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Dark Circles, Finding The Cause And Proper Treatment

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Dark Circles, Finding The Cause And Proper Treatment
August 20
14:20 2016

Shortly after you began wearing contact lenses, which you may have found to be a great relief and much less of a burden than glasses, you noticed that dark circles under your eyes appeared, and gradually they became much more noticeable and worse.

“Contact lenses do not cause dark circles under the eyes,” said Dr. Andres Gantous, a Toronto-based facial plastic surgeon who practices at the Facial and Cosmetic Plastic Surgery Clinic. “But if there is any conjunctival irritation secondary to prolonged use or an infection, this could lead to eyelid swelling and the dark circles.”

Dr. John Goldhar, a Toronto-based dermatologist who practices at the CosMedix MD Centre for Dermatology, also maintained that contact lenses do not cause dark circles. “Contact lenses would unlikely be a cause of the pigmentation (a disorder that affects the colour of your skin), unless people were allergic to their solution and constantly rubbing their eyes. But the contact lens itself probably would not cause that problem.”

Dr. Gantous emphasized that there are numerous causes for dark circles. He said that the most common is heredity. Besides, the eyelid skin is especially thin and therefore, is relatively transparent in some instances. People with deep-set eyes will have more shadows produced in this area, which will impact the extent of visible darkness.

“As we age and begin to lose volume in our faces, a hollowness is created near the orbital bone and this also creates that dark circle that is bothersome,” Dr. Gantous continued. “Allergies and chronic sinusitis can lead to inflammation in the lower lid area with increased fluid collection, swelling and irritation. There is often a need to rub the area and this will increase the discoloration. Late nights, lack of sleep and overindulging, particularly this time of the year, will lead to puffier lower lids and dark circles.”

Dr. Sylvia Garnis-Jones, a St. Catharines-based dermatologist who practices at the Puriste Cosmetic and Medical Dermatology clinic, further explained the causes. “As a person ages, the skin becomes thinner and the fat under the eyes also begins to disappear. As a result, the veins become more visible and may also leak small amounts of blood. This is referred to as hemoglobin degradation, and degradation products (bilirubin and iron) accumulate. The accumulation of these products causes the blue-red colour. When the dark circles suddenly appear, internal problems must also be considered such as anemia or low hemoglobin in the blood.”

Nevertheless, there are treatments that can be sought out by consulting with a qualified and experienced facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist, who will ultimately determine what is initiating the problem and the correct course of action. Dr. Gantous was emphatic that seeing a doctor is crucial: a medical specialist will determine what is causing the dark circles and will arrange a treatment process.

Dr. Gantous advised that those with allergies, infections and sinusitis need to be treated sufficiently and might conclude their dilemma without any further precise treatment for the eyes, whereas those with true hyperpigmentation can utilize cosmetic concealers, bleaching agents, an applicable skin care treatment and on occasion, chemical peels or laser treatments.

“If there’s pigment being laid down, we have some bleaching agents that we can use around the eye area, as well as some mild exfoliating agents,” Dr. Goldhar confirmed. “Often, we’ll use some lasers in the area to get rid of pigment.”

Dr. Garnis-Jones expanded on the treatments available, including creams and fillers. “In terms of treatment, creams containing vitamin K and arnica have natural bleaching properties and can be helpful. Also, creams that contain chrysin and N-hydroxy succinmide enzymes that degrade bilirubin and iron have been known to be extremely effective. Another treatment option is the injection of hyaluronic acid containing filler under the eyes. Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in the human body and is therefore biocompatible and resorbable after several months.”

While predominantly used to treat facial wrinkles, folds and lip augmentation, doctors have found that fillers are effective for compounding volume to the higher cheek expanse while reducing the shadow effect under the eyes. However, the results are short-lived, as fillers such are processed very quickly after injected, lasting anywhere from one year or even two months.

Fillers that can be everlasting are fat grafts, a process that utilizes fat from various parts of your body to enhance other areas that lack volume or definitive dimensions. The fat is injected below the eyes, and it is generally advised when there is a lessening of tissue below the eyes. The only drawback is that fat cells might not endure the relocation procedure and therefore, you might not achieve a permanent result.

Other treatments include intense pulsed light (IPL) to lighten dark circles due to blood vessels protruding under the eye, however some doctors assert that it is unsafe to use these beams of light near the eye.

Dark circles triggered by sagging cheeks, due to aging, can also be treated with a cheek lift or mid-facelift.

Those who are experiencing this predicament should not panic or fret, but rather, seek out a fully certified and experienced facial plastic surgeon or dermatologist, who will not hesitate to show you the before-and-after photos of their previous patients that they have treated for dark circles. A qualified surgeon or dermatologist will take the time to pursue and determine the treatment that is best for you.

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