The Secret To Treating Dark Under Eye Circles

Feb 17, 2020 | Facial Care

All too often, a patient will ask me about dark circles under the eyes. Here is what you should know:


1. Causes and risk factors

Dark circles can be a result of constricted blood vessels or by thinning of the skin making blood vessels more visible.  Causes include:

a. Smoking
b. Allergies such as hay fever
c. Lack of sleep
d. Aging
e. Inherited trait
f. Rubbing eyes
g. Irritation/allergy from a product
h. Too much sun exposure

2. Home treatments

There are a few things you can do to improve the look of dark circles.

a. Get more sleep – people can make sure they are getting enough quality sleep each night to help reduce or prevent dark circles. Raising the head up on extra pillows may help reduce dark circles and swelling around the eyes.

b. Apply cucumber – yes, those photos you see of women at a spa with cucumbers is actually a thing.  Applying cucumber slices to the eyes may soothe tired eyes and reduce swelling. The high water and vitamin C content of cucumber may help to nourish and moisturize the skin. Cucumber also contains silica, which is essential for healthy tissue.

c. Cold tea bags – Applying a cold compress to the eyes can constrict blood vessels and reduce the appearance of dark circles and the caffeine in tea stimulates blood flow.

3. Medical treatments

a. Kojic acid – Anecdotal reports state kojic acid is effective in treating dark circles. Kojic acid is a natural product that comes from two species of fungi. However, it is important to know that side effects of kojic acid can include contact dermatitis and reddening of the skin.

b. Azelaic acid – People may use azelaic acid to treat hyperpigmentation under the eyes, and it is safe to use over long periods.

c. Vitamin C serum – a recent study looked at the effects of 10% vitamin C lotion in the treatment of dark circles, over 6 months. The lotion was effective in lightening darkness under the eyes.

d. Fillers – If thinning of the skin or loss of fatty tissue is causing dark circles under the eyes; fillers may be a potential option. People can have injections of platelet rich plasma or hyaluronic acid gel into the area under the eye.

e. Surgery – A type of surgery called blepharoplasty can get rid of dark circles that are due to deposits of fat or extra skin around the eye area.

Prevention is so important.  Avoiding potential causes and changing habits can improve the look of dark circles.


Still confused about what to do? Want to save money by knowing exactly what to buy? Schedule a 20 min consultation with me! I will come up with a customized skin care plan that will take the guesswork out of your skin care regimen.

Photo of Perfect Skin Code owner Kimberly Brown
Kimberly Brown

Perfect Skin Code was created by Kimberly Brown, a Physician Assistant in Dermatology, when she decided to create products for her patients who had trouble finding effective yet gentle skin care products.

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