Dark Eye Circles

What are Dark Eye Circles and How to Tackle Them

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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Physician Victoria Tan

TCM Physician,

Lead (Product Innovation and Development)

-Masters Of Science In Pharmaceutical Sciences And Technology, NUS
-Double Degree Valedictorian (1st Class): Bachelor Of Science In Biomedical Sciences & Bachelor Of Medicine (Chinese Medicine), NTU And Beijing University Of Chinese Medicine

Physician Victoria Tan is a scholarship recipient of Ngee Ann Kongsi Tertiary Scholarship, Beijing University of Chinese Medicine Foreign Students Scholarship in her undergraduate days, and the Valedictorian of her batch in NTU.

She went on to receive a graduate scholarship by the Academy of Chinese Medicine, Singapore and completed her Masters with NUS.

Physician Victoria co-authored with A*STAR and is involved in clinical research, working alongside western medical counterparts to further the integration of TCM in public hospitals.

The youngest clinical mentor incorporated by the Singapore TCM Academy and a TCM trainer, Victoria can be seen sharing TCM knowledge and professional advice through various media.

Her amiable personality and professionalism have won her patients’ trust in her craft.

Physician Tan’s expertise: Internal Disorders, Pain & Injury Management, Fertility Planning, Facial, Skin and Eye Disorders, Weight Management, Endocrine Conditions


View more posts by Physician Victoria Tan

2 thoughts on “What are Dark Eye Circles and How to Tackle Them”

  1. Hi,

    I am 60 years old and have puffy eye bags which is my key concern. Is your facial/eye acupuncture treatment suitable for my age to remove my eye bag permanently?

    1. Hi Carol,

      It will not be gone totally and permanently. However, the firming effects from the acupuncture and gua sha will be able to help reduce eye bags in the long run.

      Hope this helps!

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