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Dark circles

Posted by Elizebath Bijoy Friday, March 4, 2011

Almost everyone gets dark circles under the eyes at some time or another. Although dark circles usually are temporary and not a medical problem, they can make you look tired, unhealthy and haggard. Moreover, dark circles can make you appear considerably older than you are. Contrary to popular belief, fatigue usually is not the cause of dark circles.

Exposure to sun, heredity, nutrient deficiency, sleep deprivation and skin allergies also play a role in developing dark circles. However, if you know the underlying cause, there are various measures you can take to curb dark circles.
What causes dark circles? 
The skin of your eyelids is thin and contains little fatty acid compared to other parts of your body. Dark circles develop when the blood that passes through large veins close to the surface shows through the skin, making the skin appear darker. Given below are some of the causes of dark circles:
Heredity: Dark circles tend to run in family. If many members of your family have dark circles, you will be more prone to have dark circles under your eyes. If you inherit pale skin and the skin under eye is very thin, dark circles will be more noticeable.
Exposure to sun: Over exposure to sun triggers skin pigmentMelanin to increase and can make the skin under your eyes looks darker. Sun damage also can make your skin thinner and wrinkled.

Aging: As you age, the skin under the eyes becomes thinner and makes the tiny capillaries under the eyes become more noticeable. This makes the dark circles appear more obvious. 
Sleep: When you lie down, fluid may collect in your lower eyelids due to gravity, resulting in swelling of the eyes that may create an appearance of shadow below your eyes. However, sleep deprivation causes the veins under your eyes to fill with more blood which darkens the skin around the eyes.
Allergies: Chronic skin condition like Eczema and skin allergies can be the culprit for dark circles. Certain allergies cause the eyes to feel itchy. Rubbing and scratching around the eyes darkens the skin. Dark circles are also often seen in people who suffer from hay fever.

Nutrition: Improper diet and lack of vitamins in your diet may cause dark circles. Experts believe that dark circles may also result from dehydration.

Pregnancy and menstruation: Skin tends to become pale during pregnancy and menstruation, and the veins under your eyes appear darker.
Tips to curb dark circles
  • Drink lots of water to keep your skin hydrated. Water gives you a clean and supple skin. Try to drink at least 8–10 glasses of water.
  • Slather on the sunscreen. Use sunscreen with a minimum of SPF 15 or greater to protect your skin from the sun. You can even wear sunglasses to cover the area around your eyes when you go out in the sun.
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables which are rich in antioxidants. Cut down on your Caffeine intake.
  • Sleep on your back with your head slightly elevated to reduce the fluid build up in your lower eyelids. Sleep at least 8 h, as it is essential for your well-being and a healthy skin.
  • Do not rub or scratch under the eye area.
  • Relax and meditate.
  • Massaging your skin is advisable as it improves blood circulation.
Hiding the dark circles
Concealers are wonderful products which can help cover the dark circles effectively. You may need a creamy concealer with lots of coverage and opacity. Concealers are of great help to hide the dark circles as long as you get the right shade and apply it correctly. Since the area under your eyes is somewhat shadier, do not choose a shade of the concealer which is too light as it may look prominent. Seek the help of a beauty therapist to get the right concealer that suits your skin type and complexion.
Treating dark circles Treatment is usually done based on the underlying cause. Severe and chronic dark circles can be treated with bleaching agents and laser therapy. Skin creams which contain alpha-hydroxy acid and vitamins C and K may help diminish dark circles under your eyes. Consult your doctor before using any over-the-counter products.


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