Sunken Eyes

The peri-ocular area is the first part of the face to start to show signs of ageing. Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a myriad of factors. The discolouration is most commonly caused by a genetic predisposition (if both of your parents have hyperpigmentation you may inherit this).

Allergies can affect the periocular skin in different ways. Allergy to topical treatments, hay fever, eye disease or eye drops will cause increased dilation of the blood vessels within the eyelids. This underneath the thin periocular skin will cause prominence of the blood vessels and thus the appearance of dark circles. Secondly, allergies result in a tendency to constantly rub the eyes, this can cause thickening and darkening of the periocular region. Ageing causes a depletion of volume under the eyes and subsequently increases the appearance of dark circles.

Whilst dark circles are difficult to prevent, lifestyle contributors such as dehydration (excess alcohol and salt) and sleep deprivation can accentuate the appearance however the permanent discolouration is very difficult to prevent.

Deep-set tear troughs have the ability to make a person look tired, even when they have had ample sleep. Deep-set tear troughs are caused through the ageing process, as our skin loses elasticity and collagen. Also, the cheekbones and eye socket bones also start to recede over time, resulting in a loss of bony support for the skin. The result is the orbit has a more sunken appearance in the face.

The skin around our eyes is extremely delicate and very vulnerable to sun damage. Long exposure to UV rays without protection will cause sun damage that makes skin texture become droopy, with the uneven texture causing a shadow or dark circle appearance under the eyes. Make sure to apply sunscreen specifically designed for the face. Staying diligent about sunscreen throughout your life will help to delay the ageing process around the eyes. Wearing sunglasses with appropriate UV filter and SPF during the year will not only help to delay the ageing process around the eyes but also help to protect the eyes from developing early cataracts.

Genetics, lifestyle and environmental factors such as pollution, UV exposure, diet, exercise and smoking can all contribute to the way and speed in which we age and the extent of deep set tear troughs. Hydration is a key factor in minimizing sunken eyes. In fact, hydration affects nearly every process and appearance in our bodies.

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