Been burning the candle at both ends like Effie? (Picture: Channel 4)
Itвs a day of the week so weвre feeling a little fatigued. And weвre already battling those pesky dark shadows under our eyes. But why do we get dark circles under our eyes when weвre knackered? First up, itвs important to note that dark circles and eye-bags are two separate things, although they often appear in tandem. Dark circles Dark circles are down to genes as much as lack of sleep. The skin underneath your eyes is thin and covers muscles, fatty tissue and blood vessels. Dark circles are the result of light being reflected back from blood vessels sitting just below the skinвs surface. How dark that area is has a lot to do with skin colour and thickness. As to why theyвre more prominent when youвre tired, itвs because your blood vessels increase in size.
When youвre knackered, your body produces more cortisol to help boost energy levels, which results in more blood in the body and larger blood vessels. Hence darker circles. Also, if youвve been lying horizontally for a long time в i. e. trying desperately to get to sleep в blood flow will be increased under the eyes. As for bagsв There is a correlation between bags and age (yep, sad face). As you get older, itвs now believed the volume of fatty tissue under your eyes increases; hence the bags. Tiredness will make them more noticeable because the body retains more fluid, which forces blood vessels closer to the surface of the skin. В The same thing happens if you eat a lot of salt or have allergies. Gravity will also affect the skin under the eyes in time, causing tissue to droop a little.
So, there you have it. Now, off you go and get some shut-eye. Bags under eyes mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes are common as you age. With aging, the tissues around your eyes, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken. Normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy. Fluid also may accumulate in the space below your eyes, adding to the swelling. Bags under eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and rarely a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. At-home remedies, such as cool compresses, can help improve the appearance of bags under eyes. For persistent or bothersome under-eye puffiness, eyelid surgery may be an option. You may not like the way they look, but bags under eyes are usually harmless and don\’t require medical care.
See your doctor if the swelling is severe, persistent, painful, itchy or red. Your doctor will want to rule out other possible causes that can contribute to the swelling, such as thyroid disease, infection or an allergy. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the eyes (ophthalmologist), plastic surgery or plastic surgery of the eyes (oculoplastic surgeon). As you age, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that is normally confined to the area around the eye (orbit) can move into the area below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can accumulate fluid, making the under-eye area appear puffy or swollen. Several factors cause or worsen this effect, including: Fluid retention, especially upon waking or after a salty meal