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Dark circle treatment

Dark-circle treatments make a significant portion of the skincare market, and for good reasons. Don’t you dream of looking healthier, better rested and years younger without those coloured under-eye circles? But do you know where these dark circles come from?

Dark circles are commonly associated with a lack of sleep. Bad sleep is indeed a cause for a dark tint under the eyes to appear or become more prominent, as the blood vessels under the thin skin suffer from dilatation.

However, some people still suffer from dark circles even after a good night sleep. According to recent research dark circles and puffiness can make women look up to five years older than they really are. The same study also found that eye bags are significantly darker during the cold months.

Ageing is also another cause of coloured under-eyes. “While ageing, loss of fat in the face causes darkness under the eyes because the skin becomes thinner and, in some cases, hollows the eyes” says Dr Bernard Hayot.

When looking for the right solution to treat dark circles, you need to identify the cause(s) first. Here is an exhaustive list:


Legitimate pigment: the production of melanin-pigment in certain ethnicities is exacerbated due to outside factors. The pigmentation under the eyes is genetic – Black, Asian and Mediterranean skin types are the best examples.

True pigment: Pigmentation around the eyes can be accelerated by UV exposure, hormonal problems (such as melisma during pregnancy and with birth control tablets). A shock on the head can also be the reason for atopic eczema, and even perfumed skincare can stimulate the hyperpigmentation under the eyes.

Age-related loss of fat volume

As we age, the volume of fat in the centre of the face decreases. The loss of volume appears in the upper and lower eyelids – which can hollow the eyes – while the tail of the eyebrows drops due to the loss of fat in the temple area. The loss of fat under the eyes and cheeks forms what is commonly known as the “tear through”. This depression under the eyes creates a shadow, a dark circle.

Most of the time, the tear through is due to the sign of ageing, however some have them as a natural deformity from a young age.

Thin skin

The lower eyelid has the thinnest and most fragile skin on the entire face. Moreover, as time passes, our skin naturally thins further, becoming almost transparent. This translucent cover affords only a thin veil for the dark, underlying structures, such as the muscle and veins.

Skin laxity

Skin laxity is something everyone faces at some point in life due to ageing. Beside ageing, there are other factors that can cause skin laxity such as genetics, diet, lifestyle, stress or sun exposure. But sometimes even a healthy diet along with regular exercise are not enough to prevent it.

The collagen and elastin are the two essential components of the skin structure. As we age, the skin begins to lose elasticity because the natural production of collagen and elastin diminishes, resulting in sagging skin.

Here are some examples of (controllable) factors that inevitably lead to dark circles:

1/ Smoking

Smoking affects blood circulation and makes blood vessels appear darker and more noticeable. More generally, smoking causes critical vascular problems.

2/ Sleep deprivation

Lack of sleep makes the skin paler, more translucent, revealing the vessels underneath.

3/ Too much caffeine and alcohol

In addition to affect sleep, caffeine and alcohol absorbed in large quantity of water leading to dehydration, causing blood vessels to bloat.

4/ Dietary deficits

Dark circles (in conjunction with other symptoms) can also be a sign of nutritional deficiency such as iron-deficiency anaemia. In most cases, a balanced diet treats the problem.

5/ Other causes

  • Allergies or nasal congestion, which inflame and enlarge the under-eye vessels.
  • Specific medical conditions (such as thyroid or liver problems)
  • Specific medications (such as for high blood pressure)What are the treatments available for dark circles?

Hyaluronic acid fillers

These types of injections are the ideal treatment to fill sunken under-eye circles. They can eliminate them without the patient requiring aesthetic surgery. The hyaluronic acid is administered at the bone level to smooth the tear through deformity. The result is natural, and the treatment is very quick with no downtime. The effects are visible 2 days later, the optimal result being seen after 8 days.

Chemical peels

There are specific, superficial- to medium-depth peels to target pigment on the delicate eye area in the full range of skin types. The latest peels use synergistic properties to lighten the skin as well as make it stronger and more resilient.

Dark Circle Surgery with Dr Hayot

“Dark circles are one of the most difficult problems to treat and many of my patients are concerned about the way they look. They want to look rested and years younger at all time. Today I am very proud to offer my patients the only effective, safe and advanced technique to remove dark circles using the Nano-Lipofilling and regenerative medicine methods.”

-Dr. Bernard Hayot

For over twenty years, the fat-transfer procedures have been used to bring back volume on the face. Years later, studies prove that fat-volumising injections not only restore the volume but also improve the skin texture, the quality of the skin as well as the epidermis.

The PRP method (platelet rich plasma or vampire lift) is actually the precursor of the regenerative medicine and of the Nano Fat Transfer. The stem cells and growth factors from the plasma are isolated, to be then injected into the dermis of the face, décolleté and scalp to regenerate the tissue.

Research with an electron microscopy proved that there is a thousand times more stem cells and growth factor in fat than in plasma.

Today, the Nano Lipofilling is the most effective method to regenerate ageing tissue using exactly the same process as the PRP technique. However, it is important to note that this technique not only rejuvenate the skin but also regenerate tissues.

In addition of all the benefits mentioned above, Dr Hayot discovered that pigmented dark circles can be treated with Nano Lipofilling. Regardless your age and whether you have red, blue or purple dark circles, the fat injections create a layer of protection between the thin skin of the eyelid and the capillaries below.

The transparency of the skin disappears because the fat cells thickens the dermis under the eye. The sunken under the eye circle fades and the colour of the dark circle vanishes.

Dr Bernard Hayot

Article rédigé par le Dr Bernard Hayot

Spécialisé dans la chirurgie des paupières et formé par les pionniers américains de la chirurgie oculoplastique, je propose des interventions uniques et calibrées pour chaque patient. Mon activité se partage à égalité entre chirurgie et médecine esthétique. Mes patients souhaitent de plus en plus des actes légers, sans suites visibles, mais aussi et surtout des résultats naturels, ne laissant pas deviner l’intervention.

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