Thin skin under the eyes: causes, symptoms and treatment
There is an old saying about having “thick skin” which basically means you can let the criticism easily fall on your back without being offended or upset. And if you have “thin skin” you are much more sensitive, maybe even easily insulted.
But just about everyone literally has thin skin under their eyes. That is, the skin in this area tends to be sensitive and thinner with less fat underneath.
This skin tends to be more delicate than the skin on other parts of your face. Aging, fatigue and other effects tend to appear first. The effects may be greater in some people. For example, in people with lighter skin, the tiny capillaries and veins under the skin may be even more noticeable.
If the skin under your eyes appears to be thinner than usual, you might want to ask yourself why. It is possible that you are unintentionally doing something that makes the skin thinner.
Typically, the skin around your eyes, including the skin under your eyes, is thinner than the skin on the rest of your face. It doesn’t have as much subcutaneous fat, and it doesn’t have as many sebaceous glands and collagen either,
But there are other reasons why your skin may look thinner under your eyes – or why changes in the skin under your eyes are so easily noticeable.
Genetics, aging and complexion
As you age, your skin ages too, becoming thinner and drier. Your body produces less collagen as you age, and collagen is the substance of the dermis, which is the middle layer of your skin, comprising most of the thickness of your skin.
Some people are born with naturally a little thicker skin than others, and
Not getting enough sleep can affect the appearance of your skin. That already fragile skin under your eyes may look worse when sleep deprivation is a factor, as you may notice more fine lines and signs of fatigue like dark circles under your eyes.
Exposure to the sun can cause your skin to age prematurely. Since the skin is already thinner under your eyes, UV exposure can speed up the appearance of these fine lines and wrinkles.
Just as UV rays from the sun can damage your skin, so can UV rays from a tanning bed. They can damage your collagen and make your skin thinner, depending on the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology.
Inflammation of the skin
Inflammation from a number of different causes, such as infections and allergic reactions, can cause fluid to build up around the eye, called periorbital edema. Because the skin is thin, the swelling can be quite noticeable.
Corticosteroids are often used to treat skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis. But topical steroids are known to thin the skin, among other side effects, which is why they are usually only
Smoking is known to contribute to premature aging of the skin.
Tinea versicolor is a fungal infection caused by a type of yeast called Malassezia that can cause lighter or darker spots to appear on your skin. An atypical version of it, called atrophic tinea versicolor, has been shown to cause thinning of the skin in some people,
How do you know the skin under your eyes is thin? There’s not a lot of fat there, so this already delicate area may feel less elastic than usual. Other symptoms to watch out for:
- drier skin than usual
- loose frizzy skin
- the eyes appear more sunken
- dark circles (or dark circles that appear darker than usual)
If you are concerned about the appearance of the skin under your eyes, you have a number of treatment options. However, some may produce more satisfactory results for you than others. Some may be less likely to cause side effects like discoloration. Talk to a dermatologist about the best options for you.
For temporary results, try applying a cold compress. It will not make your skin thicker, but it can improve the appearance of the skin.
You can try putting chilled wet tea bags on your closed eyes, because
Or try a few slices of cucumber to help reduce the swelling and puffiness around your eyes and possibly even help hydrate your skin.
Using a skin care product that contains a retinoid, which is derived from vitamin A, can help smooth and firm your skin and may even help with some pigmentary disorders. But you need to be judicious when using a retinoid, as prolonged use of a higher dose can lead to:
Diet and food supplements
Perhaps taking certain types of dietary supplements could help as well. A Randomized, double-blind study from 2014 showed that ingesting a hyaluronan supplement (containing hyaluronic acid) appeared to help increase skin hydration in participants with dry skin.
In microneedling, tiny, fine needles are rolled over the skin and can help stimulate the growth of elastin and collagen, which helps skin cells repair themselves and improves the appearance of the skin.
Also of note: it appears to be less risky for people with darker skin tone, as it appears to carry a lower risk of post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation than some other procedures involving the epidermis, according to one. journal article 2014.
Fillers under the eyes
Dermal fillers, also known as soft tissue fillers or tear fillers, are designed to add volume to that skin under your lower eyelids. A commonly used filler is hyaluronic acid. These are generally considered safe and last for about a year. But if your skin is very thin, this might not be a good option for you.
There is a range of under-eye concealers that promise to hydrate and plump the skin under your eyes. You can definitely use a concealer to hide dark circles or to provide a moisturizing boost that can temporarily help hydrate the area and improve your appearance.
Other cosmetic products
contain a variety of ingredients believed to help improve the appearance of the skin under the eyes, including caffeine, which can reduce puffiness, and vitamin K, which can reduce the appearance of superficial blood vessels.
Laser resurfacing treatment
Laser skin resurfacing is an in-office procedure that involves the use of lasers to help improve the texture and appearance of the skin.
Intense pulsed light therapy
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL) therapy is sometimes used to treat signs of aging such as:
- age spots
- remove unwanted hair
- reduce the visibility of blood vessels
It is unlikely to damage the top layer of your skin and is less intense than laser resurfacing. But experts warn it’s also less effective on darker skin tones or can cause skin discoloration.
You might worry that a chemical peel will make your already thin skin even thinner. The procedure exfoliates the surface of your skin, making it appear smoother and less wrinkled.
If you have darker skin tone, you should consult a doctor before choosing this option, as you may experience irregular pigmentation afterwards.
If you have visible veins under your eyes, possibly due to the relatively light color of your skin or the thinness of your skin in that area, sclerotherapy may be an option for you.
Sclerotherapy is a minimally invasive procedure in which your doctor will inject a chemical agent into a vein with a fine needle, effectively closing the vein. Blood flow is redirected to other veins, and your body eventually reabsorbs the non-functioning vein, making it less visible. Talk to a doctor to determine if this is right for you.
Lifting under the eyes
Blepharoplasty is the name of the procedure to tighten sagging eyelids, as well as remove fatty deposits in the eyelids and bags under the eyes. It smooths and firms the area. It may not thicken the skin under your eyes, it may reduce some of the signs of aging that have appeared around your eyes.
Having skin under your eyes poses no risk to your health. But if you have tried various remedies and are not satisfied with the appearance of the skin under your eyes, consult a dermatologist. You may not have tried the one that is right for you yet.
If you notice any potential signs of infection or injury on your skin, be sure to tell your doctor immediately.