Friday, 2 October 2009

Dark Circles Causes & Treatments (Part 3) - Wrinkles & Eye Bags

Continuing from our previous article we will discuss the texture changes that can be responsible for dark circles and ways to combat them.

Eye Bags
Eye-bags are due to herniation (protrusion ) of fat in the lower eyelid which in some cases can be hereditary and can be visible from a very early age. Usually it is a result of the normal aging process when the skin looses its elasticity and allows the fat to protrude and become more visible. There are two types of eye bags, true eye bags which are due to genuine fat protrusion and pseudo eye bags which are caused by severe eye hollowing creating an impression of a “bulge”. Quite often there are both types present in the same individual to varying degrees.

This will be dependent on the type of eye bag. True eye bags require surgery (lower blepharoplasty) while pseudo bags will require a dermal filler as described above. When there is a combination of both types, surgery will be required, followed by dermal fillers once the healing process is completed.

Fine wrinkles under the eyes create a different texture and when excessive can give the appearance of dark circles. This condition is age related and the process is greatly accelerated when there is a degree of sun damage. The lower eyelid skin is very thin and therefore this is an area where wrinkles to appear first. In some individuals this can be exaggerated by the lack of natural bony structure therefore people with higher cheek bones have less wrinkles under the eyes.

Wrinkles can be difficult to cover with make up as it tends to settle in the wrinkles making them more obvious. Prevention of sun damage is important especially in the delicate skin around the eyes, so the use of sun block is even more important than eye creams. There are certain eye creams that contain sufficient amounts of active ingredients (e.g. Retinoids) and are effective in preventing, and even reversing sun damage and consequently wrinkles. The most potent creams are available only on doctor’s prescription. Wearing good sunglasses in the sun can also be a good preventative measure.

In a younger patient (35 -40 yrs) a low dose of Botulinum Toxin type A (Botox or Dysport) can be effective, however this can result in discreet widening of the eye which may change the eye shape. It is important that the Botox procedure is performed by a well trained practitioner as an incorrect placement of this product in the lower eye lid can result in severe consequences leading to ulceration of the eye.

Chemical peels and laser resurfacing can work but are associated with higher risks of delayed healing, hyper and hypo pigmentation. The downtime for these procedures can be lengthy and can be a traumatic experience for the patient. Intense pulse light (IPL) can be used in the form of photorejuvenation ( photofacial) but requires several sessions and the results can often be modest.

Over the next few weeks we will outline the differing reasons or causes for dark cirles under the eyes and what treatments are avialble to combat them, so keep an eye out for Part 4!

by Lucy Glancey

For more information on dark circles and treatments including dermal fillers, Botox and chemical peels visit

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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