Friday, March 13, 2009

How to Treat and Prevent Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Cosmetologists report that at some point in life, most people will experience dark circles under the eyes. Dark circles may be a long standing problem or can appear overnight depending upon the cause. Whether you have just developed this condition or you’ve had it as long as you can remember, discovering ways to treat and prevent them, not only will give you the appearance you desire, but can eliminate health issues at the root of the problem.


The skin under the eyes is very thin and somewhat transparent, making the veins appear as dark circles when inflammed and irritated. Conditions such as colds, sinus infections, allergies that cause itchy eyes, can promote dark circles due to vascular inflammation caused by scratching and rubbing the skin. People with hay fever have very prominent dark circles at the height of allergy season. Food allergies have been found to make these circles even darker.

Medications that cause blood vessels to dilate will darken circles because of an increase in size and blood flow through the veins under the skin. Lack of sleep, pregnancy and menstruation can make the skin more pale, which can bolden the appearance of these dark circles. Nutrient deficiency, especially iron, or lack of balance in the diet can be a cause of the darkened appearance under the eyes. The aging process can make these circles more prominent because as we get older, collagen in skin decreases, resulting in thinner, more transparent skin.

Treatment and Prevention

It’s important to always wear healthy sunscreen protection when exposed to the sun to avoid skin damage and skin weakening. Vitamin K has been useful in healing bruising and it is believed that when applied topically as a cream it helps diminish dark circles. Vitamin C strengthens bloods vessel walls making them less vulnerable to inflammation.

Foods such as black currants, onions, parsley, cranberries, bilberries, blueberries, legumes and green and black tea contain antioxidants that also may help strengthen blood vessels.

An unhealthy diet has been found to promote sleeplessness which causes pale skin. Foods that are processed, contain large amounts of sugar, hydrogenated oils, caffeine and alcohol should be eliminated from the diet. A diet rich in organic, raw fruits and vegetables such as leafy greens, carrots, cucumbers is important because they are an excellent source of essential cleansing nutrients like vitamin A (promotes healthy eyes), B Complex (promotes sound sleep when taken before evening) and vitamin c( strengthens blood vessels).

Cool cucumbers moisturize skin,tighten pores and reduce puffiness. They should be placed on closed eyes for about 15 minutes. Several herbs are effective in treating dark circles. Eyebright is used to strengthen the connective tissue around the eye. Golden seal is a great anti-inflammatory. Gotu kola(Cetella) reduces puffiness and promotes collagen growth. Witch hazel applied topically with a cotton ball reduces bruising and inflammation under the eyes. Aesin is an algae that improves elasticity of skin and stops the breakdown of collagen.

There are a number of causes for dark circles under the eyes. Targeting all areas by avoiding unhealthy foods, eating a healthy, balanced diet, insuring proper sun protection and rest will not only treat the problem but will help to eliminate any undetected health issues in the body.