Effective treatment of dark circles

Effective treatment for dark circle

Having dark circles under the eyes, or baggy eyes, can make you seem older than you are, and make you look tired.  Some over-the-counter treatments might offer temporary and usually unsatisfactory results.

More permanent and effective solutions require cosmetic medical treatments, and thanks to science you have many choices available.

Although usually not a sign of other health issues, dark circles with some other symptoms can be a sign of thyroid problems or other disease. Dr. Gafanovich will evaluate you and make the correct diagnosis.

As facial fat descends and fat volume decreases, inflexible ligaments produce tethering and orbital rim and facial hollowing. These hollows lead to shadowing, which can be noted in the tear trough area. The thin eyelid skin doesn’t provide much camouflage to the prominence of the underlying soft tissue, and this produces a darkened appearance of the skin. Infraorbital eyelid fluid may accumulate in the under eye area and further contributes to the aged appearance.  The lower eyelid tissues tend to accumulate fluid due to systemic fluid retention, and is due to excess salt.

Oral contraceptives or ophthalmic prostaglandin F2a also increase pigmentation.

Lasers and lights

Laser treatments can help to effectively treat your dark circles, and depending on your specific skin type, Dr. Gafanovich will choose the laser specially tailored to you.

Laser resurfacing is an effective way to address dark circles in a multi-modal fashion.   It treats pigmentary irregularity, and improves skin tightness.  Laser resurfacing results in the formation of skin layers with increased collagen.

A recent study shows fractionated CO2 lasers reduce the thermal damage of full ablative lasers, leaving untreated skin unaffected, and produce less downtime and a lower complication rate.  Dr. Gafanovich uses the fractionated CO2 laser.

Other treatments include the Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) device, which emits light in the visible spectrum.  The light energy is absorbed into target cells with chromophores in the skin. The procedure causes selective photothermolysis of pigmented and/or hypervascular areas of skin, and produces improved tone and color of the skin.


Another effective way to fill the hollow of under eyes is the use of fillers, and hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers are a treatment of choice for the condition.  A recent review states that “Profound improvement in infraorbital dark shadows can be achieved using HA filler alone.”

HA is the most widely used injectable dermal filler, has a low allergenic potential, and provides predictable aesthetic results with low complications risk.  HA is biocompatible, and has a long-term effect.


Surgery is the permanent solution, and a procedure called blepharoplasty can be performed. The pseudo-herniated fat can be removed or redistributed by skin incision, and a variety of lower eyelid blepharoplasty techniques are available.

The procedure can also be performed on the upper eyelid.

Aspirin, gingko biloba, and other supplements and drugs than thin the blood should be avoided for 2 weeks before any of the above procedures.

Make an appointment to speak with Dr. Gafanovich if you have dark circles.  She will evaluate your condition and recommend the best treatment that’s right for you.  Removing dark circles can make you look more refreshed, younger, and make you feel happier.