By Dr Nic Isse, plastic surgeon at the American Surgecentre, Abu Dhabi Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: Dark circles look adorable on pandas but definitely not on us humans. Nothing frustrates us more than waking up in the morning and looking in the mirror to see those unwanted shadows under our peepers.

Dark under-eye circles can be an after-effect of too little sleep or fatigue, or caused by allergies and poor lifestyle choices, or a symptom of facial ageing; Worse, they can be a combination of heredity and genetics. Whatever the cause, dark circles make us look tired and years older.

Treatments on how to banish dark circles abound. In a few cases , concealers and topical creams offer a quick fix but they rarely provide a long-term solution. Dark patches under the eyes can also be brought about by inherited pigmentation irregularities and ageing where cosmetic procedures offer hope.

Recommended procedures include skin resurfacing, hyaluronic acid facial fillers and fat injections.

Skin resurfacing involves chemical peels that help reduce dark circles by increasing collagen production, decreasing pigmentation problems, and improving overall skin quality. Injectable fillers containing hyaluronic acid are often used to correct dark circles. Hyaluronic acid fillers are absorbed by the body within a few months to one year, so results are temporary. The only permanent filler typically recommended is a patient’s own fat which may be grafted from another body area of the patient.

Fat injections are typically recommended for correction of dark circles caused by thinning under eye skin or fat and tissue loss in the under eyes or upper cheeks. The results may be permanent, however not guaranteed, as fat cells don’t always survive the fat transfer process. Also, fat transfer could need up to three sessions depending on how the body absorbs the fat. Maintaining ideal body weight helps to keep results lasting longer. Fillers need to be redone after four to six months depending on how fast the body reabsorbs the filler.

Extreme cases may even require surgery for eye circles or cheek lift. Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, is generally the most effective way to permanently get rid of dark circles. A cheek lift, or mid-facelift, can effectively correct dark circles caused by cheek descent, or drooping.

- The author is a plastic surgeon at the American Surgecentre, Abu Dhabi