Treatments of Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Systematic Review

Dermatol Surg. 2021 Jan 1;47(1):70-74. doi: 10.1097/DSS.0000000000002484.


Background: Periorbital hyperpigmentation (POH) is an aesthetic concern for patients. Etiologies of the condition include pigmentary, structural, vascular, and mixed causes.

Objective: To systematically review the current literature for treatment of POH.

Methods: A systematic literature review was performed on PubMed. Search terms included "infraorbital dark circles," "dark circles," "periorbital hyperpigmentation," "idiopathic hyperchromia AND orbital," "under-eye circles," "ICHOR (idiopathic cutaneous hyperchromia of the orbital region)," "dark circles" AND "treatment," and "filler" AND "dark circles."

Results: A total of 39 studies were included. Effective treatments for POH include lasers, topical creams and serums, fillers, chemical peels, carboxytherapy, plasma-rich platelet injections, blepharoplasty, and normobaric oxygen.

Conclusion: Soft tissue fillers and autologous fat grafting are most effective in treating dark circles due to volume loss. Blepharoplasty surgery is best when excessive skin laxity is the underlying cause. Various topical creams and chemical peels are useful in treating pigment-based POH, whereas lasers are mildly to moderately beneficial for both vascular and pigment types. Given the scarcity of high-quality evidence supporting these results, recommendations should be interpreted selectively. Additional randomized clinical trials studying POH will be helpful.

Publication types

  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Cosmetic Techniques*
  • Esthetics*
  • Eyelids*
  • Humans
  • Hyperpigmentation / prevention & control*