Dark Eye Circles

/dɑːk ʌɪ ˈsəːk(ə)ls/ dark blemishes or discoloration under the eyes.
Dark Eye Circles

Dark eye circles are a major cause of psychological problems for a lot of Asian women. People with dark eye circles are often misunderstood as tired looking and takes years off their actual age. This affects self-confidence, especially in a society where judgement is easily passed based purely on how you look.

What causes dark eye circles

  • Skin pigmentation

    Dark eye circles begin in the capillaries, the tiny blood vessels that web the delicate skin around the eyes. Now, your capillaries are so small that red blood cells sometimes have to line up, single file, to get through. Frequently, red blood cells get lost and wander into the surrounding skin. This isn't a problem - it happens all the time - and your body has a mechanism to mop up these escapees. Enzymes in your body break down the red blood cells, including their hemoglobin (the molecule that gives them their distinctive red color).

    When hemoglobin is broken down, its remaining components have a dark blue-black color. Just like a bruise. So your dark under-eye circles are actually caused by leaky capillaries.

    You can test it yourself to know if your dark eye circles are caused by excess pigment by pulling the skin around the eye sideways and check if the darkness turns blotchy. More than often, dark eye circles are more than just about changes in the colour of the skin. Instead, dark eye circles are also caused by the loss of volume in fats, muscle and bone resorption in the area under the eye. This exposes the orbital bone, creating a hollow trough that shows up as dark eye circles. With the delicate eye area one of the first spots to reveal signs of aging, this can happen as early as late 30s or 40s.

    skin pigmentation causes dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore
  • Thin skin

    Dark eye circles or under-eye discoloration occurs easily if you have thin under eye skin. Thin skin exposes

    1. Bone structure easily

    2. Tiny blood vessels that just lie below the thin skin surface giving dark the circles the prominence we hate to have.

    Thin Skin causes dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore
  • Loss of volume

    Dark eye circles can be attributed to sunken eyes, and sunken eyes are caused by the loss of fats in the area under the eye and with all things that suffered from loss of volume, it gets deflated. Click here to read more about sunken eyes. As the skin gets deflated inwards, the tiny blood vessels underneath the skin are much closer to the skin thus giving rise to dark eye circles. This happens easily when you have think skin and suffers from sunken eyes.

    loss of volume causes dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore
  • Eyebags

    The second type of dark eye circles is caused by eyebags. Fats underneath the eye migrates forward towards the skin, causing a bulge we called eyebags about 1cm below the lower eyelid. Click here to read more about eyebags. In this case, there can be 2 different reasons to how dark eye circles come about or it can be combination of both reasons.

    1. When eyebags are formed, tiny blood vessels just under the skin get pushed closer to the skin, causing discoloration in the surface of the very delicate and thin skin just underneath the eye area, giving rise to dark eye circles.

    2. With these bulging eyebags, a shadow is cast on the underside of the eyebag, giving rise to dark eye circles.

    eyebags causes dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore

Non Medical Solutions for Dark Eye Circles

  • Herbal & natural

    Having a nutritious and balanced diet that includes fresh fruits, vegetables, yogurt and sprouts along with unprocessed food will go a long help in the prevention of dark eye cricles. Daily exercise, along with deep breathing, helps blood circulation, oxygenation and control of stress. Adequate sleep and relaxation are very important.

    Gentle movements and a light touch are essential while handling the area, to remove make up or apply creams. It is better not to massage the area, so that the skin does not get pulled or stretched in any way.

    Eye fatigue can also be relived with washing. Wash your eyes with warm water and follow this with cold water. This improves blood circulation to the eyes and soothes them. It also cleanses the eyes and relieves congestion.

    A common remedy is the application of cucumber juice as eye mask, and it should be applied daily around the ees and washed off with plain water after 15 minutes. Mixing potato juice with cucumber juice in equal quantities helps if there is puffiness along with dark circles. Follow the same procedure.Dark circles can also be treated by mixing cucumber juice with lemon juice in equal quantities.

    Along with external care and a healthy lifestyle, take time off for relaxation, using eye pads. Take cotton wool and make two thick square pads. They can be soaked in cucumber juice or rose water. Lie down, close your eyes and put the soaked pads on them. Keep them on for about 15 minutes. Used tea bags can also be used as eye pads.

    Applying a compress of iced water or cold milk directly over closed lids for 15 to 20 minutes also helps.

Q Switch Nd:YAG Treatment for Dark Eye Circles

  • What is Q Switch Nd:YAG?

    Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) is a crystal that is used as a laser medium for solid-state lasers. The triply ionised neodymium [Nd(III)] dopant (ie a substance added in minute amounts to another pure substance to alter its conductivity), typically replaces a small fraction of the yttrium ions in the host crystal structure, since the two ions are of similar size.The neodymium ion provides the laser activity in the crystal. Nd:YAG laser has a wave length of 1064 nm and has the capability to reach deeper layers of skin tissue than other types of lasers.

    In Q-switched mode, Nd:YAG produces 2 wavelengths, one in the infrared range (1064 nm) and a second beam of 532 nm wavelength which is useful for superficial skin lesions. Q-switching refers to the technique of making the laser produce a high intensity beam in very short pulses. Lasers work by emitting a wavelength of high energy light, which when focused on a certain skin condition will create heat and destroy diseased cells.

  • What to expect from Q Switch Nd:YAG?

    Each Q Switch Nd:YAG treatment last between 15 – 45 minutes, and most patients see the best results with 1 – 5 sessions. It is extremely effective in treating skin problems like skin pigmentation, thin skin with no downtime. Side effects with Q Switch Nd:YAG Side effects from Nd:YAG laser treatment are usually minor and may include:

    1. Pain during treatment (reduced by contact cooling and if necessary, topical anaesthetic).

    2. Redness, swelling and itching immediately after the procedure that may last a few days after treatment.

    3. Rarely, skin pigment may absorb too much light energy and blistering can occur (this settles by itself).

    4. Changes in skin pigmentation. Sometimes the pigment cells (melanocytes) can be damaged, leaving darker (hyperpigmentation) or paler (hypopigmentation) patches of skin. Generally, cosmetic lasers will work better on people with lighter rather than darker skin tones.

    5. Bruising affects up to 10% of patients. It usually fades on its own.

    6. Bacterial infection. Antibiotics may be prescribed to treat or to prevent wound infection.

    Interested to learn more about Q-Switch Nd:YAG and how this procedure can help you? Please call 65 6532 2400 to book an appointment with Dr Ee or leave a comment at the end of the article, or simply drop Dr Ee an email here.

CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment for Dark Eye Circles

  • What is CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment?

    CO2 Laser Resurfacing is the gold standard for skin resurfacing in order to treat the effects of facial skin aging and this is how it works. The lasers penetrate the top skin layers, stimulating collagen and resurface the top skin layer. Your skin’s natural rejuvenation process helps to reduce the pigmentation that causes the dark eye circles.

  • What to expect from CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment?

    CO2 works best on thin skin and could also improve wrinkles appearance and each CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment last between 15 – 45 minutes, and most patients see the best results with 1 – 5 CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment sessions. Since CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment works with your body’s natural skin cells, results typically take 1 to 3 weeks to take effect and individual results varies.

  • Side effects with CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment

    Some may experience redness, swelling, and slight crusting and oozing which usually subsides within 5 to 7 days with regular application of ice and prescribed healing ointments. A light pink appearance to the skin may last an additional 7-14 days, but can be camouflaged with make-up.

    Infrequently, skin rawness or exacerbation of a pre-existing cold sore can occur. Thus, please inform the doctor before the laser surgery if a history of cold sores exists.

    Prescriptions for medications to take prior to and during the healing phase of the procedure will be provided. These medications will help to decrease the risk of infection.

    Long-term risks of discoloration and scarring are rare, but can potentially occur whenever there is disruption of the skin’s surface. Strict adherence to all advised postoperative instructions will reduce the possibility of unwanted side effects and complications.

Dermal Fillers for Dark Eye Circles

  • What are Fillers?

    Fillers are made of biodegradable material like Hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is found naturally in all living things and it breaks down within hours. Hyaluronic acid fillers are cross-linked to ensure that the body doesn’t metabolize the hyaluronic acid within hours, allowing some hyaluronic acid fillers to last from 3 months to a year after injection.

    Fillers can be very helpful in those with early signs of aging, and are injected into either the skin tissue layers or on the bone to achieve reduction of static wrinkles appearance and enhancement of facial features due to its volumizing and sculpting abilities.

  • How do Fillers help with dark eye circles?

    Fillers can be injected either superficially or deep in the area of your dark eye circles to either pump up the volume, softening your dark eye circles in the process.

  • What to expect from Fillers?

    Having fillers injection will not change your look into a different person. It enhances your current facial features while still looking like yourself and no one can tell that you actually had fillers injection done. Even though fillers are clinically proven to last up to a year, its longevity depends a lot on individuals’ metabolic rate, lifestyle, area injected and volume injected.

  • Side effects of Fillers

    Complications from fillers are uncommon. Potential risks vary depending on the specific filler used and the relative permanence of the filler substance and include:

    1. Acne-like skin eruptions

    2. Asymmetry

    3. Bruising, bleeding from the injection site, swelling

    4. Damage to the skin that results in a wound and possible scarring

    5. Infection at the injection site

    6. Lumps

    7. Palpability of the filler under the surface of the skin

    8. Skin rash with itching

    9. Skin redness

    10. Under- or over-correction of wrinkles

    Interested to learn more about Dermal Fillers and how this procedure can help you? Please call 65 6532 2400 to book an appointment with Dr Ee or leave a comment at the end of the article, or simply drop Dr Ee an email here.

Creams for Dark Eye Circles

  • Does cream work well for dark eye circles?

    There are a variety of skin lightening agents which can be somewhat effective in some individuals. Most commonly they contain bleaching agents such as hydroquinone or Kojic acid. Hydroquinone should be used in concentrations less than 4% because of the potential for a black sooty condition, termed ochronsis. Hydroquinone may also aggregate sensitive skin, cause redness and dryness of the skin; therefore it is not an effective dark eye circles treatment.

Treatment Protocols for Different Causes of Dark Eye Circles

  • Skin pigmentation

    Medically proven Laser treatment machines that are approved by Singapore Health Science Authority and only qualified doctors are allowed to use these Laser treatment machines. CO2 Laser Resurfacing Treatment, Q-Switch Nd:YAG and fillers are all effective ways to improve your dark eye circles.

    Treatment for skin pigmenation causing dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore Are you disturbed by your dark eye circles caused by skin pigmentation? Please call 65 6532 2400 to book an appointment with Dr Ee or leave a comment at the end of the article, or simply drop Dr Ee an email here.
  • Thin skin

    Dark eye circles caused by thin skin can be first treated with dermal fillers to create a fuller volume and subsequently treated with Q Switch Nd:YAG or C02 Laser resurfacing.

    Treatment for Thin Skin causing dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore
  • Loss of volume

    Since sunken eyes are caused by loss of fat volume in the area under the eye, filler injection treatment to have the volume restored or replenished is an option to treat the dark eye circles. Depending on how sunken the area is, up to 2ml of filler may be needed and subsequently, cream that contains Hydroquinone, which are only available through doctor’s prescription, can be used to lighten the area, and laser treatment like CO2 Laser Resurfacing treatment can be performed to significantly improve the dark eye circles.

    Treatment for loss of volume causing dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore Are you disturbed by your dark eye circles caused by loss of volume? Please call 65 6532 2400 to book an appointment with Dr Ee or leave a comment at the end of the article, or simply drop Dr Ee an email here.
  • Mild Eyebags

    For dark eye circles caused by eyebags, treating the root cause of the problem would be the most useful and efficient way of obtaining results. There are a few different ways we can approach this problem by determining if your eyebags are mild or moderate to severe.

    If the eyebags are not serious, fillers can be injected to smooth the contours so as to mask out the eyebags. Fillers are temporary injectables that are injected within the skin tissue layers to create volume thus, erasing static wrinkle lines and reshape and volumize facial features that look flat or sunken. Fillers are manufactured by various medical companies and clinical studies have shown that 8 out of 10 patients enjoyed the effects of fillers between a period of 6 to 9 months, some lasting as much as 15-24 months with a touch up session at either month 3 or month 12. As temporary fillers are gradually broken down by your body once injected into your face, the effects wear off gradually over the months and individual results definitely vary.

    Do you think you have dark eye circles caused by mild eyebags and would like to get rid of it? Please call 65 6532 2400 to book an appointment with Dr Ee or leave a comment at the end of the article, or simply drop Dr Ee an email here.
  • Moderate to Severe Eyebags

    If you have dark eye circles caused by moderate to severe eyebags, you should consider having the eyebags removed first before considering other options like laser, and/or fillers. Click here to find out what causes eyebags and how to get rid of them.

    Treatment for severe eyebags causing dark eye circles - Dark Eye Circles by Dr Gerard Ee Singapore
Do leave a comment below if you have any burning questions, or you can call 65 6532 2400 to make an appointment with Dr Ee to discuss how your dark eye circles can be treated. Alternatively, you can click here to send an email enquiry to Dr Ee.
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45 Comments

ZH Tan

I have very dark under eyes since young. How much are the lasers you and how many treatments do I require?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi ZH. Fractional CO2 and Q-switch around the eyes cost about SGD$100-200 per session

Reply
Nida

Hi,

My name is Nida. I have allergy and my problem is dark eye circles. I would like to check whether the laser can be help on this? And may I know how much for a session?

Thank you

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Nida,

Yes lasers can help with the dark eye circles that arise as a result from allergy.
They would cost about $100-$250 per session and we would use a combination of 2 different lasers for your problem.

Reply
Rachel lee

Hi, is both Q-switch treatment and CO2 laser needed to treat dark circles? Is one more effective than the other and can they reduce the appearance of veins under the eyes? Thanks

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Rachel,

Yes both lasers are recommended to give optimal results. This is because dark eye circles are as a result of many factors and we do need different modalities to treat the problem.

Hence we need the Q switch to fix the colour and the fractional co2 to improve the thin skin.

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Xuan,

We are located at 24 Raffles Place #01-03 Clifford Centre. Tel: 6532 2400

Reply
Michelle Chong

Hi,

I have very dark undereye circles and also sinus problems and eczema on face.
How effective is the laser treatment?
Does your clinic provide any laser toning for face to even skintone as well (discolouration), and whats the cost like? Thanks!

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Michelle,

Allergic Rhinitis is well known to be a cause of dark eye circles. The combination of Q-switch plus fractional co2 does work well for these discolouration, however 100% cure is not possible.
We do offer laser toning for the face as well. That should cost about $200 per session for the full face. You can give us a ring at 6532 2400 to talk to my front desk if you have any more specific enquiries.

Reply
Waheedha

Hi,

I am having “Dark Eye circles”. I have already visited the local Skin center once. The doctor provided cream only and didn’t guarantee it will work. Moreover, home remedies also didn’t work out for me.

So my question would be on the
type of treatment, I will be going through ?
and the minimum session required ?
most importantly will it be a permanent cure with no side effects ?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Miss Waheedha,

Dark eye circles are incredibly difficult to treat. It is well known that creams are unlikely to ever cure your problem. A combination of fractional CO2 and Q-switch laser works the best. Usually most patients would go through about 5 sessions of fractional CO2 and 5 sessions of Q-swtich as a minimum. This can provide an improvement although definitely not a 100% cure. The treatments are safe with no side effects.

Reply
Ryan

Hi,

My parents, sisters and me had a very obvious mark of dark circles. Is this a hereditary trait and through aging that my dark circle became more visible? Will the treatment help of getting rid of these dark circles?

Thanks

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Ryan,

Hereditary dark eye circles are treated the same as all other types of dark eye circles. The treatment can help improve the dark eye circles, lightening the colour and improving the tiredness look. Do note that 100% cure for the dark eye circles is not possible although if you are patient, it is possible to achieve about 50-70% clearance eventually.

Reply
Rachel lee

Is it advised to do the Q-switch treatment and CO2 laser both on the same day? Thanks

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Rachel,

Yes both treatments are done on the same day. The combination treatment is to be done 3 weeks apart

Reply
Rachel lee

May I know how the treatment will be conducted as well and if there are any risks involved since the lasers will be used around the eye? Thanks!

Reply
Gerard Ee

The treatment will be performed by myself. A full Ministry of Health and Singapore Medical Council qualified doctor. Lasers are safe and they are performed even in babies when we are in the hospital for birth defects and these defects usually occur on the face and around the eye area as well.

Reply
Qian Lee

Hi, my dark circles are caused by “eye swollen” which I didnt take good care of it many years ago hence when it recovered it leaves a dark patch under my eyes. May I know in this case, will the treatments lighten those dark areas?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Qian Lee,
The combination treatment of Fractional CO2 and Q switch laser can help to lighten the dark patch under the eye

Reply
Rachel

May i know if this treatment helps with tear trough? And will there be results after 1 session?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Rachel,
Tear trough fillers helps with tear trough. The results are instant as once the fillers are put in there is volume and you can see the improvement immediately.

Reply
Rachel

I don’t wish to opt for filler as im still very young. Is there any other treatment that can help?

Reply
Gerard Ee

HI Rachel, if that’s the case I would recommend a combination of Edge Fractional CO2 laser and Q-switch laser.

Reply
Cindy

5 sessions of CO2 laser and Q switch laser treatment each, meaning 10 sessions altogether, or 5 sessions altogether?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Cindy,
That would mean 10 sessions altogether. Often patients even do 10 sessions of CO2 laser and 10 sessions of Q-switch laser to see good results.

Reply
Gerard Ee

CO2 laser for the eyes cost $200 per session and Q-switch laser for the eyes cost $150 per session.

Reply
GG

Hi, Dr Ee, heard of Restylane skin booster and would like to know the cost, what’s the amount required for the whole face, any downtime, can I see the difference after one session and how many sessions required? Thank you.

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi GG
1ml of skin boosters is more than sufficient. Downtime is short. Just 1 day.
Yes you can see very visible difference. The pores look smaller and the skin looks more radiant.
I would advise a total of 3 sessions to be done 1 month apart for the best results.

Reply
GG

Dr Gerald Ee, thanks for your reply. May I know the price for 1ml/session and any promo price for 3 sessions? I heard there’s GSS promotion :) Thanks.

Reply
Gerard Ee

I only do 2ml per session as that gives the most superior results. And the cost is $788 per session.

Reply
Gerard Ee

Hi Restylane skin boosters cost $788. Usual price $1188. =)
1ml is sufficient for the whole face.
Down time about 1-2 days. Yes you can see results in 1 session. About 3 sessions required.

Reply
Mike

Hi.I actually did an under eye filler at a clinic early in march this year.Somehow it felt like i actually paid $1000 ish to make myself look much worse bcos my dark circles look much worser than before.I was very disappointed & upset and hence, i didn’t come for my 2nd appointment bcos i didn’t wanna spend so much money just to make myself look much worser than before.
Shoulf i have gone for the laser treatment instead of under-eye fillers?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Sorry to hear that Mike.
The fillers do work quite well if done correctly and for the correct indications.

Reply
Patricia

Hi, I would like to know the downtime for Fractional CO2 and Q switch laser. And would it look really bad that I can’t go work during the downtime?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Down time is about 3 days. Some mild redness and light brown scabs from the fractional co2 laser.
Q switch no down time

Reply
Christine Ong

May I know how much is each session for laser treatment for dark eye rings? And how many sessions in total are required for removal of dark eye rings? Do we have to sign up for a package (e.g 10 sessions for $xxxx) or we can just pay for each session when we go for the procedure?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Q switch laser for eyes – $100 per session for a set of 5-10
V beam laser for eyes – $200 per session for a set of 5-10
Fco2 laser for eyes – $250 per session for a set of 5-10

No need to sign package. Can do session by session.

Reply
Kabeer Ali

Hi,
My name is Kabeer. I’m having a dark circles for many years. Can i know is the treatment only for one session?

Reply
Gerard Ee

Lasers require minimum of 5 sessions to see effect. To lighten up the skin and also to improve skin quality and thickness

Reply

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