Are eye bags and dark eye circles the same thing?

The simple answer to this question is “no”. Contrary to popular belief, under-eye bags and dark eye circles are two entirely separate issues! While they are both typically associated with a “tired” appearance, these conditions have varying causes and treatments.

To learn more about what differentiates eye bags and dark eye circles, keep on reading!

What are dark eye circles?

Dark eye circles occur when there is a purple or blue tinge to the area under the eyes. Generally, dark circles tend to be more apparent in people with fairer skin tones.

Some common causes of dark eye circles include the following:

  • Fatigue

Insufficient sleep can result in dark under-eye circles. This is because fatigue may cause your skin to become dull, which makes the dark tissues and blood vessels around your eyes more apparent. Moreover, cortisol is released in response to stress and fatigue. This hormone encourages the production of pigmentation by stimulating the pigment cells in the body.

  • Genetics

Dark eye circles may also be passed down through family history. Depending on the individual, the appearance of dark eye circles may either lighten or worsen over time.

  • Aging

The loss of fatty tissue and thinning of the skin around the eyes are common occurrences during the aging process. These changes may give dark eye circles a more distinct appearance.

Now, what about eye bags?

On the other hand, eye bags are primarily caused by orbital (the area surrounding the eye) fat build-up, decreased skin laxity (looseness), or a tear trough (due to ligament pushing on the skin). The aging process causes the supporting ligaments around the eyes to deteriorate. Due to the forward movement of the fatty tissue behind the ligaments, the area under the eyes can appear sagging, baggy, or bulging.

Fluid build-up behind the eyes may also contribute to eye bags. The body does not eliminate this additional fluid as well as it could when an individual is under stress or has less sleep.

Eye bags can also be caused by issues like hormone imbalances, food or dust allergies, smoking, or consuming too much caffeine. Bags under the eyes can also be a symptom of health conditions such as sinus infections, thyroid, and iron insufficiency.

Treatment options

The treatments used to get rid of eye bags and dark eye circles are different.

In order to get rid of the purple discoloration brought on by venous congestion, dark eye circles are typically treated with lasers. Laser treatments help to promote collagen production which aid in skin hyperpigmentation and discoloration.

Some of the common treatment options for dark eye circles include the following:

  • V-Beam Laser Treatment: The V-Beam Laser Treatment emits long, soft pulses of light that are strong but not painful when applied to the skin. The extended pulse targets blood vessels with laser light while sparing the surrounding tissue from damage. The result is a homogeneous coagulation and a mild heating effect. As the body heals naturally, the treated blood vessels are progressively absorbed by it.
  • Q-Switch Laser Treatment: Age spots, acne scars, and other undesirable marks can be efficiently removed with this laser treatment. The Q-Switch laser produces a non-invasive, high-energy laser pulse at a certain wavelength on the targeted area. The pigments are divided into smaller pieces so that they can be absorbed by the skin and then naturally eliminated by the body. In the case of dark eye circles, haemoglobin, which is the cause of pigmentation around the eyes, will be broken up by the Q-Switch laser.
  • Edge Fractional CO2 Laser Treatment: This laser treatment encourages the regenerative process in the body. The minimal thermal damage applied to the skin prompts the body to start supplying the raw materials needed to produce collagen in the areas that need it most. Collagen remodeling occurs over the course of several weeks to a month, producing plumper, smoother, tighter skin that appears younger and more radiant.
  • DERMA SPRING Eye Thread Lift: Skin laxity around the eyes can be treated with this minimally invasive thread lift procedure. This method makes use of Polydioxanone (PDO) threads, which are extremely biocompatible and provide both immediate and long-term lifting with little adverse effects and nearly no downtime. DERMA SPRING is one of the best non-surgical treatments for wrinkles, sagging skin, under-eye bags, dark under-eye circles, and other signs of ageing.

As for eye bags, the skin, muscles, and fat around the eyes are tightened and repositioned in a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty. Non-surgical procedures may also be performed if the severity of the eye bags is relatively mild. For more information, check out our article on the benefits of eye bag removal surgery.

Get rid of eye bags without leaving any scars with The Clifford Surgery Clinic

The Clifford Surgery Clinic is a plastic surgery clinic in Novena that offers a range of cosmetic procedures by seasoned and experienced professionals. If you are looking for Singapore scarless eye bag removal, our surgeons can provide you with the safest and more effective treatment.

Our scarless eye bag removal surgery is performed under either local or general anesthesia. The surgeon will first make an incision inside the lower eyelid. This incision will be used to remove or rearrange fat and tissue before being stitched up. The entire procedure takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. Once the swelling and bruising from the surgery have subsided, the results are visible immediately.

However, if the severity of your eye bags is mild, you may also consider our non-surgical options – Secret RF and AGNES. Secret RF is the most recent technology that tightens skin and breaks down unwanted fats to return the skin to a more youthful and attractive state. AGNES is a treatment that helps enhance the general appearance of your eyes by tightening the skin, reducing droopiness, and filling in wrinkles. Both of these treatments are safe to use on the eye area and you should anticipate seeing results after a month or two.

Do not hesitate to get in touch with us right away to schedule your initial consultation with our certified plastic surgeon at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital.