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Dark circles

There’s more than meets the eye, when it comes to dark circles…

It’s not hard to understand why, according to most dermatologists, dark under-eye circles are the second most common skin complaint after acne. We’ve all been there – waking up, looking in the mirror, only to be greeted by unsightly blue-toned bags underneath the eyes. But, did you know it’s not just a lack of sleep that can cause these pigmentation problems? There are a range of other causes and as a result, solutions. Have a read and see if any of these causes ring a bell and see how you can help to improve their appearance.

Some facts behind your dark circles and different ways to treat them…

Cause: Broken capillaries

Underneath the eye is home to the thinnest area of skin around your face and the most sensitive. The capillaries beneath this thin dermis are often prone to breaking, often through sun damage or stress. The blood cells which spread out of these spaces tend to gather just underneath the surface of the skin and oxidise, forming the dark purple hue.

Cause: Stress

If you are feeling stressed, more of your blood is directed to where your body needs it most – such as your major organs. As a result, your face can be left looking drained and a bit pastier. The contrast of the darkness against the rest of your skin can mean the dark circles under your eyes appear more noticeable.

Cause: Iron Deficiencies

Dark circles can also be a sign of an iron deficiency such as anaemia. If you suffer from anaemia, having less iron in your system can make the skin below the eye appear dark or bruised.

Cause: Genetics

Unfortunately, nature is just not fair sometimes and some people are just more prone to develop dark circles. In particular, darker pigmentation and any broken capillaries are more likely to show through if you have naturally very pale skin.

What are the Solutions?

Dark circles alone may not indicate anaemia but, if you find that you do lack iron you may be prescribed an iron supplement. It’s also a good idea to see how you can up your iron intake naturally through diet. This can include iron-rich food sources such as spinach, broccoli, red meat and pumpkin seeds.

Vitamin C can also effectively reduce the amount of pigmentation in the skin. In addition to upping your intake of orange juice, there are plenty of beauty products on the market packed full of this essential ingredient which will help to prevent the eye area from darkening.

Make sure you wear sunglasses in harsh daylight to limit the amount of sun damage to your skin and the delicate eye area. Spending too much time in front of a computer can also increase eyestrain so it’s a good idea to get your eyes checked regularly at the opticians to tackle any potential stress on the eyes.

And, don’t forget that makeup can help as an on-the-go quick fix to cover up your dark circles.

We’ve mentioned acne being the skin complaint which most people complain about. If you want to know more about what your acne breakouts are trying to tell you, you should read our recent blog on face mapping.

Image:Istock.com/Massonstock

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