I'm 21 but have suffered from visible dark skin under my eyes for a while. I don't really have dark circles as such because the skin underneath my eyes is tight, it's just the inner corners are dark. I'm a healthy person, get lots of sleep and water. I've read so many possible treatments ranging from fat grafting to IPL. I think it's only possible to determine a treatment upon diagnosing the cause. Can somebody please tell me why I may have this problem and how can I solve it?
How Can I Treat the Dark Discolouration Under my Eyes?
Doctor Answers 2
You have this because the skin is thin.
These dark circles are entirely normal. The effect is optical due to the effect of a very thin skin over the flat muscle, the orbicularis oculi, that helps close the eye. The muscle is dark red. So light that passes into the skin gets absorbed by the muscle making the skin look dark. Fat grafting is not a fix for your issue. I would strongly recommend that you start with simple things like a cosmetic dark circle concealer for the eyes before considering treatments like fillers for this area given your age.
Dark Circles Under Eyes
Dark circles under the eyes are often a sign of nasal allergy. These circles are often referred to as "allergic shiners". Nasal allergy causes inflammation and swelling of the veins inside the nose. The lower eyelid veins drain through the nose on their way back to the heart. Therefore, if the veins are engorged in the nose, that often leads to eyelid vein engorgement and dark circles under the eyes. Some individuals have perennial, or year-round, allergies and may not recognize the problem. Before considering a laser or surgical option, I would recommend nasal allergy treatment daily for several months with a topical nasal steroid spray, such as fluticasone propionate. This spray requires a prescription from your physician. Daily cover up makeup may be another more simple and safer option.
Because the dark circles are most often caused by venous engorgement, IPL treatments are not likely to be sucessful. A q-switched ND:YAG laser such as laser genesis could be helpful, but is likely to be somewhat painful during treatment. The treatments would most likely need to be repeated periodically if they are successful.