The main reasons for facial consults are typically aesthetic, and amongst the pigmentary conditions, dark eye circles are one of the most common concerns.

What are Dark Eye Circles actually? They are homogeneous pigment macules on the infraorbital regions that present as darkening of the skin under or around the eye. As we would notice the skin around the eyes is a thin and sensitive area, multiple etiologic factors contribute to the formation of this particular hyper-pigmentation, such as melanin deposition, sun exposure, periorbital edema, superficial vasculature, and shadowing due to skin laxity. These are pathological pathways that point to a certain irregularity in the body, whether systemic or localised.


According to TCM theories, an eye-mapping technique, coupled with diagnostic checks and questions is used to identify and rectify the problem based on the underlying imbalance. While there is a myriad of ways that can help with the lightening of the skin, TCM believes in the natural enhancement of the skin condition, regaining balance from within.

Some reasons dark eye circles form:

  1. Long hours of eye strain
  2. Stress
  3. Insufficient rest
  4. Oily and acidic diet

Why do some people get it and some don’t?

The gut and its system is a predisposing factor as to how much the body is affected by our daily habits. The blood, fluid and oxygen flow in the body is further slowed down should we expose our body to an unbalanced lifestyle. Other organ systems are then subsequently affected and lead to more discerning symptoms such as fatigue, head grogginess, Dry Eye Syndrome, flatulence, cold extremities etc.

The treatment typically comprises of:

    1. Eye and body acupuncture
    2. Facial Gua Sha
    3. Acupressure

What you can do for yourself:

    1. Sufficient sleep
    2. Hydration
    3. Hydrotherapy for the eyes by placing a warm cloth over the eyes (while not pressurising the eye) at night for 2-3 minutes
    4. Stress management
    5. A balanced diet, including more fruits and vegetables
    6. Avoid acidic foods
    7. Eye massage on the temple and under the eyes


Article by Physician Victoria Tan

Note: Information provided is not a substitute for a physician or any form of medical care. Individual symptoms differ due to different body constitutions and diagnosis. One should consult a licensed TCM practitioner for accurate diagnosis and treatment.


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