Common Skin Conditions around the Eye

The eyes are the windows to our souls. They also are the windows to our age. And with age come some eye-specific problems such as:

Age lines or "crow's feet"

Many people squint without being aware of it. Squinting causes wrinkles known as "crow's feet. This particular motion wrinkle tends to be prevalent in people who are nearsighted; that is, they tend to squint to see objects or read signs in the distance. If you are squinting a lot, it may mean that you need glasses- have your vision checked. Alternately, those motion wrinkles are called laugh lines. Sun damage and dryness can also contribute to the lines of this area. The best way to fight these types of lines is with products that contain glycolic acid (also called alpha hydroxyl acid or AHA). Deep crow's feet may require more intense treatments such as Botox injections.

Dark circles under the eyes

The most common cause of dark circles is lack of sleep. In this world of multitasking, many of us end up burning the candle at both ends resulting in dark circles under our eyes. If that's the case, try getting plenty of rest and see if that helps.

If that doesn't help, try a product that includes 2-5% of Vitamin K. There is anecdotal evidence that Vitamin K helps remove dark circles. By the time you read this article, clinical evidence may have confirmed the talk. Check with a dermatologist to be sure.

Some natural health practitioners claim that plant extracts such as grape seed, butcher's broom and horse chestnut help in reducing dark circles. As with any treatment, research it thoroughly before you attempt it.

It's very rare, but possible, that dark circles can be caused by irregular skin pigmentation. First, before moving on to the harsh treatment with various bleaching agents, make sure that a physician has confirmed the condition. It's very easy to mix up dark circles which come from vascular problems and those which come from pigmentation problems. Always check with your dermatologist first!

Baggy, puffy skin under the eyes

Puffiness, loss of skin tone and general aging are the usual suspects when it comes to bags under the eyes. Those can easily be dealt with by following the guidelines previously outlined. If the bags are very pronounced, while they can't be eradicated completely, there are surgical procedures which you may want to consider. Surgery, however, should not be entered into lightly. It's often very costly and can result in scarring or other more dire complications. Always discuss these options thoroughly with your physician.

One surgical option being promoted today is Thermage (also referred to as ThermaCool). This procedure is performed by the ThermaCool TC radiofrequency system which allows the physician to treat aging and sun-damaged skin by delivering deep intense heat without harming the epidermis.

The Thermage procedure uses safe radiofrequency energy to penetrate the top layer of skin and create a uniform heating effect deep into dermis. It reduces wrinkles and bags by tightening the skin tissue. The result is a more youthful appearance to lax and sagging skin.

Studies show that improvements can continue for at least six months after a single treatment session. Other studies put the improvement rate to several years, depending on the rate of the aging process. ThermaCool costs range from $2000-$5000 per treatment area.

If you are sick and tired of looking sick and tired around the eye area, then it's about time you give your eyes a little more TLC. Taking better care of this area can help end the frustration of waking up with raccoon eyes- big puffy eyes surrounded by dark circles, for example. The good news is that it's not hopeless. We'll start with a list of all-natural remedies that you can try and then move on to other problems and therapies:
The skin around the eyes produces very little sebum (that is it as very few sebaceous glands), making it highly prone to dryness. Because this area can become dry so easily, you may want to consider long-lasting moisturizers.