Periorbital pigmentation, also known as undereye pigmentation or dark circles is a very common problem these days, causing increased stress and psychological problems.
It presents as brownish to purplish pigmentation in the under eye area and can be because of a number of reasons including:
- Genetic/Hereditary factors – Undereye pigmentation is very often inherited in the family
- Exogenous factors : Excessive exposure to sun light can cause sun damage and pigmentation in the undereye area similar to rest of the body. Also, increased exposure to dust and other allergic substances can cause itching and allergic contact dermatitis leading to pigmentation.
- Excessive vascularity : This is a major cause of undereye pigmentation. It gives a purplish hue to the undereye area and appears even on stretching the skin.
- Stress/fatigue or excessive strain to the eye can cause dark circles and give a tired look to the eye. Lack of sleep, excessive screen time, alcohol overuse, smoking etc are important causes of undereye pigmentation.
- Post inflammatory pigmentation following skin problems like allergic contact dermatitis or atopic dermatitis can lead to unwanted pigmentation. Excessive rubbing can also lead to Post inflammatory pigmentation.
- Tear trough : Facial structure or anatomy or loss of tissue due to ageing can lead to development of tear trough, which causes shadowing effect, thereby producing dark circles.
- Thin eyelid skin is another cause for undereye pigmentation
- Extension of pigmentation demarcation lines of the face can lead to undereye pigmentation.
- Others : Vitamin K deficiency or swelling in the undereye area can also lead to dark circles.