Articles on dark circle

Are Dark Circles Making You Lose Your Sleep?

Dr. Bhavita Parikh, Dentist
Are you sick of people always telling you that you look exhausted. You get enough sleep and you drink lots of water but those dark circles still cause stares and make you look much older than you really are.Dark circles is one of the major concerns for women seeking treatment for cosmetic reasons. What are the reasons for dark circles?It’s a combination of heredity and genetics, fatigue and dehydration, but most likely the culprit causing chronic dark circles is excess skin pigmentation which happens because of ethnic variation for Indian population. Sun exposure increases the chances of dark circles.Also, dark circles are related to dilated blood vessels and aging – which causes skin to thin and can darken the area. Unfortunately, to erase them completely is not possible. However, you can minimize their effects by knowing their causes, finding good solutions and choosing the right products.How to treat them?1) Protection: Use an SPF 30 sunscreen daily. A moisturizer as a base and a concealer can also be used to cover up as a protective layer ( camouflage + protection)2) Diet changes: If you have puffy eye bags along with dark circles then reducing salt intake can help in reducing the puffiness.3) Don't rub the eyes, as rubbing makes it darker4) Use of eye brightening serums every night will help in reducing the lines around the eyes and eventually helps in fading the dark circles5) After drinking chamomile tea, don’t throw the tea bags away. Put them in the refrigerator to chill and then place them over your eyes for 10 minutes three times a week. They are a great remedy for fighting tiredness.6) A dermatologist's consultation and under eye treatments available at the dermatologist clinic should be considered if everything else fails.

How to Deal With Dark Circles?

Dr. (Lt Cdr) Siddharth Garekar, Dermatologist
Having dark circles is  a distressing experience. Medically this condition is called Periorbital hyperpigmentation and an astounding 53% of all Indian populace will suffer from the condition. Which is to say that you will find dark circles (of variable severity) on every other person that you come across. There are two ways that you can try to prevent dark circles.Lifestyle Modifications Lifestyle modifications will treat dark circles that are caused primarily by an unruly and unhealthy lifestyle. A lifestyle that involves habits, sleep deprivation and sun damage can damage the skin and are also known to cause skin damage around the eyes. Here’s what you can do,Control your sun exposureYou need to control your sun exposure, as increased exposure to the harmful rays of the sun can boost melanin pigmentation around the sensitive areas around the eyes, thus leading to dark circles. We recommend that you wear a quality sunscreen and use barriers (sunglasses) to prevent this damage.Get ample sleepNot getting enough sleep or leading a stressed out life is another major cause for dark circles. Make sure that you get at least 8 hours every day to stay away from dark circles.Control any habits that you might haveSmoking, binge drinking, and other habits have been known to be an underlying cause for the dark circles. Stop smoking and drink only in moderation and see if your problem goes away on its own.Eat rightNot eating right, or sparing your body of the nutrition that it so thoroughly deserves is another way to make sure that you make your skin quality suffer. Vitamins such as Vitamin C and Vitamin E are responsible upkeep and regulation of healthy skin.Topical therapyIf you want to try something that temporarily alleviates the problem and is soothing at the same time, you might want toTry tea bagsTea bags have been known to reduce the appearance of dark spots and dark circles, for the best results, dip tea bags in ice cold water and then put them at the site.Also, cold compressesYou can use a cotton ball dipped in cold water or the back side of a cold spoon to compress the area.Cucumber or potatoes?They both work equally well, just grind some up and freeze them, the mush that you get after should be applied to the dark circles.Get professional helpThe best way to get rid of dark circles permanently is to spot the underlying cause, and in order to do that, you need to seek professional help.

Self Care Tips for Dark Circles

Dr. Charu Tyagi, Ophthalmologist
Dark circles under the eyes are dark blemishes around the eyes.Causes of dark circles are:-1. Hereditary: It means that it runs in the family.2. Allergies, eczema, asthma: It is associated with frequent rubbing of eyes3. Medications: Vasodilator drugs can make varicose blood vessels more prominent4. Anemia: Low hemoglobin or Iron means not enough oxygen, sometimes seen with pregnancy or menstruation5. Fatigue: Excessive stress, lack of sleep or late sleep timings.6. Age: Decreasing collagen and thinning skin makes under eyes look darker7. Increased pigmentation around the eyes found in dark people and Asian .Excessive Sun exposure leading to increased Melanin pigmentation.  When to see a doctor:- If discoloration and swelling appear under just one eye and seem to get worse over time, talk to your primary care doctor. If you want a more lasting solution than concealers and over-the-counter creams can provide, see your dermatologist for advice.Depending on what's causing the circles under your eyes, your doctor may recommend prescription creams or a combination of treatments to erase or reduce discoloration. Laser therapy or chemical peels can be helpful in some cases. Hollows that cause shadows can be smoothed with injectable fillers, and surgery can eliminate puffy lids.However, dark under-eye circles usually aren't a medical problem, and home remedies for dark circles under eyes may be all you need to help manage this condition.SELF CAREMild to moderate dark circles often respond well to simple and inexpensive treatments, such as:·  Cold. Try a cold compress, two chilled teaspoons or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a soft cloth to temporarily reduce dilated and discolored under-eye blood vessels.· Extra pillows. Elevate your head with two or more pillows to prevent puffiness that develops when fluid pools in your lower eyelids.·  Extra sleep. Although short nights don't usually cause under-eye circles, a lack of sleep makes you paler and more hollow-eyed, so shadows and circles you already have become more obvious.

Batman Eyes? Here Is What You Need to Know About Dark Circles

Dr. Pradnya Shastri, Dermatologist
Know the newest villain on the block?STRESS!Stress was considered as the disease of the 'adults'... but now we see even school going children being emotionally and mentally overburdened by parents and teachers alike. We see teenagers overburdened by the 'need' of looking perfect for college. We see young professionls being 'coaxed' to look their best in front of clients... so on and so forth. I have so many people walk in to my clinic and tell me, "Doctor... Dark circles ka kya karu?"I smile at them and ask them the following questions: (Attention please: I know many of you might stop reading this article the moment you see the first question... but kindly refrain from doing so. Why? You will know by the end of the read.)1. What is your life style like?Every time I ask this question people cringe. Erratic, bad, irregular etc are all the answers that I get. Rarely I hear people say good, usually regular, I try as much as possible etc,. And when I hear  such 'positive' replies I get curious... and then I ask:2. What do you mean by regular?Oh I sleep 8 hours, I eat all home made food, I walk from my home to the local train station etc,. are the usual responses I get. I smile because these are the so called 'positive' responses  I was expecting and funnily these aren't so called 'good or healthy' habits!Did you know:Sleeping at the right time is important!1. Sleeping 8 hours doesnt mean that you are sleeping right! Your body is like a car. If a car running on the highway needs rest after certain hours of driving what do you do? You stop at a chai thela or you stop at a dhaba... you don't say 'let me just run it and I shall stop only when I reach my final destination' because the car will overheat and breakdown. Similarly your body needs rest! AT THE RIGHT TIME! Which means that you need to sleep latest by 10:30 p.m. and wake up by 6 a.m.. Sleeping from 2 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the morning gives you your 7 hours of sleep... but in the long run it doesn't do you any good.2. Eating home food doesn't necessarily mean you are on the right track. WHEN YOU EAT this food is important. Skipping breakfast has become a trend. 90% of patients that come to me tell me that they do not have breakfast! Let's take the analogy of your car again... If the car is to be run in the day when you do add petrol to it? The first thing in the morning right? Similarly when your body is all geared up for a long day of work you need to have a healthy balanced breakfast so that it gets the fuel to run through the day. Else a breakdown in inevitable in the form of illnesses. Also, having dinner at the right time is also very important. At the expense of sounding loony, I insist on having dinner latest 7 or 8 p.m. in the night. Even if you are a corporate office worker! How is the possible? Like you carry your lunch .... carry your dinner as well! I know it sounds like a hassle... but try it! You will never go back to eating a full fledged late dinner. Understand that 're-fuelling' at the right time is very important! 3. Walking from home to the local train station while going to work, walking from home to the grocery shop etc,. doesn't count as 'exercise'! For your heart to remain healthy you need to add some cardiovascular activity to you daily routine like jogging, running, zumba, dancing etc. Walking is useful when you are walking fast, at a constant speed and when your heart rate is more than a 100 beats per minute. Walking to work and walking to buy groceries doesn't raise your heart rate to more than 100! Don't believe me? Trying counting your pulse at the end of a 15 min casual walk... It will be less than 100. Less than 100 means your heart isn't getting exercised enough. For all those who go to the gym, let me clarify that just because you 'weight train' doesn't mean you are exercising your heart... it means that you are exercising your skeletal muscles. Remember that there has to be a healthy balance between a cardiovascular activity and weight training. Dark circles so far were considered as only a cosmetic problem. But today they are considered as signs of a poor health. They can be a part of a condition called Pseudoacanthosis Nigricans, which means that there is very high possibility of you developing diabetes at an early age... not to mention blood pressure too.  But of course, there is the usual 'heredity' factor that also plays a role. In that case, it is difficult to treat dark circles... but hey, have you truly tried modifying your life style? Try... even if it doesn't help you get rid of the circles it might surely help reducing it! So if you have been buying under eye creams, going to beauticians, or even going to doctors  remember that solutions needn't be expensive or time consuming... sometimes  simple steps help you go a long way! - Dr Pradnya

Chemical Free Facial With Medicinal Herbs!!!

Dr. Bharati Gidwani, Ayurveda
Get flawless, fairer, naturally glowing skin with safe,sure, secure medicinal herbs!There is an alarming increase in the number of cancer patients over a last decade.Be very careful when using cosmetics, beauty creams & chemical treatment; particularly for facial skin.The time has come to be vigilant about your delicate skin & save it from the hazardous effects of chemicals! The effects of chemicals in cosmetics, can be more than just skin deep. Research indicates these ‘Chemicals’ can damage your skin & in the long term affect your body.  For example, some of the antiperspirants are found to cause breast cancer!Number  of synthetic chemicals are used in cosmetic products like lipstick, lotion, shampoo and shaving cream. They can cause allergies, pimples, permanent blemishes & even cancer!The best way is to enhance your natural beauty.Chemical free skin treatments are based on traditional medical science of Ayurveda. These  can be for Soothing, complexion enhancing & exfoliating. Let your doctor make a correct choice to suit your skin type & problem. Chemical-free skin exfoliation is a magnificent facial; effective for permanent cure from acne (pimples), scars, pigments, dark circles & wrinkles. This is a research based therapy in which, combinations of fresh medicinal herbs are applied to the skin. Fresh herbs are chosen according to their curative effects on skin. The herbs are to be used fresh to utilize their potency  & the formula differs according to skin type & disease.Experience the soothing fresh aroma of  herbs, nourish your skin & rejuvenate!How this facial is done & for further info please refer to next article '3 steps to grab attention"!

Festive Season Skin Care Tips

Dr. Apratim Goel, Dermatologist
Introduction: The festive season is here again and Diwali (the festival of lights) is just round the corner. We cannot let it pass without lighting up our faces with a beautiful glow. Everyone wants to look their best, but unfortunately, often end up looking their worst due to consumption of unhealthy rich food, stress due to hectic shopping, the pollution in the air due to incessant firecrackers and lack of time for skincare.Yes. The most essential ingredient to get a special glow and radiance is a happy attitude to life and a stress free mind, so you need to start making an effort to achieve that before you start the beauty routine. Having taken this initial step, let us move a step further. That is the skin care which is very important keeping in mind the added pollution and the stress. This is very easy provided there is a diligent skin care regime and during this time you need to indulge in a few extra skincare procedures which will help you long way.SKIN CARE REGIME DURING FESTIVE TIMESCleansing: Toxins from the body and pollutants from the environment give the skin dull look. Instead of soap use a face wash. Gel or foam for normal to oily skin and crème cleansers for those with dry skin.Makeup remover: For those using makeup, use extra makeup remover wipes prior to cleansing the face. Available with leading cosmetic brands, cold milk as well as baby oil is a good makeup remover especially for dry skins.Moisturizing: Different skin types have different requirements. Choose from creams for dry skin, lotions for normal skin and gels for oily skin. No matter the skin type, always moisturize prior to sleeping.Scrubbing: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells; but skin cells shed every 28 days so use scrub only once a week or once a month (depending on skin type). Use bran soaked in water, moong dal scrub or ones available in the market. Do not over scrub as it removes all moisture from skin and may also harm the skin.Masks: Fruits like papaya, banana have the capacity to dissolve toxins when applied, oily skin can use multani mitti or clay packProtection: Never go out without a layer of protection at any age, which can be sunscreen (minimum SPF 25) moisturizer,  compact powder and  foundation, to prevent dust and dirt harm you. Barrier creams available can be used prior to fire crackers show.Water spray: Sprinkle water on face and neck every morning. Use a spray bottle and take care not to rub with towel but to pat dry. Whether it's a commercial product, or one you make yourself (fill a spray bottle with distilled water, add a few drops of chamomile or essential oils, shake it gently before each use, and spray it on) hydrate your face, even over makeup,frequently throughout the day. Spraying removes toxins collected at night and increases circulation of blood. Thermal water sprays are available in market.EXTRA CARE AND PRECAUTIONS DURING DIWALI TIMELimit your sweet intake: It may seem like wet blanket advice during the season, but at least keep consumption under control. If you overdose on sugary and fried goodies, in a few days it'll start showing on your face -- breakouts, dull skin, weight gain, not to mention allergies thanks to the artificial colors and flavors that go into mass-produced sweets. Make sure to include plenty of fresh fruit and raw vegetables in your dietDon’t stop working out: Some form of workout, walks, gym, meditation is required. In the hustle and bustle of shopping, socialising and pre-Diwali card parties, do not compromise on your health. Continue your exercise regime as usual and you'll be thankful at the end of the season that you didn't pile on the pounds.Hydrate yourself: Nothing saps the skin of its lustre like dryness. The sudden change of season and drop of atmospheric humidity experienced in this month can shrivel up your skin. Use a water-based moisturiser frequently and drink plenty of water to hydrate your skin. Lukewarm water to which honey and lemon can be added takes away the puffiness of face caused by fluid retention at night.Protect your skin from firecrackers: Most firecrackers have high smoke emissions due to high magnesium and cordite content. These fumes and particulate emissions can settle on your skin and harm it, causing irritant reactions, chemical burns and allergies. Stay at least six to seven feet away from lit fireworks. If you have sensitive skin, it's a good idea to tie a cotton scarf over your face while lighting or watching a fireworks. Wash your face thoroughly with a mild soap and water immediately afterwards and follow up with a moisturizer. In case of burns, wash the area immediately with cool running water for 10 minutes or longer, till the burning sensation eases. Apply an antibiotic cream on mild burns and consult a doctor immediately.Care from skin : Excessive exposure to pollution can cause premature aging and wrinkles on the skin. Excessive humidity can cause acne eruption, fungal infections and a host of other skin diseases. Skin stays excessively sticky and greasy and should be washed every few hours with a gel face washDark circles and puffiness around eyes:  This is commonly seen especially during hectic shopping and late night-outs during Diwali. For dark circles, Vitamin C serum massage for the under eye area at night for 3 – 5 minutes is a good remedy. Active ingredients like kojic acid, liquorice, hydroquinone, azelaic acid etc are good lightening agents. Cucumber or potato pulp applied for few minutes under eyes reduces puffiness as well as dark circles.And now get ready to look great during the festival of lights.

Be Beautiful for This Festive Season

Dr. Bindu Sthalekar, Dermatologist
Come October and we all start feeling the excitement coursing through our veins, reason being the various festivals and the chance to don our new clothes for Navratri, Diwali, Christmas and New Year. But with the new clothes arises the need to prep up our skin and hair to match the flattering new clothes.Here is a quick skin care guide to get that facial glow that will see you through all the days of dancing, festivities and parties. Facial skin care: I would recommend a combination of 2-3 treatments which would act towards obtaining a glowing skin. 1) HydraFacial: It uses an advanced technology that consists of 6 steps which helps to softly exfoliate the skin extracting the debris and then deliver natural nutrients to it like hyaluronic acid, copper, zinc, magnesium and peptides that protect the skin and gives it lasting glow.2) Skin lightening laser: It is one of the most effective treatment modalities to target pigmented spots and uneven skin tone. It specifically acts on skin melanin without any harm to surrounding skin thus giving it a bright and clear appearance.3) Chemical peels: They give the skin a fresher, firmer and a more youthful appearance. In this treatment a chemical is applied to the skin, which causes micro-peeling and removal of upper dead layer of skin revealing the new healthy skin beneath.Apart from these 3 treatments, unwanted facial hair can be done away with painless hair reduction laser. It avoids the risk of rashes and acne like eruption that can occur after waxing.Back care: Festivals are the time to don trendy blouses and backless dresses. The back needs to be shining and spotless to be able to carry them off with confidence. I would recommend following treatments to help achieve the same:1) Laser hair reduction: First step in getting the back ready would be to get rid of unwanted hair with the help of hair reduction laser. Using a laser does away with the risk of post wax complications of redness and rashes making it the ideal option prior to festivals.2) Back polishing: It is one of the most popular options for obtaining a clear and shining back. It gives instant results by getting rid of dead skin layer and exposing the underlying new skin making one's back worth showing off!3) Acne or pigmentation, if any, can be taken care of by combining polishing with peels or lightening laser.Eye: If face is the mirror of the body, eyes are the mirror of one’s soul. Thus the area around the eye comes under a lot of focus and needs to be taken care of. Dark circles and under eye lines giving a dull, tired look to the eyes is a common problem faced by most people these days thanks to a hectic and stressful lifestyle. Apart from following a healthy lifestyle, these issues can be taken care of with the help of treatments and medicated creams.Chemical peels: Specific peels can decrease melanin production thus reducing peri orbital darkness ensuring an even skin tone.Fillers: When injected in the under eye area, fillers help to fill up the hollow and help get rid of the lines giving a fresh youthful look.Apart from these specific target areas, laser hair reduction can be done for other body parts such as abdomen which will be exposed in the cholis, hands and feet as well. Similarly skin polishing can be done for other parts such as arms.In addition to all these measures, it is necessary to hydrate your skin by drinking plenty of water, sleep soundly for 7-8 hours, eat healthy and be stress free to be able to enjoy the festivities to the fullest! 

How to Overcome Chocolate Cravings

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Many people find it difficult to overcome their chocolate cravings. Here are some ways to control your cravings:- Drink plenty of water: One of the major issues that cause chocolate craving is dehydration. Drink plenty of water to avoid cravings for chocolate. When your body needs water, you misinterpret it as hunger and start eating. So, the next time you have a food craving, go for a glass of water.- Include magnesium in your diet: Craving for chocolate can be an indicator of magnesium deficiency in your body. Include green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fish, whole grains, dairy products, etc in your daily diet to balance magnesium levels in your body.- Don’t skip meals: Long gaps between meals or skipping meals, could lead to chocolate cravings. Going without food for a long time can disturb your body’s blood sugar level, leading to sugar cravings. So follow a healthy and balanced diet to avoid chocolate cravings.- Physical Activity: Lack of physical activity can also lead to cravings for chocolate. Include a minimum of 30 minutes of intense physical activity in your daily routine to keep sweet cravings at bay. Exercise helps in balancing the body’s hormonal level and releases endorphins, also known as the ‘happy hormone’. This in turn even helps in managing stress levels.- Replace milk chocolates with dark chocolates: Dark chocolate contains a high content of antioxidants and has many health benefits over milk chocolate. If you’d like to control your chocolate cravings, then go for at least 80% dark chocolate. However, most chocolates are packed with calories and fat, so always keep a check on amount you are consuming.The next time when you crave any chocolates, keep the above in mind.

The Food Pyramid - Explained

Ms. Swati Kapoor, Dietitian/Nutritionist
Food pyramid is the basic guide which helps us plan a healthy diet according to our body’s requirement. There are a variety of choices which are highlighted by food groups mentioned in a pyramid shape. Individuals should eat different foods from each food group to ensure they obtain all the nutrients their body needs in appropriate proportions. There are several food pyramid plans recommended by health professionals today. The most widely known food pyramid was introduced by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in the year 1992, was updated in 2005, and then replaced in 2011.In 1992, food pyramid became the most useful and influential guide in history. It  was considered as a total dietary approach for nutrient adequacy and moderation in order to bring awareness to the new food patterns. This was widely adopted as an icon and used by various nutritionists, Dietitians and many other medical professionals related to this field. The Food pyramid includes all the major food groups with the correct frequency and amounts that one should have for a healthy and fit body.It was updated in 2005 with colorful vertical wedges replacing the horizontal sections and renamed My Pyramid. My Pyramid was often displayed with the food images absent, creating a more abstract design. In an effort to restructure food nutrition guidelines, the USDA rolled out its new My Plate program in June 2011.Apart from USDA there are over 25 other countries and organizations who have also published food pyramids. Out of this one is Asian food pyramid. This Pyramid is based on a generalized summary of the traditional healthy diets of Asian populations, in the light of current nutrition research. The basic premises of the Asian Diet Pyramid, have received strong international support from leading nutrition scientists and medical specialists as useful alternatives to the 1992 U.S. Food Guide Pyramid. For example, the Food Guide Pyramid lumps some animal and plant foods together in a single group, while the Asian Food Pyramid carefully distinguish between plant and animal foods. The main constitution of the Asian Food Pyramid is of Plant based food, with moderate amounts of animal products. It has a wide variety of healthy foods listed in 8 mini pyramids or levels [as illustrated in the picture].The Asian Diet Pyramid emphasizes -On daily servings of whole grain and minimally processed foods, topped by another large band of fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds.Optional daily servings of dairy products (low fat), Sea-foodWeekly Servings of Sweets, eggs and poultry are recommendedMonthly Servings of red meat or PorkDaily physical exercise, a small amount of vegetable oil and a moderate consumption of plant-based beverages are also recommended according to the pyramid6 glasses of water to ensure good healthModerate intake of gin/beer/wineAccording to Campbell, Cornell professor of nutritional biochemistry, co-chairperson of the conference and director of the Cornell-China-Oxford Project-“The Asian diet, which is significantly lower in total fat, may prove to be an even more healthful diet.”Every day, we all need to make good choices regarding the foods we eat and the amount of activity we do.  If you are willful to make changes in your lifestyle to achieve better health of body & mind, then the food Pyramid is the right scientific approach to begin with. As this model is based on years of research, it is certainly promising for every individual.