We treat dark under eye circles in Surrey, along with puffiness and so-called ‘eye bags.’ Medically, these are called periorbital hyperpigmentation or periorbital edema (puffiness). We also commonly treat patients from Delta, Langley, White Rock, Burnaby, New Westminster, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Richmond, Vancouver and beyond.
Eyes are the part of our face that people focus on the most. They really say a lot about us in terms of emotion. They can be the ‘window to the soul’ as some would say. So, to many women and men alike, the way their eyes look is very important.
Eyes are also where most of our age becomes visible. It makes sense: this area contains very thin skin. So, there are less supporting tissues to help protect against moisture loss or free radical damage.
Apart from sickness or infection, dark under eye circles and ‘eye bags’ are a fact of life. They are hard to treat. Many people – especially darker skin types – simply have them, thanks to their ancestry.
The good news is that we can take some measures to treat this concern. Using specific, studied skincare ingredients, lasers or other medi-cosmetic procedures, we can lighten up the eye area, and smooth it out.
The degree of difference that our treatments can have in some people is significant. In others, it’s not a drastic change. But, it is one that can satisfy how you feel about your eyes.
Unfortunately, it’s hard to predict how your own biology will react to under eye treatments – no matter who is doing the treatment, or what the treatment is. But if the issue bothers you a lot, it may be worth the effort to try one solution or another.
We can help you understand more about your particular case of ‘panda eyes,’ and the solutions we think will work on you. To start this process, we’ll ask you to book an in-person consultation at our clinic. This consultation does have a fee, but the fee can be credited towards our services later.
Below, we’ll give a primer on how ‘eye rings’ are formed, and what you can do to correct them.
What causes dark under eye circles and puffy eye bags?
Dark under-eye circles have more than one root cause. So, depending on your case, the reason for your skin appearing dark in the eyelid area can vary. You may even have more than one issue contributing to your eye discolouration. Below we’ll explain some of the main factors that create dark circles under the eyes:
The natural aging process and skin laxity
As you age, your skin naturally loses collagen, hyaluronic acid, elastin and other components that give it tone, bounce, moisture and suppleness. This causes a thinning of skin. In areas where the body normally has less skin to begin with, like the eyes, translucence and laxity become more pronounced.
Of course, beneath your skin layer is where a lot of blood pigments are found. These can be red, brown, blue or purple, which causes those hues to show through your skin, in a diffuse way. So, you get dark under eye circles.
Periorbital hyperpigmentation (skin darkening)
Often a hereditary issue, some people form darker skin underneath the eyes. This is a form of hyperpigmentation. It has to do with the way your skin produces melanin, which we describe in more detail, here.
Eye bone structure and anatomy
In some people, the bone structure around their eye sockets is more ‘pitted’ or ‘deep.’ Or, they may have a low brow. When light hits this area, it creates a shadow. The shadow could be what is causing the dark appearance under the eyes.
When the temples are hollowed out, due to age, genetics, or otherwise, the eyes can also seem imbalanced. This may be another way your face shape contributes to tired-looking eyes.
Overall health and skin protection factors
Poor sleep, allergies, sickness, autoimmune disorders, vascular disease, hormonal changes, nutrition, alcohol consumption, dehydration, photoaging, medication – all of these things, and more, can also cause dark circles and puffiness under the eyes. When they pale your skin, they can even give you massive ‘racoon eyes,’ at which point they are especially bad.
Some of the above health related problems are known to make you look fatigued – and not just in the eyes. Health factors that contribute to dark under eye circles, which people often overlook, are smoking, iron deficiency, sun exposure and anything that causes skin water loss.
In essence, blood becomes more visible as the skin becomes thinner, dehydrated and loses collagen.
Baggy, puffy eyes can also come from too much salt intake (though, that’s not the only reason).
Dark under eye circles are mostly hereditary
When it comes to reasons for dark under eye circles and puffiness, most of it is thanks to your genetics. With that in mind, it’s easy to see how dark eye circles can be hard to control.
While health practices are somewhat controllable, there is usually an underlying reason for the lack of healthy habits in the first place. So, until those can be addressed, the best you can do for the appearance of dark circles is to cover them up with concealer. Or, opt for treatments we’ll describe below.
Please note: if you have persistently abnormal puffiness or increasing darkness around the eyes, you should see your doctor. This may not be a mere cosmetic issue, and could indicate something serious.
What treatments do you offer for dark eye circles and puffiness in Surrey?
Using a variety of tools at our doctor-led clinic, we can treat under eye rings from different ‘angles.’ These can be mixed into one treatment path, or singled out for your specific case. We’ll know more when we meet you in person, during your first consultation with us.
Below are some of the solutions we may recommend for dark eye circles:
Dermal fillers and brow lifts with Botox®
We offer eye-lifting and brow-lifting injectable solutions, which work wonderfully to brighten up the eye area. For example, Juvéderm® is a hyaluronic acid based filler that acts as a long-term volumizer for the face. We use this to give substance and height to the thin, depressed crevices under your eyes. On the other hand, a nerve-affecting solution like Botox® can raise the eyebrows. Together, this dual procedure can help with the illusion of dark eye circles, by reducing the shadows in that area.
This is probably the most ‘bang for buck’ solution when it comes to dark under-eye circles or baggy eyes. That goes especially for cases that are not hyperpigmentation related. Patients who undergo this procedure see an immediate, significant effect on their eyelid structure.
Dermal injections last anywhere from 3 to 8 months, depending on how your body reacts to them.
Infini RF™ microneedling
Using several small needles that are heated with radio-frequency, this treatment stimulates collagen production, which can then thicken your skin (in a good way). The needles are inserted section by section, typically covering your entire face in a single session. The benefits include skin tightening and overall rejuvenation as well.
Read more about Infini™ RF microneedling here.
Note: while we have the ThermiRF® machine for alternate, under-eye radio-frequency treatments, we do not find it to be as effective as other solutions listed on this page.
Laser skin solutions
The first aim of laser treatments around the eyes is to help build collagen and elastin. The other aim is to release coagulated blood or destroy blood vessels, which cause the blue-red tint under the eyes. To that effect, common lasers to treat dark under eye circles include:
- Fraxel® DUAL laser (for skin rejuvenation)
- excel® V (for vascular issues)
- Fractional CO2 (for reducing under eye bags)
Though, we are not limited to the above. If your case warrants it, we can use other technologies at our clinic. Often, laser treatments for pigment problems also work to tighten skin and reduce wrinkles at the same time.
Doctor-recommended cosmeceutical skincare products and prescriptions
Truly, sometimes, fancy injections and lasers are not needed for dark under eye circles. In some cases, all a person needs is the right skin care routine. In any case, quality skin care can both prep the skin for laser treatments, and prolong their effects, too.
Cosmeceuticals are always going to be recommended for daily use, to keep eyelids bright and healthy. Nothing can replace your skincare routine when it comes to dark under eye circles – not even an expensive cosmetic procedure!
We have several recommendations of products to use, which we sell at our Surrey clinic. You can read more about them, here.
The one that’s right for you can be different than the one that works on another person. Finding your ‘magic ingredient’ can take experimentation, as you try different formulations for several weeks at a time, and track the difference. We can help start you on the right path, using our experience treating this condition, which has many root causes.
Our doctor can also write prescriptions for some products, if you really need a stronger dose to help your case.
In general, active cosmeceutical ingredients to look for when it comes to lightening dark circles under the eyes include:
- Vitamin K (to reduce constrained, visible blood vessels)
- Kojic acid
- Vitamin C derivatives
- Vitamin A derivatives (e.g. retinol, tretinoin, or other stable retinoids in lower doses)
- Hyaluronic acid (for moisture)
- Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
- Licorice root extract
- Daisy extract
- Arbutin (in lower doses)
And of course, a very strong, excellent, broad-spectrum sunscreen. This is not an optional step! Please don’t expect any anti-aging or skincare routine to work if you are not using a good sunscreen in sufficient amounts.
Prescriptions for treating eye rings include active skin brighteners and exfoliants in higher concentrations like:
- Hydroquinone (a skin lightener, but not used very much anymore, since it is tough on the skin)
- Retinoids (e.g. retinol, tretinoin, etc.)
The above solutions can be quite harsh on the skin. They should only be used as prescribed, and monitored closely for side effects. Prescriptions for under eye circles should not be used long-term.
What other solutions are there for under eye circles and darkness?
At our clinic, we use a selection of non-surgical methods to treat dark under eyes in Surrey, which are noted above. However, there are a few other procedures out there, which we’ll list below.
Surgical options for cosmetic under eye treatments include:
Fat transfer to the under eye area – this involves taking fat from one part of your body, and injecting it into the area beneath your eyes. This lifts the lower eyelids, and also adds substance to the skin. As a result, the crevice creating the bags, or dark circles, is reduced.
Blepharoplasty (i.e. lid lift, eyelid surgery, eye skin tightening) – this is when the tissues around your eyes are removed to tighten sagging skin. This can help to reduce puffy or baggy eyes. It is also done for droopy eyelids.
Remember, surgeries always carry higher risks than non-invasive methods. They also include lots of downtime for healing. We encourage you to do plenty of research on these procedures before opting into them with high hopes.
Other (not recommended) minimally invasive solutions include:
The solutions below have not typically worked well in studies. They also can cause some pain and side effects (as can be the case with any treatment of this kind, however). That said, we will list them here, so you know they exist, and to be weary of their claims.
Carboxytherapy – this procedure involves the injection of carbon dioxide gas (CO2) into the upper and lower eyelids. The thought is that red blood cells will rush to the area with the newly-injected CO2, in order to carry those molecules away to the lungs. Your body normally does this with ‘regular’ CO2 release from your cells. But, by adding more CO2 to ‘slow moving’ blood, the hope is that blood circulation will increase, which will in turn remove the blue hues (deoxygenated blood) that causes dark under eye circles.
Plasma eye lift – this method, such as by using a plasma pen, is not approved by Health Canada due to health risks. Like general plasma skin resurfacing techniques, this method delivers very tiny spots of energy to the eyes. The heat from the plasma (ionized gas) intentionally injures the skin. Proponents say this lifts dead cells and forces regrowth of collagen and elastin. The concept is similar to using lasers or radio frequency to deliver intentional heat injuries to the skin. This tool derives its heat from plasma, instead.
Mesotherapy injections – this is an injection of a liquid in the eye lids, which typically contains ingredients thought to be beneficial (but not proven), such as vitamins and minerals. It must be repeated at frequent intervals (about one week apart). This can cause a burning sensation. This is not the same as mesotherapy marketed for fat dissolving.
Simple, home remedies for dark or puffy eyes include:
- Using a cold compress on your eyes, such as wet tea bags or cucumbers.
- Staying hydrated during the day (but not before bed), and keeping the under eye area moisturized.
- Getting a good night’s rest every night. Sleep with a pillow to raise your head.
- Taking antihistamines if you have allergies.
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol.
- Eat a healthy diet, and lower salt intake.
- Manage your known health conditions with instructions from a doctor.
What are the risks of treatments for skin around the eyes?
The eyes are a delicate area to work on, whether medically or cosmetically. In any treatment involving this part of the body, the practitioner must be very careful. So, the most important safety consideration is to pick a very qualified provider.
That said, when safety protocols are fully accounted for, the typical, hard-to-predict risks of treatments around the eyes include:
- Post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation reactions or burns from lasers and other heat-generating treatments.
- Nerve damage from injectable solutions. These typically heal in time, however.
- Allergic reactions from injectable solutions or topical creams.
- Infection and complications from surgical procedures (but we don’t offer surgeries at our clinic).
Of course, more extreme, but rare, cases can also happen. When you opt for one of the eye treatments at our Surrey clinic, we will let you know all the possible risks that can occur with the procedure(s) you chose to go with.
What is the cost of under eye circle treatments in Surrey?
Treatments for under eye circles can be as simple as purchasing a well-formulated cosmeceutical or prescription. A good eye cream can cost under $100 in some cases. The ‘bigger’ treatments would involve dermal injections, lasers and technological tools at our clinic. These can go up to hundreds, or thousands of dollars per session.
However, depending on the cause of your dark or puffy under eyes, not all solutions will work the same way on you. So, without seeing you in person, it will be hard to predict what your end-cost will be for treating this condition. We strongly recommend coming in for a consultation, so we can make recommendations from there.
The cost estimates of treatment solutions at our clinic are noted on their respective pages on our website (see above for links). These are very general guidelines, and are not meant to be final quotes by any means.
Our services for cosmetic treatments are not covered by MSP, nor most extended health insurance providers.
Prices on this website are to be used as a guide, and not a definite cost for your treatment. Prices can change at any time.
Procedure results are not guaranteed, and can vary from patient to patient.