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I’m of Scandinavian and Scottish descent and have extremely fair skin along with blue eyes and blonde, almost white hair. I’ve always had dark circles under my eyes, since I was a little girl. These circles under my eyes, or “bags” if you like (though they aren’t actual eyes) really make me self-conscious. What can I do?

Nope — the dark circles aren’t there because I’m tired. I get get eight hours sleep and then some, nearly every night. Don’t even mention that, please. I had a teacher tell my mom she should send me to bed earlier when I was nine or so and I still get people ask me whether I had a late night, all the time. (Constantly being asked whether I’m tired is a huge reason I’m beyond fed up with my circles.)

I’m also not anemic. I was checked for iron-deficiency anemia recently and my blood work came back great. Touch eclat covers my circles up quite well, but I’d rather get rid of them once and for all with natural means, so without putting makeup on such a sensitive area of my skin all the time.

One more thing — when you look at the skin under my eyes, you can see tiny little veins.

Help, please?

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That sounds familiar to me! I still have the dark circles, but less than before. Here are some things you could try:

* Use a UV screen all the time. If you're as light as I am, and it sounds like you are, you're more prone to sun damage than most folks, and especially in the sensitive and thin skin under your eyes.
* Did you know your makeup remover can contribute to under-eye circles? As you clean the skin under your eyes, it can become damaged by harsh cleansing products. Try using oils instead.
*Are you allergic by any chance? Whether it's seasonal allergies or makeup allergies, this can worsen those dark circles.
*Use a gentle under-eye moisturizer. And let it dry completely before you use foundation in that area (and everywhere else for that matter).
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Thanks!

I do use sunscreen — not all the time, but pretty regularly, as often as I remember to use it. I do use a moisturizer and I'm not allergic as far as I know. Like I said, these dark circles have been there since I was a little girl. They are there all year round, regardless of how much sleep I get. Because they were there before I started using makeup, I am pretty sure cleansers aren't to blame. I'll try with an oil based makeup remover though, just to see what happens.

Other tips still welcome.
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Hi Rosie,

There are actually several possible causes of dark circles under the eyes. You mentioned having them all your life, so you'll want to find out what the cause is in order to eliminate them.

As you mentioned seeing blood vessels under the eyes, in your case it's entirely possible that your dark undereye circles are caused by what's known as hypervascularity. Hypervascularity means too many blood vessels under the skin's surface, and laser treatment can greatly help you improve your appearance where this is the cause of your dark circles. Look into it!

Hyperpigmentation and dermatochalasis are two other possible causes. Hyperpigentation would usually take a while to develop so you are probably not dealing with that, but anyway, there are creams to deal with that. Dermatochalasis is "bags under the eyes". Because they cast a shadow it can make you look like you're tired or have dark circles but you actually don't. You can treat this with fillers.

But, as I said, it seems like hypervascularity is your problem. Go see a dermatologist or a plastic surgeon for a consultation. Perhaps makeup can help you reduce the appearance of blood vessels, but it can never get rid of them completely. If you're really bothered by your undereye circles, laser treatment can help you boost your self confidence.

Good luck!
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That was a really good post, very helpful. Thanks. I Googled "hypervascularity under eyes" and came up with some info. It seems like this condition is called "intraorbital dark circles" and in my case, it may well be due to a combination of two things: the vessels, like you said, as well as a very light skin that allows those vessels to shine through if you like. Most of the information that first comes up actually talks about lightening the skin which is hyperpigmented. That sounds like a terrible idea in my case, since I seem to have the opposite problem to hyperpigmentation.

Anyway, it's now looking like fixing these dark circles under my eyes might cost quite a bit to get fixed. I don't have a huge budget but, to be honest, they are really affecting my self confidence. I'll mail a few dermatologists in my area and see if I can get a consultation.

Thanks!

(By the way, why can't I use bold text when I reply to a topic?)

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I haven't tried this myself, but I recently read on the internet that it is possible to use natural, plant-based remedies that bleach pigmented skin. The one that caught my eyes was something about potatoes to minimize dark circles under your eyes. Apparently, using potato also helps get rid of bags under the eyes. I've heard that you are meant to grate two uncooked potatoes, and then you put them in a muslin cloth and strain the juice. You apply the juice to a cotton pad, twice, and then just place the two cotton pads on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes, much like you would do with cucumbers. Wash your eyelids and the skin under your eyes with cold water. You are meant to repeat this procedure twice daily for a few weeks. I have no idea whether it works, but I am planning to try it out sometime soon, and found the idea intriguing.

HTH!
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OK, here's an update: I have an appointment with a dermatologist in two weeks!

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Just saying... I'm a private math tutor who generally to people's houses to teach, so I meet a lot of people. This kid I tutor, his grandma looks after him during the day and she used to be a beautician before she retired. So we got talking about this stuff. She says there's some really good creams on the market to get rid of dark circles under the eyes, but back when she was working, one of the tricks was to use hemorrhoid cream, both to do away with dark circles, bags under the ideas, and puffiness. They don't do it anymore because apparently it causes side effects, though she didn't mention what they were. Maybe it stinks? Anyway, I thought that was interesting. Maybe someone else knows something about using hemorrhoid cream to wave goodbye to circles under the eyes?
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Looking at my under-eye area again, I have to say that I see a few things. One is the skin seems very thin. The other is it has a blue-ish tone to it. You can see blood vessels underneath, but the skin itself also has a red kind of color. Then, where that thin under-eye skin merges with the rest of the facial skin if that makes any sense at all — there's also some yellow-ish discoloration. I suppose that may be a pigment problem.

I did search the web to find out more about hemorrhoid cream for under-eye issues and it seems the smell is indeed the issue. I don't mind that, if it solves anything. That was something I would never have thought of myself in a million years, so thanks for the suggestion. I am strongly considering trying it out.

I am still seeing that dermatologist though.
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Good for you, seeing a dermatologist about your dark circles. I hope it works out for you!
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Of course a good skin care routine works wonders for your face, but it is a good idea to find out why you have dark circles under your eyes to begin with. If you're already seeing someone about that, great.

For others though, I did want to mention that it's not just a lack of sleep or a vitamin deficiency that can give you dark circles under your eyes, but also daily things you do wrong like sleeping in the wrong position, not cleansing your face before going to bed, an allergy to your mascara or other makeup, fluid retention, some medication you take... you name it. It's not just an aesthetic problem, in other words, it can indicate that you are just doing something wrong or suffering from something. That's why it's not a bad idea to make an appointment with your doctor about it, not necessarily a dermatologist but just your primary care doc.
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Vitamin K and A are very useful in reducing the dark circles under your eyes. It works for me and they are almost completely gone. Such an improvement. You also have to use an under eye cream every day and you can use either cucumbers or potatoes on your eyelids and the under eye area as a mask a few times a week. Even if you do it every day you will only see benefits.
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Can I vent here, please? I am supposed to see that dermatologist on Tuesday but now that it is coming closer and I have been doing more reading, I am thinking about canceling the appointment and just trying with one of the many products suggested here and on some other threads and forums I have been reading. 

How likely is it that a dermatologist will talk me into expensive and invasive procedures I may not need at all? Just feeling jittery. I generally don't like going to doctors much unless I feel I really need to. I'd love to hear some opinions.

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Nah, just go I say! Listen, you don't have to leave your scepticism at the door when you go there. You'll probably get a diagnosis or some tests done and then get a diagnosis. You'll be told what the treatment options are, depending on what's actually causing those dark circles. If you don't like it, you don't have to go along, you know? You can always say you're gonna think about it and then you come here and ask about whatever they suggested you get done. Just go for it. Better than messing around with home treatments without knowing what's wrong with you, right? Best of luck!!!
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I seasonally had dark circles under my eyes and they bothered me so much... until I found out that they were caused by nothing other than HAY FEVER. After starting on anti-allergy meds, they went away almost completely. I even found out that there's a term for dark circles under the eyes caused by allergies, and that is "shiners". Of course hay fever isn't the only thing that can cause this. In case it helps you, I wanted to mention that your dark circles could potentially be caused by an allergy.
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