In most people the dark circles under our eyes are blood vessels that we can see through the skin. The skin around our eyelids (periorbital skin) is the thinnest skin in the body (around 0.5 mm thick compared with 2 mm in other areas). Like varicose veins, dark circles under the eyes are usually an inherited trait. When blood passes through the large veins close to the surface of the skin it can produce a bluish tint. The more transparent the skin -- also an inherited trait -- the darker the circles appear. In people with a deep-set bone structure, shadowing contributes to the dark color under the eyes.
Dark eye circles could be a sign of excessive loss of water from the body (dehydration).
Periorbital hyperpigmentation is the official name for when there is more melanin produced around our eyes than usual, giving them a darker colour. We have two main layers of skin, the outer layer of skin (epidermis) and inner layer (dermis).When excess melanin is being made in the epidermis it appears brown, and when there is more than usual melanin in the dermis it looks blue or blue grey.
The Preparation H version with phenylephrine HCl 0.25% will constrict the capillaries resulting in the [temporary] reduction of the appearance of dark circles. The cream has less petrolatum than the ointment which is important to avoid the greasy appearance.
One treatment is to massage almond oil with honey around the eyes before going to bed. This will lighten the skin around eyes and brighten it considerably. Also, try gentle massage around eyes while taking shower. The steam from the shower helps for effective massage. However, some say that the constant rubbing will only cause the circles under the eye to become worse, similar to the Hay fever described above.
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