Q & A The Doctor’s In

We ask the experts about common skin problems and how to solve them.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel

Genetics, fatigue or ageing are key reasons that cause problems like dark circles or lines around the eye area. Dr Siew Tuck Wah of Radium Medical Aesthetics shares ways to help resolve them

Q: What are some daily habits that can cause the appearance of dark under-eye circles and fine lines? How can we delay the onset of wrinkles around the eye area?

A: “The under-eye skin is extremely delicate, and ages very fast if not taken care of well. Sun exposure is the leading cause of premature ageing in this area, along with smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. Constant rubbing of your eyes is also a bad habit, which can stress the under- eye area and worsen dark eye circles and fine lines. A healthy lifestyle is key to keeping the undereye area looking refreshed – a healthy diet, no smoking, and minimal to moderate alcohol consumption. Use sunblock daily, and wear sunglasses with UV protection when going out into the sun. A good eye cream to keep the skin hydrated and firm is important. Maintenance laser treatments like PicoSure Focus Toning Laser, once the first signs of ageing start, may also help keep skin tighter.”

Q: My dark under-eye circles have been getting worse over the years, and my eyes look quite sunken in now. What can I do to treat this?

A: “Dark eye circles are often caused by multiple factors, and hence best treated with combination therapies. One of the best ways to treat the sunkenness is with the help of hyaluronic acid fillers. This helps plump up the sunken areas and also attracts water to brighten and make the dark circles less visible. This is, however, a difficult procedure and needs to be performed with care and precision. Lasers are another option to improve the area even further. The Dual Yellow Laser, a vascular laser, may be used to treat the purplish discolouration, and the PicoSure Laser works to tighten the under-eye skin, and helps lighten any unwanted pigmentation that contributes to the dark rings.” 

Q: I have had very obvious dark undereye circles since I was a child. Is there any way to treat dark eye circles that are genetic?

A: “Genetics, and medical conditions such as allergic rhinitis (nose allergy), contribute to dark eye circles occurring in young people. Such dark eye circles contain a lot of vascular pigment and are often difficult to treat, requiring several treatment sessions. The best option is to use a vascular laser, such as the Dual Yellow Laser, to reduce the purplish vascular discolouration. Depending on the situation, injecting a hyaluronic acid filler into the area may also help improve the dark eye circles. The filler helps mask the dark circles, and brightens the skin. Each patient is different and unique, and hence careful examination and diagnosis are required before an effective solution can be given.” 


Developed for deeper hydration and better circulation, Kenzoki Skincare Belle de Jour Sacred Lotus Eye Contour (above left), $99 (15 ml), is an eye cream that helps Illuminate dark eye circles, soothe puffiness and smooth out fine lines. The Clé De Peau Beauté Intensive Eye Contour Cream (above right), $300 (15 ml), designed to be used with a platinumcoated massage tool, addresses eye concerns like wrinkles, sagging, dark circles and dullness.

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for medical advice and readers are advised to seek advice from a qualified doctor if they are considering any cosmetic procedures. SPH Magazines Pte Ltd does not accept any liability in respect of any action taken by a reader in reliance on any recommendations contained in this article.

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