How to Get Rid of Dark Under-Eye Circles

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In my last post we talked about some of the more common reasons for having dark rings under your eyes. The causes range from lack of sleep to some sort of allergy. If you do know the reason for your under-eye circles it may help to find a treatment which specifically addresses the cause. For example, if your under-eye circles are determined to be caused by allergies, and you begin to take allergy medications or avoid certain allergens, your eye circles may disappear. This is why your first step in getting rid of your dark circles is to see your general practitioner to determine if there is an underlying medical cause.

But for many people under eye circles are hereditary, caused by the normal aging process, or simply due to changes in skin pigmentation. For some people who have under-eye circles, it may be difficult to find a treatment which works.

The frustration of finding a cure or remedy for dark under-eye circles has spurned some sufferers to create their own on-line resources of treatment information. For example, one blogger has created a whole blog devoted to her search for the latest remedies and clinical treatments for under-eye circles called My Dark Circles Blog.   This site even has a forum for people who suffer from dark circles to discuss how their latest treatments have worked or have failed. Judging from the numbers of people viewing such forum posts, under-eye circles seem to be an extremely popular topic.

The types of treatments for dark circles seem to fall into three basic categories of home remedies, skin care products such as under-eye creams, and more heavy duty dermatological interventions. We will give you some examples of each type of treatment but before I do, I wish to issue a disclaimer:

The following treatments have been gleaned from researching the literature on possible ways to remedy dark under-eye circles. I am in no way endorsing any particular treatment.I have not tried any of these treatments myself. We cannot vouch for their effectiveness in getting rid of your dark circles. The advice of "Buyer Beware" is always wise to follow.

Home Remedies for Treating Dark Circles

If you do a search for home remedies for dark under-eye circles you will undoubtedly come up with a list of hundreds, if not thousands of suggestions. Here are just a few of the more popular ones.

  • Applying a chilled used tea bag to the affected eye area is probably one of the more popular home remedies suggested for eliminating under-eye circles. The tannins in tea are said to decrease inflammation. Many skin care sites say that green tea works best.

  • Some people swear by using almond oil under their eyes to take away the dark circles. Almond oil has been described as a natural moisturizer which you can gently massage into the skin overnight. Another home remedy advises to mix equal parts honey and almond oil to create a paste to apply under the eyes.

  • Cold cucumber or potato slices have been used by some to treat their under-eye circles. Leave the slices on your eyes for 10-15 minutes. Potatoes are said to contain an enzyme called catecholase, which is a natural skin lightener.

  • Tanning can make under-eye circles worse, so you want to protect your eyes by wearing sunglasses and also using a good sunscreen.

Cosmetic Eye Creams, lotions and gels to Treat Dark Circles

There are more cosmetic products out there to get rid of under-eye circles than you can possibly count. It can be very difficult to know which ones will work for you. Some dermatologists recommend topical creams which contain alphahydroxy acids or those which contain Vitamin C or K.

A 2004 study in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology found that a topical gel application containing  2% phytonadione, 0.1% retinol, 0.1% vitamin C and 0.1% vitamin E was fairly or moderately effective in reducing dark under-eye circles.

The Washington Post reported in 2009 that some of the most expensive eye products were found to be less effective than some of the less pricey drugstore brands. They cite a Consumer Reports study which showed that one of the most expensive eye creams tested was among the worst performers. One of the eye creams rated in this study as being the best value for the money is Olay Total Effects 7-in-1 Anti-Aging Booster Eye Transforming Cream. Just goes to show that you may not have to spend tons of money to find an effective under-eye cream.

Dermatological Interventions

Home remedies and cosmetics can only go so far in treating dark under-eye circles. If the dark discolorations under the eyes are caused by hyperpigmentation, a chemical peel or microdermabrasion may be suggested by some dermatologists. Others may opt for treating dark circles with bleaching agents (fading creams) such as those containing hydroquinone.

Laser treatments are another option recommended by some doctors to eliminate dark under-eye circles. In response to a member question about possible under-eye treatments, Doctor Hema Sundaram gave this advice:

New fractional laser treatments such as Syneron Matrix IR and Fraxel give excellent improvement in under-eye wrinkles and crow's feet with little or no down time. I recommend that you consult a board certified dermatologist who specializes in cosmetic surgery to discuss these and other options such as Vitalize chemical peels and DermaSweep crystal-free microdermabrasion (it's best not to have microdermabrasion with crystals around the eyes as this could cause eye irritation or damage).

Some people love the results of using injectible fillers which can plump up the area underneath the eyes, eliminating hollows which cause the appearance of dark under-eye shadows. These fillers are not without risks and can include bruising, swelling, and allergic reactions. We have a lot of information about such fillers including Restylane and Juvederm. See the article titles below to read more:

There are many treatment options for diminishing the appearance of dark circles under your eyes ranging from simply getting adequate sleep to heavy duty dermatological interventions. Your best bet is to first see your general practitioner to make sure that you do not have some underlying medical condition responsible for your under-eye circles. Secondly, it is probably wise to have a certified dermatologist take a look at your skin to give you the best recommendation of how to treat your dark circles.

The American Academy of Dermatologists has a Doctor Finder to seek out a dermatologist in your geographical area.

Now we want to hear from you. Do you have any home remedies for curing under-eye circles? Have you tried any treatments which work for you? We would like to hear from members who have actually used the treatment as opposed to manufacturer representatives. Thank you for being a member of My Skin Care Connection!