Dark Eye Circles


It is a common belief that dark eye circles are caused by tiredness or working too hard or just staying up late. So, what exactly is happening when you get dark circles under your eyes?

Simply put, dark eye circles are a result of the thin layer of skin below the eyes showing the blood vessels and the blood they contain more clearly than anywhere else on the body. For reference, this skin around the eyelids, called periorbital skin, is on average about 0.5 mm thick compared to an average of about 2 mm thick on most of the rest of the face.

All that said, there are a number of factors that can make dark circles appear worse, even if you’re not genetically predisposed to them. One of the more serious sounding is the oxidisation (turning brown) of blood leaking from the tiny capillary blood vessels under the eyes, especially in the inner corners, where it can appear as a reddish-brown discolouration.

Congestion of blood flow through these tiny, fragile blood vessels is caused by conditions that increase pressure in the under eye area – namely, sinus problems like allergic rhinitis, and excessive fat in the under eye area (or eyebags).

Because of this, the blood vessels around the eyes can get damaged, blood leaks out, and you’re left with puffy dark circles under your eyes. It’s a relatively harmless problem and even the chronic sufferers of this sort of blood leaking need not worry too much about it. It is also technically reversible with the right treatment, though changes in lifestyle and treatment of the underlying cause (if any) is recommended for best results.

As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and ability to regenerate and as a result, it becomes thinner. This is why more often than not, elderly people will have rather prominent periorbital dark circles regardless of how much they sleep. As with those who are genetically predisposed to having thinner skin below the eyes.


The good news is that we now have the technology to comprehensively address the underlying causes of dark eye circles. Fragile, leaky blood vessels are repaired using the Norseld™ Dual Yellow laser treatment, which uses a special handpiece that can be safely applied to the under eye area, targeting pigmentation all the way to the lash line and even hard to reach areas such as the inner corners of the eyes. For patients who have thinning skin under the eyes, either due to genetics or ageing, HIFU energy is then applied to the under eye area. HIFU treatment regenerates elasticity and collagen in the delicate undereye skin area, thus reducing visibility of blood vessels and eliminating fine lines and wrinkles.

Another problem that goes hand-in-hand with dark eye circles is periorbital puffiness, aka bags below your eyes. This can place increased pressure on the skin and blood vessels around the eyes which can force blood vessels closer to the surface of the skin, making dark circles appear more prominent. Eyebags can also cause dark circles to appear darker, simply because of the shadows they cast under certain light.

For patients who have a combination of all of the above, the TWC 3D Eye Bag Removal treatment addresses three principal factors in the treatment of the under eye area: the fat under the eyes, skin laxity and skin pigmentation including dark eye circles.

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