Eye circles: hollow and pigmented

Where do the rings come from ?

The skin of the lower eyelid is a very mobile area constantly mobilized during the day: folding eyes, protection against light, smile …

This skin is the thinnest of our body, 0.5 mm thick against 2mm elsewhere, but it is also a region where the blood supply is very important. For these reasons, sometimes aided by hereditary predisposition, the signs of fatigue and aging of our face will take priority over the lower eyelid. It will thus produce dark rings.

1) Hollow rings

Cause: fat sagging

Contrary to what has long been thought, aging causes a limited melting of facial fat (before 80 years) but a collapse of that fat down the face. This phenomenon is called the “Ptosis”. It also occurs in the thin skin of the eyelid. This ptosis will therefore decrease the presence of subcutaneous fat in this location, create a hollow and let appear the bony contours of the orbit. This is the result of this phenomenon which is called “hollow circle or ring.”

The treatment:

The hollow rings/circles are treated with hyaluronic acid injections in order to give back volume to the eyelid. The hyaluronic acid named Volbella® benefits from a very good flow making it adaptable. It will not load water (unlike the vast majority of hyaluronic acids) and therefore presents no risk of excess filler by a secondary increase in its volume.

2) Blue rings

Cause: overall thin skin and lack of fat

The blue rings/circles are due to the combination of a very thin skin of the eyelids and lack of subcutaneous fat. This combination leaves appear both subcutaneous elements having this bluepurple color: blood flow (blue) and the orbicularis muscle (purple).

The treatments:

The treatment for this kind of circle/ring is done by combinating of “fractional” laser and hyaluronic acid injections:

  • “Fractional” laser: Instead of crushing the entire skin surface treated, this partial ablative laser will create microscopic “well” leaving intact the skin between each “well”. While healing, these wells will close, cause skin resurfacing and re-densify the dermis. This laser is therefore little traumatic and causes no downtime.
  • Hyaluronic acid: If the laser can re-densify the dermis, hyaluronic acid is about creating a little subcutaneous pad separating the vessels and muscle from the skin surface.

3) Red rings

Cause: vasodilatation

Red circles correspond to excessive dilation of small blood vessels and dermal capillaries (in the thickness of the skin). The origins of this expansion are multiple: heredity, age, or excessive weather conditions.

The treatment:

Treatment of this type of pigmented ring/circle is done by the use of vascular laser. It will target the vessels that will absorb the laser energy and just be coagulated.

4) Brown rings

Cause: pigmentation spots

Brown circles correspond to often deep pigmentation spots. The origins of these spots are hereditary (Mediterranean) or acquired (sunlight).

The treatments:

Age spots behind brown circles can be treated, by way of repeated mild peeling or “fractional” laser, as with blue rings, according to the doctor’s diagnosis.

  • “Fractional” laser: Instead of crushing the entire skin surface treated, this partial ablative laser will create microscopic “well” leaving intact the skin between each “well”. While healing, these wells will close, cause skin resurfacing and re-densify the dermis. This laser is therefore little traumatic and causes no downtime.
  • Soft peel: A soft peel treating brown rings is achieved by applying trichloroacetic acid (TCA) low concentration. This peel helps speed up the renewal of skin cells. It has the advantage that it can be done throughout the year, even in summer, and do not cause downtime or nuisance.