Dark Circles and Puffy Eyes

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Few things age you quite like dark circles and puffy eyes. The circles and puffiness will also make you look tired, even if you got a full night of sleep. The causes of dark circles and puffiness differ, so if you suffer from both, you may need to take two steps to get rid of them.

Causes of Shadows

A number of conditions can cause dark circles to appear under your eyes. If you have dark skin, you may have extra pigment. Skipping the sunscreen when you go outside can lead to dark circles too. As you get older, your skin gets thinner. Thin skin makes the blood vessels under your eyes more noticeable. Allergies and nasal congestion make blood vessels under your eyes more prominent, according to the Mayo Clinic. Puffiness under your eyes can make it appear as though you have dark circles, though those clear up when you treat the puffiness.

Causes of Puffiness

Your body retains water when you eat too much salt. Changes in your hormone levels can make your body hold on to water too, leading to puffy eyes. Too much alcohol and not enough water may also make you look puffy, as can too much or too little sleep. Puffy eyes usually runs in families, so if your parents have puffy eyes, odds are you will too.

Treating Puffy Eyes

A cold compress, such as a bag of ice wrapped in a damp washcloth, can help eliminate puffiness in the morning. Or try placing a slice of cucumbers or a chilled black or green teabag over each eye. You may want to apply an eye cream that contains caffeine. The caffeine in the cream will help tighten your skin and reduce swelling, according to Good Housekeeping.

Treating Dark Circles

Dark circles caused by puffy eyes will disappear when you treat the puffiness. Draining congested nasal passages or getting allergy shots can also help the dark circles fade. You can hide your circles with a concealer too. Go for a shade that is one lighter than your normal skin tone so that it will blend in nicely. An eye cream will make your under-eye skin thicker, masking the circles temporarily. If you want something more permanent, ask your doctor about laser treatment or a filler injection, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Prevention

Keep puffy eyes away by making sure you get enough sleep — eight or nine hours a night. Also drink plenty of fluids and watch your salt and alcohol intake. The Mayo Clinic recommends elevating your head at night to reduce fluid buildup. If you suffer from allergies, take steps to avoid the allergens that trigger your symptoms, and ask your doctor about getting allergy shots.

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