Why Do You Get Bags Under Your Eyes & Dark Circles When Tired? - Shens Clinic
3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

Why Do You Get Bags Under Your Eyes & Dark Circles When Tired?

Tired Asian woman resting her head on a laptop

The hectic daily schedule of work commitments, family care, and household tasks, among other things, causes time to fly by. Many people frequently fail to recognize that they are sleeping less than they need. Excessive fatigue invariably shows on the face.

Dark circles, eye bags and wrinkles are some common signs of tiredness. The skin around the eyes is thin and delicate, which makes it more susceptible to environmental factors. Furthermore, this part of your face performs many facial expressions and blinks nearly 28 000 times per day.

Many people believe that a good night's sleep will immediately rid them of eye bags and dark circles, but it isn't always the case. Fatigue and sleep deprivation often permanently damage the delicate eyelid skin, and sometimes even a week of tranquillity may not be sufficient to restore it.

Why do you get bags under your eyes when tired? What is the relationship between eye bags/ dark circles, genetics and your lifestyle habits? Read ahead to learn more.

Why do you get bags under your eyes from lack of sleep?

tired asian woman - lack of sleep

The term 'beauty sleep' is not a coincidence. Sleep allows your skin to repair the damaged cells, so if you don't sleep enough, you disrupt this process. The first place to notice the effects of that disruption is the eye area. This is usually due to the fact that the skin covering this region is very thin and delicate.

When you don't get enough sleep, your skin cannot regenerate properly, making it appear even more transparent. In addition, the blood vessels located in the skin underneath your eyes become larger due to poor circulation. The transparent skin accompanied by increased blood vessels results in the appearance of puffy eye bags.

Regularly getting too little sleep can disrupt hormonal balance and increase circulating estrogen levels, which in turn leads to decreased collagen levels and loss of skin elasticity. Over time, your eyelid skin loses fat and may become even thinner. In addition, the constant shrinking and dilation of the blood vessels beneath the eyes can permanently damage the skin and make your under-eye bags more prominent.

How do you get rid of eye bags when tired?

If your eyes appear puffy occasionally after having late nights, then you can simply apply ice cubes or chilled tea bags to your closed eyes to calm the area. The cold compress will stimulate blood circulation and reduce swelling.

Having proper rest and getting more sleep may also help restore the normal appearance of your eyelids. In addition, it might be good to limit your salt intake so that you avoid further fluid retention in the area.

However, if your eye bags worsen over time and you notice that fat is developing in the area, then it might be best to consider other treatment options.

One of the most effective and permanent solutions is lower blepharoplasty or eye bag removal surgery.

This procedure removes the excess fatty tissue below the eyes, providing a smoother and younger-looking contour.

What causes dark circles under your eyes when you are tired?

asian woman in bed wearing dark eye circle treatment eye mask

Sleep deprivation and fatigue frequently result in the appearance of shadow areas beneath the eyes. This is normally due to the increased blood flow in the area. However, when it comes to dark circles or periorbital hyperpigmentation, genetics also play a huge role. In most cases, your genes affect what pigments are present in your skin and how dark it is. Lack of sleep, excessive sun exposure, dehydration, and iron deficiency can all contribute to the worsening of your dark circles.

Another factor that is related to the presence of dark circles is simply your blood colour. Your blood can contain blue, red, and purple pigments, which can be easily seen if you have thin and pale skin. Furthermore, if you don't get enough sleep, your body will begin producing more cortisol (the stress hormone) in order to boost energy levels. Higher levels of cortisol, on the other hand, can cause your blood vessels to dilate and become darker and more visible.

But have you ever wondered why some people don't get such obvious dark circles under their eyes, even if they've had a hectic week and slept less? The visibility of dark circles is primarily determined by your natural skin tone and thickness. If you have light, thin skin, don't be surprised if your lower lids appear shadowed and coloured after late nights. On the other hand, people with darker skin tones may not experience that same shadowing effect.

How do you get rid of dark circles when tired?

Dealing with darker circles under your eyes may require more effort, especially if you have a genetic predisposition to hyperpigmentation. Chronic insomnia and advancing age can only exacerbate the condition.

In some cases, some at-home treatments and proper rest may help you minimise those darker spots. There are also many eye creams that you may want to try. However, they are better used as a preventive measure rather than treating already formed dark circles.

If you are looking for a more effective and longer-lasting treatment, it might be worth trying facial procedures to reduce dark circles. There are various options available, from laser resurfacing and chemical peels to hyaluronic acid fillers. In some cases, blepharoplasty may also be used as a treatment method for dark circles.

Speak with a specialist to find out which option is best for you.

There is more to eye bags and dark circles than tiredness and lack of sleep

Although fatigue and sleep deprivation are among the most common causes of dark circles and puffy eyes, there are many other factors that may contribute to their presence. Genes are undoubtedly the biggest culprit. This is especially true for dark eye circles. Some individuals are simply prone to developing hyperpigmentation on the skin beneath their eyes.

Eye bags are also related to genes. Bulges under the eyes are more common in people who were born with thicker eyelids. With age, this extra fatty tissue can make the eyes appear permanently tired. Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can be a good cosmetic option for those with excess tissue around the eyes.

Some environmental factors may also significantly worsen the appearance of bags and dark circles under the eyes. For instance, too much sun exposure can make the skin below your eyes look darker. Excessive caffeine and alcohol intake also put you at high risk of developing dark circles and puffy eyes. This is because such beverages increase cortisol levels, which in turn results in more blood in your body and more obvious blood vessels.

Something that may have a great impact on the look of your eyes is the food you consume. Eating salty foods causes your body to retain fluid, which first manifests itself in your eyes.

It is important to note that, while extremely rare, eye bags and dark circles can appear as a result of underlying health conditions. If you have persistent swelling or severe dark spots below your eyes, it might be wise to consult a doctor just for your own peace of mind.

To conclude

Dark circles and eye bags are not dangerous and do not impact your health. In truth, everyone at some point encounters them. However, under-eye bags and dark spots can have a negative impact on your appearance, and it is normal to feel self-conscious about them.

Are you facing such a cosmetic issue? The good news is that there are a number of treatment options to choose from. You can try non-surgical procedures such as dermal fillers and laser resurfacing. If you want a more permanent solution, then it might be best to undergo lower blepharoplasty.

Shens Clinic, 3 Killiney Road, Winsland House 1, #09-08, Singapore 239519

Monday – Friday: 09:00am – 06:00pm
Saturday: 09:00am – 02:00pm
Sun and PH: Closed

(Strictly by appointment only)

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