Dark circles under the eyes, hollowing under the eyes and loss of skin quality is a very common problem and can be psychologically distressing to many.  A common worry is of people always commenting ‘you look tired’ or 'are you unwell?’ Although a common cause of dark circles under the eyes is facial ageing, this can affect both men and women of all ages and be caused by a number of different factors. As a result there is no one treatment to fix this common problem. We offer a number of different treatment modalities at Youth Lab to help rejuvenate the eye area.


Symptoms may include:

  • Puffiness around the eyes, especially in the morning
  • Loose and lax skin under the eyes
  • Fine lines and wrinkles
  • Festoons - bulging areas of fat
  • Deep tear troughs
  • Flattened cheeks
  • Dark , grey discolouration
  • Enlarged blood vessels (link to telangiectasia)
  • Irregular pigmentation (link to pigmentation)


  • Ageing - One of the most common causes of dark circles and sunken under eyes is due to facial ageing. As we age we lose volume and fat in the cheek and under eye area, as well as changes to the bony skeleton, causing the skin to fall loosely and shadows to fall over the cheeks. In addition the skin of the eyelids and under eye skin is very sensitive and also becomes lax and thin with age related reduction of collagen and elastin. Some people are also affected by bulging of the under eye fat pads causing puffiness and a swollen appearance.
  • Genetics - the tear trough area is often genetically determined.
  • Lifestyle factors - smoking, excess caffeine consumption, alcohol, dietary deficiencies, dehydration, sleep deprivation and stress can also contribute to dark circles, puffiness and shadowing under the eye.
  • Medical factors - chronic sinusitis and congestion, allergies, hay fever, eczema and thyroid disease.
  • Vascular changes - veins under the eyes can become congested causing discolouration.
  • Pigment changes - hyperpigmentation to the skin as a result of sun damage, melasma or hormonal changes.
  • Poor lymphatic drainage - due to change associated with ageing and genetics, fluid can pool in eye and under eye area and cause puffiness and swelling.


Treatments are targeted to the underlying cause of dark circles and under eye hollows. A thorough consultation is essential to establish a treatment plan which may include a few different types of treatments.

  1. Eye creams - Generally cosmetic and over the counter eye creams are an expensive gimmick. These generally sit on the top layers of the skin without penetrating. A high quality cosmeceutical eye cream can help to increase collagen, firm the skin and target damage from hyperpigmentation by lightning and brightening the skin.

  2. BBL  - Broadband light can be extremely effective in treating the hyperpigmentation and darkened blood vessels under the eyes as well as contribute to collagen stimulation and overall improvement in skin quality.

  3. Skin needling  - This can increase collagen production, improve the appearance of pigmentation, improve fine lines and wrinkles, help with overall skin rejuvenation and tightening.

  4. PRP - Using protein rich plasma to stimulate cellular rejuvenation and collagen stimulation.

  5. Laser - Laser resurfacing can dramatically improve skin thickness and reduce fine lines.

  6. Radiofrequency - Helpful with skin tightening and collagen stimulation.

  7. Dermal fillers -  Can improve the appearance of the tear trough area which is a result of volume loss. Dermal fillers can give the skin a tighter appearance and smooth the contours of the under eye area.

  8. Surgery - Most effective way to improve the appearance of the eye area from excess skin laxity and fat ptosis.


  • Sleep and adequate rest
  • Cool compress for blood vessel dilation
  • Sun protection and sunglasses
  • Sleep elevation to prevent fluids collecting under the eyes
  • Lymphatic massage for fluid collecting under the eyes
  • Smoking cessation
  • Nasal decongestants and treatment of allergies, hay fever and sinus congestion
  • Avoid rubbing the eye are as this can cause blood vessel congestion
  • Appropriate treatment of eczema or dermatitis