What ages you most? Grey hair? Crow’s feet? You may be surprised, but it is not any of these. The answer is dark circles around the eyes. They can make person look up to 10 years older. When people develop dark circles under their eyes, they generally think a lack of sleep is the cause, but this is not always the case. There are several causes of dark circles around the eyes and until you understand the cause, you won’t be able to effectively treat them.
What causes dark circles?
Dark circle are rarely a sign of exhaustion or illness, so they are harmless, but unsightly. They make a person look tired, old and unhealthy. Both men and women get dark circles and they usually begin in adulthood, but children can get them too. Some of the most common causes include:
- Rubbing or scratching the area
- Atopic dermatitis/Eczema
- Nasal congestion that can cause veins to dilate and darken
- Sun exposure causes production of melanin
- Pigmentation irregularities
- Poor diet
- Lack of vitamin K
Lifestyle and age play a role
It might be your lifestyle that is causing dark circles under eyes. Smoking and chronic alcohol use can cause dark circles as well as emotional or physical stress. Your age may be the underlying cause. The skin under the eyes thins with fat and collagen loss as we age. This makes the reddish-blue color under your eyes to appear much more noticeable.
Treating dark circles at home
If you have mild to moderate dark circles under your eyes, there are some remedies that you can try at home.
Use extra pillows. Sleep with an extra pillow or two under your head to prevent fluid buildup under the eyes.
Try cold. Cold compresses will help reduce the look of dark circles. You can try a cool, damp washcloth, two cool spoons, or a bag of frozen vegetables from the freezer. This will reduce the dilated blood vessels and discoloration they cause under the eyes. Cool, used tea bags can also help.
Get more sleep. Easier said than done, right? Lack of sleep doesn’t cause the dark circles, but it can make you look pale and the circles more prominent. So, if you can squeeze in a few more minutes of beauty sleep each day.
Wear sunscreen and sunglasses. You make think that the sun will tan the skin, making the dark under-eye circles less obvious, and it might, at first. However, the sun makes the body produce more melanin, so in the long run it will make the dark circles more prominent. So, wear sunglasses and sunscreen when outside.
Try using saline. Rinsing your sinuses with an over the counter saline spray or a solution of salt and water can help alleviate nasal congestion that can cause dark circles. The salt water solution should be one-fourth teaspoon of salt mixed with two cups of warm water.
Eye creams. There are many over-the-counter creams made to treat dark circles. Trial and error may be the best way to find the right product since many people will see different results depending on their skin type. Most eye creams are fairly cheap and are a fast and easy way to cover up or even get rid of dark under eye circles altogether.