Q: Good morning doctor. I have dark circles round my eyes. It first started to show when I moved to a very sunny environment and sometimes my eyes itch a lot and as a result of scratching it might swell. I don’t know whether to see a doctor. It makes me lose confidence.
A: The skin around the eye is very thin and as a result, any movement of fluid in or out of the area is very visible there. Typical examples are thedramatic sunken eyes when one is dehydrated (maybe from stooling) and the equally ‘gossip-worthy’ swollen eyes after a night of crying
Usually in the body, fluid would move from an area of low salt concentration to an area of high salt concentration (osmosis). After crying, your salty tears are an attraction for fluids, which move from areas of low salt concentration to accumulate there. On the other hand, going on an alcoholic binge (drinking till you drop) causes dehydration with the accompanying sinking eyeballs.
Now dark circles may be ‘false’ and just look that way when puffy eyelids cast shadows on the area or due to sunken eyeballs as people age. Real dark circles however, may occur due to prolonged bouts of crying, allergy (as may be the case in the question here, with the associated itching), having a cold, drinking a lot of alcohol, rubbing or scratching the eyes often, exposure to sun, ageing, sleeping with make-up on and it also runs in families…I bet you didn’t know that one
Other causes of dark circles include sleeping positions. If you sleep on your side or on your tummy, thanks to gravity fluid will also accumulate around your eyes. Let’s also not forget the commonest cause…burning the candle on multiple ends!
Treatment will be based on the cause. If it’s due to a cold or allergy or sinus problems, when these are taken care of, then the symptoms will disappear. Modification of lifestyle habits like removing all make-up at night, wearing sunglasses and using sunscreen when out in the sun, changing sleeping positions by sleeping on your back (if possible) or elevating your head with more pillows and leaving alcohol and your eyes well alone (no scratching and rubbing of eyes!) may also be helpful.
Quick fixes for these bags include using concealer or even foundation to cover it up. Using cucumber slices on your eyes or teabags are also helpful as short term measures. By the time you hit your 30s, you really should invest in a good eye moisturizer because this is the first place to show the sign of aging
Other solutions include surgery and injection of fillers etc.
Remember that no matter how many concealers, surgeries, moisturizers et al you use, if you don’t rest and avoid fatigue, you’ll just be throwing money down the drain.
If these circles persist, however or seem to be just under one eye, please see your doctor or dermatologist for more advice.
So, as you all start contemplating where to hang out next weekend, be sure not to show up at work with the ‘telling’ bags under your eyes on Monday
Have a great week ahead, family! 😀