Screen time doesn’t directly cause dark circles, but it can affect their appearance (Image: Getty/

‘What happened?!’ asked my concerned friend after I sent what I thought was an inconspicuous mirror selfie into our group chat.

‘Is not?’ I replied (I simply showed my helmet hair, nothing to worry about).

That’s when I realised.

Both of my lower eyes have become so dark that it looks like I’ve put a bifocal on my face.

I chalked it up to the unusual amount of time I spend staring at my laptop while there’s no deadline – after all, the day I took that selfie was the first. I showed up for weeks.

That’s one thing, isn’t it?

Well, kind of…

While excessive screen time doesn’t directly cause dark circles, it can certainly increase the likelihood of them appearing.

As Dr Elizabeth Hawkes, consultant ophthalmic surgeon and oncologist explains: ‘Time on the device itself is not a direct cause of dark circles.

‘However, spending too much time looking at screens can inadvertently make them more visible by contributing to more specific causes of dark circles such as dilation of blood vessels becoming more obvious underneath the delicate eyelid skin or dehydrated skin if you are resting less.

‘The blue light emitted by screens also affects our circadian rhythms (sleep-wake cycles), so screen time can disrupt sleep and make dark circles worse. worse.’

‘In a nutshell, it’s more of an effect of excessive screen time than a direct harm from blue light.’

What exactly causes dark circles under the eyes?

Genetics A family history of dark circles under the eyes can increase the likelihood of dark circles.

Blood vessel The eyelids have a lot of blood vessels, so due to poor blood circulation, the blood vessels can dilate.

This will make them more prominent under the skin of the eyelids and cause the appearance of dark circles.

Allergy Allergies such as hay fever and eczema can cause hypertrophy and erythema of the eyelid skin, contributing to dark circles.

Aging Volume reduction and prolapse of structures around the eyelids will cause the appearance of tear troughs and also exacerbate the appearance of dark circles.

Over the years, the bones of the orbit atrophy and this causes the eye to sit deeper in the socket and appear sunken, increasing the appearance of dark circles.

Dehydration and smoking Not drinking enough water and smoking a lot can cause dark circles under the eyes.

How can we fight dark circles?

Fortunately, it is possible to reduce the appearance of dark circles, with or without treatment.

Reduce dark circles naturally

While lotions, potions, and plastic surgery can be used to reduce the appearance of dark circles (more on this below), dark circles can be treated naturally. .

Dr. Hawkes has listed several potential solutions to reduce your dark circles:

  • Keep enough water
  • Do not smoke
  • Wear UV protection such as sunglasses during the day as well as SPF, and use retinol at night
  • Reduce salt intake, the cause of puffiness.
  • Be careful when removing eye makeup – remember that the eyelid skin is very delicate and must be removed thoroughly but carefully
  • Don’t rub your eyes too much
  • Get enough sleep
  • Use a night cream to keep skin hydrated

Use cream

“Topical creams are great for dehydration and allergy relief, but they won’t restore volume or reverse a family history of dark circles,” says Dr.

‘When choosing the best eye creams for dark circles, I recommend looking for ones that include tried and tested ingredients like retinol, hyaluronic acid and caffeine – these are effectively hydrating , plumps and brightens those dark circles, while smoothing lines. ‘

She adds any eye cream should be applied ‘as gently as possible’ and patted, rather than rubbed into the skin.

It’s also important that you get throughout the orbital socket, or bone, around your eye.

Treatment or surgery

Dr Hawkes said: “Dark circles can be treated, however, to do this effectively it is important to see an obstetrician, who will review your complete medical history and perform an examination. Thorough investigation to determine the underlying cause and ultimately determine the correct treatment. .

‘Treatment methods vary depending on the cause and may include: prescription creams, chemical peels, anti-wrinkle injections into the eye muscles, dermal fillers to restore volume or surgery to create volume. Lower eyelid contouring may be required as an option for dark circles.’

She adds: ‘A thorough ophthalmological examination is required to rule out eye disease or allergies that may affect the skin such as allergic conjunctivitis secondary to pollen.’

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