The appearance of spots under the eyes is every woman’s nightmare. These spots may be an indication of various factors. They could be due to an allergic reaction, aging, acne scars, or other preexisting skin conditions. The good news is that you can cover these spots using make up, for instance, the use of concealer. However, if you are looking for more long-term solutions, there are treatments and remedies that you can try out.
White spots under eyes and treatment
The appearance of white spots has nothing to do with aging. This issue is common in infants and it has more to do with other causal factors. For instance, the malfunctioning of the skin’s natural exfoliation process. Also, the tiny white spots or “white bumps” under the eyes can be due to the skin’s sweat glands not functioning properly, or due to sun damage, blistering, or a reaction to the use of steroid creams.
Milia appears on infants when tiny flakes of skin are trapped on the skin’s surface. Also, the cysts can be triggered by the mother’s hormones. These tiny white bumps are known as congenital milia. They cannot be treated and usually disappear with time. However, in adults, milia is stubborn and can take a long time to get rid of.
The occurrence of white spots or “milk spots” is commonly associated with a condition known as Milia (Milium cyst). They occur due to keratin buildup in the skin. Keratin is a major protein found in the epithelial cells. What triggers this build up varies from one person to another. For instance, oily make-up removal products and make-up removal wipes for oily skin can trigger milia. This skin condition is also common in men and can be due to improper skin care routine. For example, skipping exfoliation or cleansing.
The good news is that there are treatment options for getting rid of the white spots under eyes. They include:
- Advanced Electrolysis: This technique involves the use of micro-needles to heat the oil trapped beneath the bumps. Once the oil is heated it will ooze out leaving your skin cyst free. It is advisable to seek a professional for this treatment and do not try it at home as you may damage the skin leading to scarring.
- Cryosurgery: This involves the use of a cold substance such as liquid nitrogen to destroy the bumps. It is the most common technique used to treat the skin lesion.
- Diathermy: This is an alternative to cryosurgery. Here, extreme heat is used to destroy the spots.
- Chemical peels/dermabrasion: This is another effective way of dealing with milia. Once you get this procedure, stick to a regular skin care routine that involves cleansing and exfoliating. This will keep milia from recurring.
- Lancing: Here, a dermatologist or aesthetician uses a sterile needle to pick the tiny bumps thereby draining the fluid inside. This technique does not lead to scarring if done by a professional.
- Retinoids: You can apply a topical cream containing retinoid (vitamin A compound). Apply a small amount of retinoid cream to the affected area. The cream will speed up the healing process.
Since Milia are tiny and barely noticeable (hence the name “white spots”), most people opt to leave them alone. Sometimes, these spots fade in time. However, if you want to get rid of them fast, you can try any of these treatments. There are also some great home remedies that you can try at home.
Dark & brown spots under eyes
The appearance of brown spots under eyes is mostly associated with age spots, and sun exposure. Hyperpigmentation of the skin leading to the brown spots is often attributed to sun damage. Here, the frequent exposure to the sun triggers melanin production as the skin tries to shield that area of the face from the harsh effects of the sun.
There are other factors that could trigger the development of dark or brown spots under the eyes. They include:
It is relatively common to develop brown spots under the eyes once you cross the 30 mark. This is because of the decline in estrogen levels that starts in your late twenties. As the estrogen levels decline, there is a hormone imbalance between the level of estrogen and testosterone in the bloodstream. As a consequence, the hormone changes disrupt the skin functioning and can lead to hyperpigmentation. Also, the decline in estrogen triggers a decline in the production of important proteins on the skin such as collagen and elastin.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy can also lead to the appearance of brown spots under eyes. One causal factor is the hormonal changes. The skin gets strained due to the changes in the body along with the high volume of waste in the body. As a result, some wastes end up in the skin due to the disruption of oxygen and circulation and normal blood flow. Furthermore, the loss of nutrients to the fetus could increase the likelihood of developing spots under eyes.
- Genetics: Some people may develop brown spots under eyes due to their family background.
- Drugs: Brown spots could appear due to the use of certain medications. For instance, medications for epilepsy, and medications for diabetes such as hypoglycemic drugs.
There are certain seasonal allergies that could trigger the development of brown spots under eyes. For instance, hay fever, food allergies, and cosmetic allergies. Allergies trigger the inflammation of tiny blood vessels/capillaries under the eyes. As the blood vessels expand and move closer to the skin, there is friction between the blood vessels and the skin leading to the appearance of brown spots under the eyes. Similarly, certain foods and exposure to certain allergens can trigger the appearance of brown spots under eyes.
People react differently when having an allergic reaction. There are cases where your body lacks enzyme lactase for the digestion of lactose. As a consequence, the protein build-up in the body from the digestion of milk, cheese, or yoghurt could trigger the appearance of brown spots under eyes.
Amino rich foods, for example, avocado, shellfish, and chocolate can trigger a reaction of the skin to the point of developing brown spots. Similarly, certain food additives and preservatives can lead to hyperpigmentation around eyes, and nose.
Brown spots under eyes are often tricky and difficult to determine the causal factor, especially if you are in your early twenties. Therefore it is advisable to go for a physical examination to determine what the root cause of the hyperpigmentation is. Other factors that can trigger the condition include the use of birth control pills, high cholesterol levels, and hormone replacement therapy.
There are various ways to deal with the spots under eyes. First, you can try topical creams with lightening agents such as kojic acid and hydroquinone. You can also try out retinoic acid creams (my favourite is the Lancome Genifique Eye-Light Pearl). Retinoic acid creams boost the health of the skin under the eyes thereby minimizing the effects of hyperpigmentation. Other treatment options include:
- Q-Switched Laser Therapy
- Chemical Peels
If you are a bit reluctant on trying out any creams or cosmetic options, then click here for some cool home remedies that you can try out.
It is important to stay hydrated and maintain a vitamin-rich diet. This will help the skin in dealing with the hyperpigmentation. Lastly, remember that a proper diagnosis is the best starting point to determine which treatment will best work for you.
- Bryan E. Anderson. The Netter Collection of Medical Illustrations – Integumentary System: Volume 4, Elsevier Health Sciences, 2011
- Brownskin.net Skin: Drug-Induced Pigmentation
- Mayo Clinic.com Milia
- Destination Skin. How To Get Rid Of Milia (Milk Spots)
- Marmur Ellen. Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman’s Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin, Simon and Schuster, 2009
- Consumerhealthdigest.com Get Rid Of Those Dark Spots Under Eye