Abha Gupta is tired of people telling her that she looks exhausted. She says she gets enough sleep, but the dark circles under her eyes make her look old. Gupta tried several home remedies — keeping slices of cucumber and used tea bags on eyelids and applying a variety of oils. “Nothing works,” says the 27-year-oldtechie, who works for a software company in Chennai.
Though dark circles are not a medical problem, treating it can be tough as there could be several contributory factors. “It could be hereditary,” says Dr Shubhra Goel, who works for the department of oculoplasty and aesthetics at Sankara Nethralaya, Chennai. Most people think dark circles are signs of tiredness, lack of sleep or alcoholism. But doctors say these factors can contribute, but are not always the cause. Now Sankara Nethralaya is planning a study on 1,200 people in the 15-45 age group to identify the causes. The findings, she hopes, will help them figure out treatment protocols.
Research shows that aging can increase chances of getting dark circles. With age, the skin becomes thinner and the dilated blood vessels under the eye begin to show as dark circles. Sometimes, medications like harmone pills can worsen the condition. At Sankara Nethralaya, doctors use various methods to treat dark circles. The non-surgical methods include treatment with Botox, dermal fillers,chemical peels, radiofrequency skin tightening, dermabrasion and use of ‘anti-aging’ products.