Under Eye Circles (Dark Circles)

Dr. Melanie Palm is a nationally recognized dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon specializing in under eye circle treatment and nonsurgical rejuvenation around the eye. Her offices are located in Solana Beach, CA just north of San Diego. Dr. Palm lectures nationally at the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Society for Dermatologic Society, the American Society for Lasers in Medicine and Surgery as an invited speaker on rejuvenation around the eye. She offers many effective injectable filler and laser treatment options.

Why Under Eye Circles Occur

Under eye circles are no fault of your own. They are a result of anatomical characteristics that lead to pigmentation or lack of support in the under eye region. Patients with darker Fitzpatrick skin types, particularly patients of Middle Eastern or Mediterranean descent may be pre-disposed to dark circles under the eyes. The following changes contribute to under eye circles:

  • Dark pigmentation of the skin in the eye region
  • Thin skin combined with slow circulation of the blood vessels under the eye
  • Loss of fat and soft tissue volume that causes a shadow or groove nicknamed the “tear trough

Treatment for Under Eye Circles and Dark Circles

Treatment of pigmentation under the eyes called “under eye circles” requires a thoughtful approach. Because there are multiple causes for under eye circles, topical skin care regimens, light and laser treatments, and sometimes injectable fillers may be required for noticeable improvement. The most commonly used treatments to improve under eye circles include the following:

  • Eye cream: topically brightening agents and retinol found in some eye creams can be helpful in improving pigmentation associated with under eye circles
  • Laser treatment:
    • Spectra Laser: This Q-switched tattoo removal laser targets pigmentation and eliminates it over time
    • CO2 laser resurfacing: This ablative laser builds collagens, and tightens skin and also nonspecifically improves pigmentation of the under eye region
  • Injectable fillers: these provide support to the area to improve contours and light reflectance in the under eye circle region.
    • Restylane and Restylane Refyne: these hyaluronic acid fillers restore volume appropriately do not attract excess water and swelling to the eye region like other fillers
    • Belotero: this hyaluronic acid filler can be placed superficially in the skin to improve fine wrinkles and reduce discoloration in the under eye region. Belotero can also be used to soften the appearance of the tear trough region.
    • Fat: One’s own fat can be grafted through autologous fat transfer to rejuvenate the entire eye region and to improve the tear trough region.

A combination approach is sometimes ideal to treat the multi-factorial causes of under eye circles. Non-invasive and minimally invasive techniques are used at Art of Skin MD in addition to topical skin care regimens to achieve the aesthetic goals of our patients in regards to dark under eye circles.

If you are interested in learning more about under eye circle treatment, or would like to set up a consultation, call Dr. Melanie Palm at 858.792.SKIN (7546) to schedule your appointment.