Eye Matters
December 11, 2012

Causes and treatment of dark circles under the eyes

Dear Readers,

Last week we discussed dark circles under one’s eyes. Understanding the causes of dark circles can help in finding the right cures. We identified various causes which include:{{more}}

1. Lack of sleep

2. Allergies

3. Vitamin deficiency

4. Sinus problems and nasal congestion

5. Irregularities in the pigmentation of the skin

6. Aging

7. Lifestyle choices such as inadequate nutrition, cigarette smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, caffeinated drinks and lack of exercise

8. Genetics

9. Prostaglandin inhibiting eyedrops such as Travatan, Lumigan and Xalatan.


There are so many different remedies and recommendations on the market. Some of them work and some don’t. You may want to try them to see which one applies to your situation.

a) Cucumbers have long been used to reduce swelling around the eyes and to tighten the skin around the eyes.

b) Wrap some ice cubes in soft cloth and apply them to your eyes. Cool tea bags may also be used. An ingredient called tannin in the tea bags has been known to reduce swelling and discoloration.

c) Stick a spoon in the freezer and pour water into it. Leave it in the freezer for a short while until the water freezes, place the spoon on the dark circles and leave it there until the ice starts to melt.

d) Get a good night’s rest. This can help improve the appearance of the eyes.

e) Cut down your consumption of alcohol and use supplements.

f) Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables

g) Reduce your salt intake. Excess salt can cause the body to retain water and this too can cause puffiness and darken the skin under the eyes.

h) A deficiency of vitamin K has been shown to also increase the probability of dark circles. Skin creams containing vitamin K have been shown to be effective. Many overnight facial creams help to reduce the appearance of puffiness or discoloration.

i) Avoid rubbing the eyes as this irritates the skin around the eyes.

j) In the case of eye drops, if the discoloration is excessive you may want to discuss an alternative with your eye doctor.

Finally you may choose to wear sunglasses to protect your skin from melanin changes.

Of course if the symptoms persist do not hesitate to call your eye doctor. Your eye doctor may prescribe an eye ointment to reduce discoloration and swelling.

Have a great week
Dr Kenneth Onu is a resident Consultant Ophthalmologist at the Beachmont Eye Institute/Eyes R Us Send questions to: Beachmont@gmail.com

Tel: 784 456-1210