Dark Circles: Treatment

Although they are usually relatively harmless, you may want to reduce the effect as much as possible. There are several choices you can make daily to help reduce both bagginess and discoloration under your eyes. Each of these options will work, but may not work for everyone, depending on your condition.

Before considering surgical choices, use these strategies to reduce the effects. If you choose surgery, be aware that inappropriate daily choices may cause your hyper pigmentation or puffiness around the eyes to quickly return.

Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes — The skin under your eyes is thin, losing elasticity and collagen as you age and may be prone to blood leakage. All of these factors contribute to under eye circles and are worsened when you rub the skin. Do your best to stop rubbing your eyes.

Manage Your Allergies — Allergies can cause itchy, watery eyes. This may contribute to rubbing a sensitive area and can increase the puffiness around the eyes.

Switch the Way You Sleep — Are you a stomach sleeper? Gravity causes fluid to collect under your eyes and consistent pressure on your facial skin can lead to deepening wrinkles. Try sleeping on your back. Avoid sleeping on more than one pillow since it significantly alters your neck and back alignment.

Remove Your Makeup — Gently — Leaving makeup on during the night can increase irritation to your sensitive eye tissue. But rubbing your eyes each night to remove your eye makeup can cause capillary damage and inflammation to the eye area, making your dark circles even worse.Instead, use a gentle eye makeup remover you can swipe on your eyes and leave for a minute and then wash off. A good moisturizer or virgin coconut oil are also good options.

Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption — Alcohol is dehydrating, pulling the water out of your skin. This increases the risk of further damage to the area if you accidently start rubbing your eyes. If you drink alcohol, drink approximately 56 to 64 ounces of water before you go to bed. It might seem like a lot of fluid, but it will help to rehydrate your skin.

Wear Eye Protection — Wear quality sunglasses when you're outside. They help protect both your eyes and the delicate skin around the eyes from the sun. Look for UV 400 or 99 to 100 percent UV absorption. Choose larger lenses that wrap around and protect the skin on the side of your eyes. The color of the lens does not indicate the strength of the UV protection.

Reduce or Quit Smoking — Smoking speeds the loss of collagen from your skin, increasing the bags around your eyes. Smoking is a strong addiction. You may find the Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT) can help reduce the cravings and increase your success rate. The process is easy to learn and use at home.

Reduce Indoor Air Pollution — Air pollution is a significant eye irritant and common both outdoors and indoors. Because most people who work and live in the U.S. spend approximately 87 percent of their time indoors, it's important to reduce your indoor air pollution.

Use a Soothing Eye Treatment — The area around your eye responds well to soothing treatments to help reduce puffiness. Experiment with different options to find the one you enjoy and works for your eyes.

Several suggestions are listed below.

Honey — Honey has antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits. Look for raw, locally sourced honey. Simply dab a small amount under your eyes just before bed and allow it to soak in overnight.

Cucumber Slices — Long used in spas and for eye treatments, these little slices of heaven help reduce puffiness because they have skin-lightening properties and anti-inflammatory effects. Thick slices of cold cucumber over your eyes for 10 minutes at the end of a long day are rejuvenating.

Almond Oil — Dab some under your eyes before bed and allow it to work overnight. Wash off in the morning with a quick splash of water.

Buttermilk and Turmeric — Sprinkle some turmeric in a bit of buttermilk and soak two large cotton balls in it. Squeeze out the fluid and place over your eyes for 15 minutes five times per week. Buttermilk constricts the blood vessels and turmeric is an anti-inflammatory.

Avocado — Rich in fat and emollients, avocados are wonderful to eat, but also make a great eye mask. Place a slice of ripe avocado under each eye, or make a mask with a teaspoon of avocado and a couple drops of almond oil. Leave on for 15 minutes.

Mint Leaves — Mint is cool, tingling and just feels great. It's a great pick-me-up at the end of a long day. Crush raw leaves and apply over the dark circles for 5 to 10 minutes. Wash off.

Black Tea Bags — Once you've brewed your tea, put the bags in the refrigerator and recycle them later in the day. Once cooled, they help reduce end-of-day puffiness around the eyes. Apply one on each eye for 10 minutes and then discard the bags.

Potatoes or Tomatoes — If your dark circles are from too much pigment, then you'll want to try lightening the skin with either the juice of a potato (grate to extract the juice) or a tomato (fresh). Soak a cotton ball in the juice, squeeze out and rest them over your dark circles for 10 minutes; rinse your face.