Ask A Dermatologist: Blue Under Eye Circles

dark eye circles

Dear Doctor

Hi, I have very thin under my eyes. The skin under my eyes go in and it’s a purple blue color. I also have veins under my eyes which are of the same color. I have attached an image of my eyes however I also have the same problem on my eye lids.

My face is also covered in light freckles (also show in the picture).

What is it that I need to do to get my skin soft and smooth without the thin blue dark under eyes!?

P.S. I’m only 19 and so I don’t understand why under my eyes look like this!

dark eye circles

Dear Patient

Causes of Blue Under Eye Circles

Blue under eye circles are usually caused by the congestion or pooling of oxygenated blood in the veins below the skin. These blood vessels are more visible in person with thin skin.

Age is another cause of blue under eye circles due to the loss of the layer of fat below the skin which hides them though that does not apply to you. Other causes include heredity, stress and inadequate sleep and fatigue.


Treatment of Blue Under Eye Circles

The treatment of blue under eye circles includes:

Eye creams

Eye creams with caffeine are useful since they constrict the blood vessels and make them less visible. Examples include La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes.

Eye creams with hyaluronic acid plump the under eye area and also make the congested blood vessels less visible. Examples include La Roche Posay Hydraphase Intense Eyes.

Other creams used to treat dark eye circles include RevaleSkin eye replenishing cream, DCL Eye Refining Matrix, SkinCeuticals eye gel, Sebamed Q10 Lifting Eye Cream, Neutrogena radiance boost eye cream, Olay definity eye illuminator, Olay total effects eye transforming cream and Hylexin serious dark circles eye cream.



Broad spectrum sunscreens that offer protection from UVA and UVB rays and that have a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 should be used every day.

Large UV 400 sunglasses which cover the area should also be used when out in the sun.


Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) Therapy

Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) photofacials are light based treatments which are used to treat dark eye circles caused by vascular pigmentation or visible blood vessels which appear as dark purple or blue. IPL can also lighten the skin color of the lower eyelid.


Laser Therapy

Fractional ablative laser resurfacing is good under eye area and evening out pigmentation. It helps reduce the dark circles by increasing collagen production and improving the overall skin quality. For best results it is usually combined with other treatments.



Thermage involves the use of a high-tech handheld radio-frequency device. It is thought to increase collagen production and thus aid building up and tightening the skin. It is especially beneficial for blue eye circles.


Injectable fillers

Hyaluronic acid injectable fillers like Restylane or Juvederm are used to treat dark circles since they plump up the skin and decrease the hollow appearance under the eye by restoring volume loss.


Autologous fat transplantation

The patient’s own fat can be grafted from another body area and injected in the tear troughs to treat dark circles in the under eye area. These fat injections are used to treat dark circles caused by thinning under eye skin or fat and tissue loss in the under eyes and upper cheeks.


Camouflage Cosmetics

Camouflage cosmetics can also be used to cover up the dark eye circles. Cover-up makeup usually comes as sets which include concealing creams and setting powder. Examples include the Smart Cover-up Starter Kit and Dermablend Cover Cream.

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