What are Sunken Eyes? – Causes and Treatments

Under Eye Contour Depression Blog Coco Ruby Skin Melbourne Australia

Sunken Eyes of Under-eye contour depression is one of the most common aesthetic concerns amongst people of all ages. The skin underneath your eyes is delicate and can sometimes appear either hollow, dark, or sunken, it can even be a combination of the three.

This is often a result of ageing but is common in young individuals too. It is mainly a result of dehydration, and lack of sleep, however, it can sometimes be attributed to an underlying medical condition. In this article, we are going to discuss the causes, prevention measures and treatment options available to refresh your eyes and make them look more youthful.

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Symptoms of Under Eye Contour Depression

It is very easy and obvious to spot sunken eyes as soon as you look in the mirror. While the exact appearance of sunken eyes varies from person to person, it can be described in the following ways:

  • Hollowing under your eyes
  • A dark shadow over your eyes
  • Darkness underneath your eyes
  • Thin-looking skin underneath your eyes
  • Tired and fatigued appearance on your face

Sunken eyes are also known by other names such as tear-through hollows, and under-eye hollows. Most people will start to notice sunken eyes in their late 30s and 40s.

Possible Causes of Sunken Eyes – Under Eye Contour Depression

There are many causes behind sunken eyes. Below are some of the main ones;


  • With age, we are bound to lose both fat and bone density all around our bodies including our face. As a result, the supporting structure of the face declines.
  • Your skin also produces less collagen and becomes thinner and more translucent. This results in the hollowing of the eyes part of the process.

Dramatic Weight Loss

  • When you lose weight, the weight comes off from all areas of the body including the face.
  • Some people tend to lose a lot of fat off their face which can make the areas surrounding your blood vessels around the eyes more prominent which can further extenuate the look of your sunken eyes.


  • Our genetics can play a huge part.
  • The natural positioning of your eyes in the socket will also determine how your eyes look.
  • If your parents or other members of the family have sunken eyes, chances are you will have them too.

Lack of Sleep

  • Lack of sleep is very common in the modern world.
  • Frequently getting less than 8 hours of sleep a day can take a toll on your health and overall appearance. In fact, it is one of the major reasons behind eye contour depression.


  • If your body isn’t properly hydrated, it will show on your skin.
  • Dehydration is one of the major causes of sunken eyes.
  • You should aim to drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water a day.
  • Incorporating lots of fruits and vegetables into your diet as well as, limiting the intake of caffeinated beverages and energy drinks can also help.

Sun Exposure

  • Unprotected sun exposure will encourage your body to produce melanin which darkens our skin.
  • If you have sunken eyes as a result of genetics, unprotected sun exposure can darken the area and make the problem much more obvious and prominent.
  • Make sure to wear sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat when stepping out in the sun.


  • Allergic rhinitis can lead to dark circle formation around the eyes which can make your eyes appear tired and sunken.
  • It is often referred to as allergic shiners.
  • Individuals dealing with allergies are more inclined to rub or scratch the skin which leads to irritation.

Sinus Infections

  • Inflammation of the sinuses can also lead to dark and sunken eyes.
  • Pain, pressure, and nasal congestion worsen the problem and can leave you looking sick, tired, and lethargic.
  • Once the sinus infection is over, you will automatically see an improvement in the look of your eyes.


  • We all know smoking is bad for our health as well as our skin.
  • It degrades the production of collagen, leading to skin sagging and a sunken look of the eyes.


Do I Need to Go to the Doctor?

If the appearance of your sunken eyes is worsening over time despite taking better care of yourself, eating well, drinking enough water, and experiencing other symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue, you might want to see your doctor asap.

Your doctor will have a look at your medical history, might perform certain tests, and have a look at the current medications you might be taking. While you are with the doctor, make sure to let him/her know about any other symptoms you are having. Your doctor may suggest certain tests to rule out illnesses.

If your sunken eyes aren’t a result of an underlying illness, then it is simply a cosmetic concern. If the appearance bothers you, you can book a consultation with a plastic surgeon to discuss your options. There are plenty of surgical and non-surgical options available to treat eye contour depression.

Sunken eyes that are the result of genetics or poor lifestyle choices shouldn’t lead to any other problems. However, it can trigger emotional reactions if the appearance bothers you.

Lifestyle Changes and Home Remedies for Sunken Eyes

To help ease sunken eyes, you can try the following:

  • Make sure to sleep adequately.
    • Try to fix your routine and aim at getting 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every single day.
  • Use a high-quality moisturizer and an eye cream along with sunscreen every single day.
  • Use moist caffeinated tea bags on your eyes.
    • The antioxidants and flavonoids help promote blood circulation.
  • Take two slices of chilled potato or cucumber and place them on your eyes daily for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • Use cold compresses.
  • Protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses and hats.
  • Drink adequate water to keep yourself hydrated from within.
  • Incorporate plenty of leafy green vegetables into your diet.
  • If you smoke – Quit. It speeds up the breakdown of collagen.
  • Hydrate your skin before applying makeup and remove it thoroughly before sleeping.
    • Using vitamin C and hyaluronic acid-based products will make the area appear brighter and hydrated.

Treatment for Sunken Eyes

The treatment of sunken eyes is heavily dependent on the underlying cause.

Treatment for sunken eyes that are a result of allergies or sinus infections is simply medication for the underlying issue. OTC drugs and antihistamines lessen the allergy symptoms and eventually eliminate the look of sunken eyes. Sometimes, prescription-based antibiotics are also needed to cure an infection. However, if sunken eyes are not related to an underlying cause and are simply a cosmetic concern, there are a variety of surgical and non-surgical options to choose from.

Cosmetic Procedures for Sunken Eyes

There are both surgical and non-surgical treatment options available to treat sunken eyes contour depression. The best way to select a suitable treatment is to visit a dermal clinician / plastic surgeon. They will assess the intensity of your sunken eyes, take your medical history into account and present you with a couple of options. From dermal filler to cosmetic eyelid surgery, there are various ways to achieve a healthy, hydrated, and refreshed look.

Dermal Fillers

Dermal fillers are usually the first choice for treating eye contour depression. It involves injecting hyaluronic acid underneath the skin. The procedure is very simple, almost pain-free, and you will be done in a matter of 20 minutes or less. It is important to note that the results of dermal fillers will not last forever. However, the results are almost instantly visible. You can expect them to last approximately 6 to 12 months. At this point you will have to undergo treatment again if you wish to maintain the look.

The procedure of dermal fillers typically involves the following steps:

  • Prior to the procedure, your skin will be thoroughly cleansed to ensure there is no dirt and makeup on your face.
  • Then, a numbing agent will be applied to your face to make the process feel more comfortable.
  • The aesthetician will mark your undereye area for the administration of dermal fillers.
  • Then, they will inject the dermal fillers into the treatment site. The injector will inject, massage, and evaluate the result as they proceed with the treatment.
  • Once the treatment is done, your face will be cleaned to remove any markings.

Blepharoplasty – Eyelid Surgery

Blepharoplasty is a surgical procedure that can help eliminate under-eye contour depressions permanently while imparting a youthful look to your face. The procedure involves lifting the lower eyelid area to minimize the look of under-eye depressions. A surgeon uses a combination of different techniques to make your eyes look fresh and youthful. Here is a general idea of how the surgery will look for you.


If under-eye contour depression isn’t the only thing that bothers you and you have other signs of aging on your face, you might want to consider a facelift. The best part about getting a facelift is that it can take 10 to 15 years off your face. However, this procedure isn’t recommended if the only concern you have is under-eye contour depression. There are better, less invasive options available.


For a lot of people, sunken eyes are a very normal part of the ageing process. However, they can take a toll on your physical appearance and self-esteem. You can find multiple treatments available in the market; from moisturizers to dermal fillers, to more invasive options. All of them are designed to minimize the look of sunken eyes and give you a refreshed and rejuvenated appearance.

We hope you found this post informative and helpful. If you have any questions regarding the subject, feel free to reach out to us. If you wish to book a consultation with an expert plastic surgeon, fill out the consultation form or get in touch with our team.


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