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Carboxytherapy for Under-Eye Dark Circles FAQ’s

Dark under eye circles are difficult to conceal with makeup, and often make you appear tired, even when you’re fully rested. This problem is relatively common but it’s important to understand the origin of dark circles in order to develop a treatment plan. Dark circles are typically caused by one of three factors, either alone or in combination.  The first possibility is that there is actual deposition of pigment into the skin of the lower eyelid.  This pigment deposition is commonly due to post-traumatic hyperpigmentation, where the skin of the lower eyelids has been perpetually irritated, usually from chronic tearing due to allergies or dry eye.  Skin pigmentation is the easiest cause of dark under eye circles to treat because it responds well to a combination of carboxytherapy and home bleaching regimens.  I do not use hydroquinones, the over-the counter bleaching agent, on delicate eyelid skin because in some individuals this can worsen the dark circles.  Instead, I prescribe a combination of kojic acid and arbutin to help reduce the hyperpigmentation.  This gives my patients a safe and gentle treatment product that they can use at home while the carboxytherapy sessions are performed in my office. 

The second cause of dark under eye circles is vascular pooling.  The capillary network of the lower eyelids can become congested for a variety of reasons.  Normally, the tears drain from the eyelids into the nose, but if there is some obstruction due to chronic nasal congestion from seasonal allergies or a nasal fracture, the drainage doesn’t function well, and the blood flow to the lower eyelids becomes sluggish, giving rise to the boggy blue tinge known casually as “allergic shiners.”  The lack of appropriate oxygenation to the lower eyelid skin allows the bluish cast to show through the thin skin of the eyelids.  Carboxytherapy works to improve the capillary network of the lower eyelids, as well as to increase the dermal collagen layer in the lower eyelid skin.  By injecting a small amount of carbon dioxide gas into the affected areas, blood flow is increased and improved capillary networks are formed for longer lasting circulatory benefit.  The bluish cast is replaced with a healthy pink tone.  Once a series of four to six sessions is completed, the skin has a more luminous appearance that lasts approximately six months.