Dark Circles Under Eye Treatment

Latest update: February 26, 2024
Medically reviewed by: Jennifer Trent MD, FAAD


Dark circles under the eyes have a variety of causes, such as lack of sleep, medical conditions, and genetics. Fortunately, treatments are available that can lighten and fade dark circles. These include topical creams, laser treatments, or injectable fillers. There are also surgical options that can permanently eliminate dark circles under the eyes. 

At-home treatments:

The most accessible and affordable treatment option for dark circles under the eyes is topical creams that contain skin-lightening ingredients to fade the darkness under the eyes. These ingredients include hydroquinone, tretinoin, kojic acid, licorice, vitamin C, and azelaic acid. Some of these products are available over-the-counter, or a doctor can prescribe stronger options.

Patients must apply the creams daily. Bleaching creams require weeks to months to achieve visible results. Side effects include contact dermatitis, itching, burning, swelling, and redness of the area.

In-clinic treatments:

Light chemical peels using alpha hydroxy acids applied onto the eye area can remove 
old cells and reveal firmer and revitalized skin.

and light treatments
can help remove dark discoloration, resurface the skin, and boost collagen for brighter, tighter, wrinkle-free skin.

Microneedling is another option that creates controlled injuries around the eye to stimulate  skin repair and rejuvenation. The controlled injuries cause the skin to produce collagen and help lighten dark circles under the eyes.

Carboxy treatment involves carbon dioxide injections under the skin to improve blood and oxygen circulation. Patients need three sessions to ease the darkness and wrinkles around the eyes. 

PRP (platelet-rich plasma) is another good option to treat the under-eye area. Doctors extract the patient's blood and separate the plasma from the red blood cells. The plasma, which is full of growth factors, is then injected into the skin. Plasma is known to help heal the skin, rejuvenate, hydrate, and tighten the under-eye area. Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers are popular for adding volume to under-eye hollows.  

Surgical option:

Blepharoplasty can help remove excess fat and skin around the eyes, which can sometimes cause dark circles and wrinkled skin. The procedure requires a knowledgeable surgeon as the area is very delicate, and there are some risks. The surgery is performed under local or general anesthetic.
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How Do I Get Rid of Under-Eye Circles Without Surgery? - Dr. Anthony Youn

Dr. Anthony Youn, a plastic surgeon from Detroit, Michigan, tells us how to get rid of dark circles under our eyes without surgery. He explains that there isn't one treatment for everyone. He highlights the importance of looking at the causes and runs through possible causes. Dr. Youn talks about different products used to fix these problems.

Dark Circles: Causes & Treatments - Dermatologist Perspective

In this video, Dr. L.J. Maxfield and Dr. Muneeb Shah give us the dermatologist's perspective on treating dark circles under the eyes without surgery. They begin by explaining the importance of considering what is causing the circles. Once the cause is found, they explain the reasons for that and the treatment options available.