Types of dark circles

What are dark circles ?

Dark circles are a circular or semi-circular area under the lower eyelid. This unsightly appearance is caused by the presence of a hollow or a brown or purple colour.

It is a frequent reason for consultation in aesthetic medicine because of the tired look it gives off and the ageing of the eyes it causes.

Treatment of dark circles in video

What causes dark circles under the eyes ?

The factors responsible for the appearance of dark circles are:
Genetics: the colour (brown or purple) and the hollow can be present from childhood, proof of the hereditary component.
Ageing: as the years go by the loss of fatty tissue and bone in the orbital region is responsible for the formation of a hollow ring. The thinning of the skin, always linked to age, allows the blood vessels to show through, resulting in the appearance of a purple dark circle. Brown circles tend to darken even more with age.
Hormonal changes: during pregnancy, at the menopause, hormonal changes can alter blood circulation and accentuate dark circles.
Changes in blood and lymphatic circulation: poor lymphatic drainage is aggravated by a poor lifestyle (smoking, lack of sleep, exposure to screens…).

Types of dark circles 

There are three types of dark circles:
♦ The hollow dark circle: a hereditary or acquired hollow (due to ageing) characterises this type of dark circle.
♦ The vascular dark circle: the purple colour is due to the visibility of blood vessels.
♦ The pigmented dark circle: often hereditary, the brown colouring is linked to an increased production of melanin (the pigment that gives colour to the skin).

cernes creux

Hollow ring

cernes noirs

Dark brown circles

cernes bleus rouges

Blue or red rings

There are stages in the severity of the phenomenon:
Stage 0: no dark circles.
Stage 1: light dark circles.
Stage 2: moderate dark circles.
Stage 3: deep dark circles.
Stage 4: very deep dark circles.

How can I make dark circles disappear ?

There are many treatments available to reduce dark circles: injections, lasers, peels, carboxytherapy, etc.In my opinion, hyaluronic acid injections and carboxytherapy are the only interesting treatments for making dark circles disappear or reducing their appearance.

Removing dark circles using hyaluronic acid injections

Hyaluronic acid is the first-line treatment for dark circles.Before the age of 30, dark circles are filled in by injection into the hollow of the eye. After the age of thirty, the malar area is often associated with sagging. In this case, I recommend first using the medical lift technique to lift the sagging tissues supporting the dark circles and then injecting the hollow.

Filling dark circles with hyaluronic acid

I inject using a cannula, as using a needle is dangerous and causes more haematomas.
I use a very slightly hydrophilic hyaluronic acid such as Restylane to avoid permanent oedema, which is common in this area.
Depending on the patient’s anatomy, the inner and/or outer part of the dark circles can be injected. Unfortunately, only certain patients are good candidates for filling in the outer part. A detailed analysis of the orbital area is necessary.
A failed dark circle injection has aesthetic and functional consequences:
The functional complication is a serious one: blindness. Hence the importance of going to an experienced practitioner.
The aesthetic ones are: visibility of the product, permanent oedema, surface irregularities, purple colouring (Tyndall effect, the product changes colour).

→ Find out more about hyaluronic acid

→ Find out more about carboxytherapy

Reducing dark circles with carboxytherapy

This technique improves local vascularisation and stimulates collagen production in the lower eyelid.
Immediately after the treatment, a significant and transient swelling (five minutes) is observed.
This treatment is not curative but preventive.
In fact, despite the large number of sessions carried out, the result will be slight. Carboxytherapy is useful for slowing down the ageing process and preventing the worsening of dark circles, which become more pronounced over time.

Results and side-effects

The results of hyaluronic acid injections are immediate and last about a year. The face looks rested and the eyes younger.
The after-effects are slight, with the possibility of minimal, temporary oedema. Haematomas are rare if the injection is performed with a cannula. Needle injections (which I do not perform in this area) are often responsible for the appearance of a large black eye.


Type of consultation


Hyaluronic acid

700 CHF per syringe


100 CHF per session

Other Areas To Be Treated

Hollow eye

Eyebrow lift

Vallay of Tears