This Singaporean Aesthetic Doctor Shares His Insights On Removing Undereye Circles

Portrait of Dr Terence Tan
Dr Terence Tan

December 14th, 2018· 5 min read

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I just want to be prepared...

We've probably all been there: waking up and stumbling about like an extra on ‘The Walking Dead’.

Whether you partied hard over the weekend or spent your whole night studying, those deep, dark circles under your eyes are proof that you've led an exciting life. And now, you can't seem to get rid of them!

Dr Terence Tan, an experienced aesthetic doctor, has had many patients coming to him for help. He learnt that both men and women are extremely bothered by dark undereye circles. Read to find out what he recommends to those who are suffering from dark eye circles!

PSA: Dark eye circles & eye bags are different

dark eye circle treatments singapore VS eye bag treatment singapore 2

While eyebags refer to the puffy or swollen look that can sometimes be found under our eyes, dark eye circles are best described as the 'darkening' of the skin just below the eyes.

We mostly hear that a lack of sleep can cause dark eye circles. However, that's not true. In fact, there many factors that can result in dark eye circles.

Dark eye circles can worsen with age

For one, dark eye circles could be a sign of ageing. The skin around the eyes tend to be very thin, and as you age, the elasticity of your skin tends to decline.

Due to this, dark blood vessels under your skin become more visible.

Sun exposure can also cause dark eye circles

Sun Exposure

You'd think that a lack of sun exposure might cause vampire-like, sunken looking eye sockets, right? According to Dr Terence, it's the other way around.

Sun exposure causes the body to produce more melanin (which gives skin its colour). The skin around our eyes produces more melanin than other parts of the body, resulting in dark eye circles.

Allergies and smoking are also culprits

allergy singapore

If you're prone to allergies, your body would often release histamines to help fight the triggers. However, the same histamines can cause fluid build-up that leads to the swelling of tissues and circulation changes. This results in dark vessels under the eyes.

smoking and dark eye circles singapore

Smoking doesn't do your dark eye circles any good because it accelerates ageing. Delicate tissue around the eyes of smokers breaks down faster! If you’re a smoker, remember this point the next time you light up.

Genetics play a big part in your dark eye circles


If your parents have dark eye circles, you probably got it from them. Darker or more olive-toned complexions often come with higher concentrations of pigment (melanin) under the eyes.

This results in discolouration and shadows. If you inherit fair or thin skin under the eyes, it is more obvious when the blood pools in that area.

Ultherapy is an effective, non-invasive solution

Dr Terence believes that non-surgical treatments are effective enough to correct dark eye circles. Ultherapy is one of the treatment he performs on his patients to help get rid of their dark eye circles.

This method uses focused ultrasound energy to stimulate your body into producing collagen and reduce the loosening of skin around the undereye.

With Ultherapy, Dr Terence is able to help patients with tightening the skin under their eyes and tightening the cheeks to lift up cheek fat and reduce hollows below the eyes. This treatment usually costs around $420 per session.

Dermal fillers can help restore facial contours

dermal filler for dark eye circles singapore

Dermal fillers are usually associated with facial sculpting (that may aim to achieving a higher nose bridge or a sharper chin). In this case, they can also be used to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by adding volume to certain sunken areas on the face.

Dr Terence says he sometimes combines Ultherapy and dermal fillers to achieve what he calls the Sandwich Effect”, where his patients achieve youthful-looking undereye skin.

Dermal fillers range from $700 to $900 per syringe.

Laser treatments are possible alternatives

Laser treatment

Usually used in treating various skin conditions, such as acne, scar removal, tattoo removal, or skin lump reduction, laser treatments involve powerful beams of light that are tuned to different wavelengths and address different skin problems.

Not all lasers can be used for treating dark eye circles though. Pigment lasers like PicoSure can be used to target the source of dark circles by fragmenting the pigmentation that darkens the skin. Laser treatments like PicoSure and Fraxel Dual range from $250 - $340 per session.

A threadlift may also help to alleviate those dark eye circles

thread lift singapore

In this instance, threads are inserted under the eye for support and stimulate the production of collagen. This will help reduce the wrinkles, loose skin, and the bulginess of the eye bags.

These threads are made from Polydioxanone (PDO), which are inserted under sterile conditions with a blunt cannula (a type of needle) for safety. Under-eye threadlift with PDO threads can start from $950.

But which treatment is the best?

That depends largely on what the patient wants and the condition of the dark eye circles. If you have an important event coming up and want quick results, dermal fillers or threadlift might be best.

If you want to erase fine lines and wrinkles for the overall improvement of skin texture, Dr Terence would usually recommend Ultherapy and laser treatments.

Non-invasive dark eye circle treatments are safe

The treatments that Dr Terence suggests do not involve any surgical incisions, which means that there is very little to no recovery time needed.

In addition, it greatly minimises any potential risks and complications. Treatments like Ultherapy, PicoSure, and Fraxel Dual are all approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).

In any case, it is good to do some research beforehand and find a doctor with enough experience with regards to these treatments.

This article is medically reviewed by Dr Terence Tan.

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I hope that you've found this guide useful, and perhaps gained more insight into the application process. Most of the admissions-related information (admin and logistics wise) can be found on the official NUS Faculty of Dentistry website.

To help yourself out, you should take note of what people look for when they look for a dentist.

This article was written by Dr Terence Tan and published on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. Human medically reviewed the article on Wednesday, 25 January 2017. The last update was made on Friday, 18 September 2020.

Disclaimer: Opinions belong to the author and not to the platform.

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