show up as a purple-reddish under eye area with visible blood vessels and is a result of thinning of the skin around the eye area.
- Shadowed eye circles Shadowed eye circles are caused by facial bone structure and are commonly seen in people with sunken eyes. As the under-eye area is protruded, it creates a hollow which gives an impression of dark circles.
What are the causes of dark eye circles?
The multiple causes of dark eye circles can be grouped into 3 categories:
- Hereditary Darker-skinned tone people tend to have dark eye circles. Facial and eye area anatomy also plays a big role – Asians have a smaller maxilla (the bone which forms your upper jaw). This causes eye circles to be more obvious.
- Lifestyle Lack of sleep may cause eye bags, resulting in shadows which can accentuate the dark under-eye area. Also, as you age, you tend to lose collagen and fat, resulting in thin skin that makes the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes more prominent.
- Environmental Frequent sun exposure may cause the overproduction of melanin in the under-eye area, causing dark eye circles. The environment may also trigger medical issues and allergies such as allergic congested nose, allergic rhinitis, or allergic conjunctivitis (itchy eyes). These may increase the tendency to rub your eyes. Anything triggering nasal congestion could give you dark eye circles, also medically known as allergic shiners.
You may also suffer from eczema due to genetic causes or extrinsic causes such as eye makeup/ eyeliner/ mascara/ eyelash extension/ inappropriate eye cream ingredients. The itch may result in extensive eye rubbing, followed by inflammation, and finally post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.
Dark eye circles are also made more obvious by fine lines and wrinkles as our under-eye skin is thin and dehydrates easily. Therefore, it is important to seek treatment for eye lines and wrinkles and crows’ feet in conjunction with removing dark circles.
There are many OTC eye creams / serums / lightening creams / under eye patches for dark eye circles at the pharmacies. They claim to lighten or remove dark eye circles. Are they useful?
Depending on the cause of the dark eye circles, some brightening eye creams may be helpful. For mild discolouration of eyelid skin (for instance, due to photodamage caused by sun exposure), some OTC ingredients can help, such as Vitamin C, kojic acid, arbutin, and cucumber extract.
For dark eye circles aggravated by ageing and dry skin, you may want to look for creams with hydrating and skin rejuvenating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, PDRN (polydeoxyribonucleotide), and aloe vera.
What ingredients should I look for when choosing an eye cream to remove dark eye circles?
Some of the best eye creams for dark eye circles include hyaluronic acid, Vitamin C, aloe vera, kojic acid, and caffeine.
Are there home remedies for the removal of dark eye circles?
A popular home remedy includes using iced tea bags as a cold compress to remove dark eye circles. Green tea has antioxidant properties which have anti-inflammatory properties that help soothe strained capillaries in your under-eye area.
You could also incorporate healthy lifestyle habits to improve your dark eye circles, such as always removing makeup correctly using a professional make-up removal solution before you go to bed, and not washing your face with hot water. Hot water will make your eyes redder and puffier.
Having healthy eye habits to reduce eye strain and fatigue is also very helpful, such as sleeping on your back to avoid fluid collecting under your eyes, limiting your screen time, and having the necessary 8 hours of sleep every day.
Why do men and women want to get rid of dark eye circles?
The presence of dark eye circles makes a person look tired, unrested, and dull. Many feel self-conscious, and hence they wish to find out how to remove dark circles. They may receive comments such as “Did you sleep late?”, “Did you have a bad night?”, “You look tired?” when this is not what happened in reality. Ladies may try to camouflage with concealers to cover up the dark circles.
I have tried various brands and products recommended by friends and they do not work. Should I seek help from a doctor?
You should consult a doctor if:
- You are troubled or stressed by the dark eye circles and it affects your normal life.
- Your dark eye circles are persistent despite home remedies.
- You wish to seek other options besides home remedies to remove the dark eye circles.
Why do I still have dark eye circles despite adjusting my lifestyle and habits to sleep early or reduce screen time? Should I consult a doctor?
There may be multiple causes contributing to your dark eye circles so do seek consultation with a doctor to clear your doubts.
Why consult a doctor for treatment?
Dark eye circles are a complex condition with multiple causes. No home remedies or OTC products will be able to resolve the factors completely. Doctors are equipped with the expertise and right tools to address the complexity of this condition.
What can I expect during my 1st consultation with the doctor at Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic?
During your first consultation with our doctors, here’s what will happen:
- Thorough medical consultation, including an assessment of your medical history, family history and lifestyle factors.
- Assessment of your eye area to determine the cause of the dark eye circles. For instance, it could be due to your dark eye circles, eye bags, or facial anatomy.
- Our doctors will customise an appropriate in-clinic treatment plan for your dark eye circles which is suitable for your preferences, schedule and budget.
- Our doctors will also highlight to you if we observe the concurrent presence of under-eye lines/ wrinkles/ crows feet/ dehydrated skin/ eyebags as these may make the dark eye circles appear worse. A treatment plan can be put in place to treat the other issues at the same time.
- Our doctors will also advise on appropriate lifestyle changes or refer you to seek medical expert treatment for allergy-related dark eye circles.
- A suitable home care regime will also be recommended to complement the in-clinic treatments.
What if I have eyebags as well? Can it be treated at the same time?
Eyebags due to ageing and fat pad protrusion are best treated with surgical methods. The presence of eye bags due to anatomical retrusion of the maxillary bone is common amongst many younger Asians. Patients who do not want surgery may opt for fillers in the mid-face to augment the midface and camouflage the prominence of the eyebags. Patients who are open to surgery can achieve satisfactory results after the removal of eye bags.
What are the best non-surgical or non-invasive treatment options to get rid of dark eye circles if I do not want to use dermal fillers for the eye area?
At Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic, we have a holistic suite of in-clinic treatments and protocols for dark eye circle treatment in Singapore that are non-invasive, effective and safe.
We will be upfront to share that frequently, it is not possible to achieve 100% removal of dark eye circles as there may be multiple contributing causes related to your lifestyle. However, with strong patient cooperation, significant lightening of dark eye circles is achievable with the appropriate treatment protocols. We have many patients who are very satisfied with the end result.
As dark eye circles is a complex condition, depending on your specific situation, it has to be treated in stages and a combination of different treatments to give you optimal results.
Some of the in-clinic treatments available at Eeva include:
- Rejuran i | Rejuran Eye
Rejuran i uses Korean PN technology, an improved version of PDRN (salmon DNA) to restore and repair the skin from within at the DNA level.
- Sylfirm Eye Rejuvenation
Targeted Sylfirm treatment around the eye area will reduce dark eye circles with the additional benefits of reduction in fine lines and wrinkles.
- Venus Viva Diamond Polar RF
Venus Viva combines Israeli Diamond Polar RF technology with MP3 technology to reduce dark eye circles and improve lymphatic drainage around the eye area.
- Rejuran Skinboosters
Rejuran Skinboosters are brought to you by the same manufacturer as the well known Rejuran Healer and Rejuran i. Rejuran Skinboosters is an alternative for those who would like the benefits of Rejuran, minus the injections.
It is a cocktail of dermal micronutrients fortified with c-PDRN, hyaluronic acid and amino acids that work on the DNA level to reverse ageing and brighten the skin. The molecules are designed for skin penetration. This is unlike the larger PN molecules in Rejuran Healer or Rejuran i that are designed for injections. Rejuran Skinboosters are delivered transdermally using an FDA transdermal penetration device in our clinic.
- Eye Rejuvenation Laser
We recommend the Korean Curas Laser or Lutronic Clarity Laser for under-eye skin brightening and eye rejuvenation.
- LDM Cellular Therapy
LDM Cellular Therapy uses German Dual Ultrasound Technology to deliver skin rejuvenation at the cellular level.
Is there any downtime for the dark eye circle treatments?
Most of our in-clinic treatments for dark eye circles have none or minimal downtime.
- Rejuran i: some mild swelling/bruising can occur for 2-3 days. Arnica can be prescribed before and after treatment to reduce/ prevent bruising and swelling.
- Sylfirm Eye: Mild and temporary redness and dryness that will usually resolve in about 3-7 days.
- Venus Viva Diamond Polar RF: no downtime
- Rejuran Skinboosters: no downtime
- Eye Rejuvenation Laser: no downtime
- LDM Cellular Therapy: no downtime
How many sessions do I require?
- Rejuran i | Rejuran Eye: 4 sessions performed once every 4 weeks is usually recommended as per Korean treatment protocol.
- Sylfirm Eye: depending on the severity of the dark eye circles, 3-6 sessions are recommended once every 4 weeks.
- Venus Viva Diamond Polar RF: 6 sessions every fortnightly followed by monthly sessions maintenance
- Rejuran Skinboosters: transdermal penetration once every 2-4 weeks for 1st 4 sessions, followed by monthly maintenance.
- Eye Rejuvenation Laser: 6-10 sessions once a month.
- LDM Cellular Therapy: can be used as a complementary treatment to enhance the other treatments.
How effective are the treatments?
Due to multiple factors contributing to dark eye circles, integrated combination treatments usually yield better results. Results may vary between patients. Most patients achieve about 30% -70% improvement depending on their specific condition.
Here are some additional benefits:
- Wrinkles and lines reduced
- Smoother and more hydrated skin
- Increased elasticity, firmer skin
Many of our patients gave very pleasant feedback to our doctors that they had previously tried many branded or quality eye creams which were not able to achieve the good results that our in-clinic treatments managed to achieve.
When will I start seeing the results from the treatments?
Depending on the type of treatment chosen, the results can usually be seen in about 3-7 days. We highlight to our patients that results are usually gradual and progressive, so it is important to adhere to the treatment program consistently to achieve successful results.
How do I care for my eye area after the procedure?
A home use skin care program will be designed for you to make your in-clinic dark eye circle treatments go that extra mile.
Do I need maintenance treatments after the recommended number of sessions?
Due to ageing, it is also difficult to completely avoid environmental and lifestyle triggers. Hence, maintenance treatments at regular intervals are necessary for optimal long term results. Do discuss with our doctors about a suitable maintenance regime that works well for you.
Dark eye circles are hard to treat, but with the right treatment and professional medical advice, you can revitalise your eye area and look more alert than ever before. Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic‘s Singapore-certified doctors have the expertise, experience, and devices to get your acne under control. Contact us today to find out more!
- Rao T. (2014) Dark Circles of the Eyes. In: Jackson-Richards D., Pandya A. (eds) Dermatology Atlas for Skin of Color. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-54446-0_10