Sunken eyes, also known as hollow eyes, are a condition where the eyes seem to be set deep into the face. It can make a person look tired, exhausted, or ill. Sunken eyes are usually a sign of aging, fat loss, or thinning of facial skin.
However, there are various other causes for sunken eyes like genetics, allergies, smoking, dehydration, vitamin deficiencies, lack of sleep, etc. The sunken eye area often appears darker, making the condition more noticeable. This article will discuss the symptoms, causes, and ways to reverse sunken-looking eyes to regain a more youthful appearance.
Understanding Sunken Eyes
Sunken eyes occur when the fat pads underneath the eyes begin to thin out or when the orbital bone structure recedes back. This leads to a hollow look under the eyes. The thinning of the skin also contributes to deep-set eyes.
As we age, the collagen and elastin in the skin start to break down, making the skin around the eyes appear darker and looser. The facial bones also begin to lose volume, causing the eyes to seem more deep-set. Genetics can play a role, as the facial structure you inherit can lead to a natural hollowing around the eyes.
Sunken Eyes: Symptoms And Causes
Symptoms of sunken eyes include dark circles under the eyes, hollowness under the eyes, wrinkled or thin skin around the eyes, and appearing tired and aged. Here are some of the common causes:
- Aging: As we get older, we lose fat and collagen leading to sunken eyes.
- Genetics: Inherited facial features like deep-set eyes or under-eye hollows can cause a sunken look.
- Dehydration: Lack of water causes eyes to look tired and hollow.
- Iron deficiency: This can make the area under the eyes appear darker.
- Sleep deprivation: Lack of sleep causes eyes to look fatigued and deep-set.
- Smoking: The toxins in cigarettes can damage collagen and accelerate aging.
- Allergies: Rubbing and itching due to allergies can cause darker under-eye skin.
- Weight loss: Fat loss in the face through substantial weight loss can lead to a gaunt and sunken look.
- Nasal problems: Chronic sinusitis or rhinitis can cause under-eye swelling and dark circles.
- Eye problems: Glaucoma, eye infections, and periorbital cellulitis can appear as sunken eyes.
Can Sunken Eyes Be Reversed?
In many cases, sunken eyes can be improved or reversed. Here are some ways to help add volume and treat sunken eyes:
- Moisturize: Use an under-eye cream with hyaluronic acid to hydrate skin and reduce the sunken look.
- Massage: Massage under the eyes gently with vitamin E oil to increase blood circulation.
- Cold compresses: Applying cold compresses can help reduce under-eye puffiness and swelling.
- Get enough sleep: Make sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep daily to allow the skin to rejuvenate.
- Manage allergies: Treating allergy symptoms can minimize itching and rubbing which darkens the area.
- Quit smoking: Giving up smoking can prevent further collagen damage.
- Drink water: Stay hydrated by drinking at least 8 glasses of water daily.
- Vitamin C: Include more Vitamin C in your diet as it helps build collagen.
- Retinol creams: Using retinol under the eyes can thicken skin over time.
- Reduce salt intake: Excess salt leads to fluid retention which can worsen under eye bags.
- Fillers: Hyaluronic acid fillers injected under the eyes can provide dramatic results by adding volume. However, they are expensive and require repeat treatments.
- Lower eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty): Plastic surgery to remove excess skin/fat from the lower eyelids can reduce a sunken appearance.
Sunken-looking eyes can make someone appear tired, aged, and unhealthy. While sunken eyes are often caused by natural aging and genetics, there are lifestyle changes and treatments that can help reverse this condition. Making sure to moisturize, apply cold compresses, get enough sleep, quit smoking, and drink adequate water can help improve sunken eyes.
In some cases, cosmetic procedures like fillers or lower blepharoplasty may be required for more permanent and dramatic results. With a multipronged approach focused on skin health and facial volume, sunken eyes can be greatly reduced for a more youthful and rested appearance.
A: Sunken eyes due to aging usually develop gradually over time. If the hollowing seems sudden or severe, it’s worth consulting a doctor to rule out other causes like vitamin deficiencies or health conditions.
A: Yes, dehydration commonly causes temporary sunken eyes as the skin and fat pads under the eyes shrink. Drinking adequate water should help reverse this.
A: Usually allergies cause temporary sunken eyes due to itching/rubbing. However chronic untreated allergies can lead to permanent thinning of the skin over time.
A: Non-surgical treatments like retinol creams, vitamin C, facial massage, and fillers can improve sunken eyes but may not permanently fix the issue like cosmetic surgery can. Lifestyle changes can also reduce sunken eyes.
A: Hyaluronic acid fillers for sunken eyes can last 6-12 months or longer before being absorbed. However, the provider who administered the fillers can inject hyaluronidase to help dissolve the filler faster.