Reasons for puffy eyes and dark circles and how to reduce them

By Skin & Hair Academy  |   February 04, 2016
  • Puffiness and dark circles under the eyes is a common problem, especially if you are fatigued and sleep deprived. The problem may also develop with age, as the muscles supporting your eyelids start to weaken. Although puffy eyes and under-eye dark circles do not generally indicate a medical condition, they spoil the appearance of your entire personality, and also lead to lack of self-confidence. Let us find out what causes puffiness and dark circles under the eyes, and how to get rid of them

  • Causes of puffy eyes and under-eye dark circles

    Most commonly, eye puffiness indicates oedema, which means excessive fluid accumulation in the skin tissue surrounding your eyes. The skin around the eyes is very thin, and is more prone to discolouration and swelling than other parts of the body. This fluid accumulation may usually result from stress, dehydration, lack of sleep, fatigue, sinus problems, facial features, heredity, over-consumption of salt, crying, aging etc. As you age, the fatty tissue that protects your eyes inside the sockets starts pushing forward, thus filling the space below your eyes [1]

  • What can be done [2]

    Before you try any procedure to reduce puffy eyes and dark circles, you need to identify the cause and work towards rectifying it. For instance,

    • if you are sleep deprived, try to take rest and relax your eyes

    • if you are stressed, try to relax your mind and stay happy. Try relaxation techniques like yoga and meditation

    • if your oedema has been caused due to over-consumption of salt, try to reduce your salt intake by avoiding packaged and junk foods

    • if you are dehydrated, increase your water consumption. Experts recommend drinking at least 8 glasses of water everyday, either in the form of plain water, or in the form of green tea, juices etc.

    • if you are aging, it’s probably beyond your control, but you can keep the situation at bay by using haemorrhoid creams, and other over-the-counter products available out there

    • if you have just woken up with puffy eyes, splash some cold water on your eyes and face, which will increase blood circulation and freshen you up

  • One of the best methods to reduce puffy eyes and under-eye dark circles is applying cold compresses on your eyes. Freeze two spoons or two teething rings in the refrigerator, and place them on your closed eyelids for around 10 minutes. This will not only reduce the swelling and puffiness, but will also make you fresh and invigorated. Try to increase your consumption of potassium-rich foods, like bananas, to remove excess fluids from your body.

  • If your condition does not improve after trying any of these methods, and if it is still worsening, then you may need to go through a medical treatment procedure to control the situation. Some of the therapeutic options include HA fillers, laser therapies, soft-tissue augmentation and autologus fat transplantation [3, 4].

  • When to see a doctor

    If you can’t identify the cause of your puffy eyes and under-eye dark circles, they may signal a medical problem. For instance, a patient with thyroid disease in the eyes may develop muscle and tissue swelling around the eyes. Eye allergies may also lead to swollen eyes, such as allergies to chemicals, foods or hay fever. Eye infections like pink eye may also lead to swollen, puffy eyelids and dark circles. Dry eyes may also cause eye swelling and puffiness. Systemic diseases like kidney failure may cause swelling all through the body, including the area around your eyes. So, if you have any of these symptoms, it is better to contact your physician immediately.

References:

[1]. What causes dark circles under the eyes? - PubMed - NCBI . 2016.What causes dark circles under the eyes? - PubMed - NCBI [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17760701. [Accessed 19 January 2016].

[2]. 2016. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.edermatologynews.com/views/single-view/dark-circles-under-the-eyes/439795f19a069de1500472d5cf37b900.html. . [Accessed 19 January 2016].

[3]. Dark circles: etiology and management options. - PubMed - NCBI . 2016.Dark circles: etiology and management options. - PubMed - NCBI [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25440739. [Accessed 19 January 2016].

[4]. Treatment of infraorbital dark circles by autologous fat transplantation: a pilot study. - PubMed - NCBI . 2016. Treatment of infraorbital dark circles by autologous fat transplantation: a pilot study. - PubMed - NCBI . [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19434788. [Accessed 19 January 2016].


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