How to hide those dark circles under the eyes
- Rissa M. Samson () - November 23, 2002 - 12:00am
Hi Rissa,

In your Oct. 18 column, you gave tips on how to hide dark circles under the eyes.

Unfortunately, I am one of those who have dark circles under the eyes and these make me look like a zombie or a drug addict. I am currently the general affairs officer of a company, so I deal with different kinds of people, and having this kind of imperfection is really embarrassing.

Now that you have taught us how to hide them, can you advise us how to get rid of them? I have tried so many kinds of eye creams but with little effect. In the Lifestyle channel, they mentioned using an eye cream with vitamin K. Any suggested solution?

I know a lot of women out there with the same problem. We will be delighted if you could help us. — Pisces63

Dear Pisces63,

You’re right, a lot of women — and men  — have to deal with dark circles under the eyes. I sometimes get them too whenever I don’t get enough sleep.

According to Dr. Clare Palabyab, top dermatologist at the Medical City, sleeping late isn’t the only cause of dark under-eye circles. If these persist for a long time, those dark circles can also be due to an allergy. These may also be familial, meaning these are hereditary and you were born with them.

Dr. Palabyab says you can actually lighten those dark circles by using a facial bleach. But she cautions that because the area under the eyes is more sensitive, you should apply the facial bleach less often.

She also recommends applying a moisturizer in that area to prevent it from getting dry. This especially helps those people who have atopic dermatitis (commonly known as skin asthmas). Their skin has a tendency to be dry and scaly even in the area underneath the eyes.

But what can an eye cream with vitamin K do? Dr. Palabyab says vitamin K aids blood clotting and would help if maybe there was swelling. Well, the area under the eyes is most often swollen when we have eyebags — and that’s another problem most people deal with. "If vitamin K has a favorable effect, it would be very indirect and temporary," says Dr. Palabyab. "The only real way to get rid of eyebags is surgery."

Like dark under-eye circles, eyebags can also be caused by sleeping late, chronic allergies (making the area swell), atopic dermatitis, and these can also be hereditary.

But Dr. Palabyab explains that eyebags also exist when there is a development of fat around the area or when the skin under the eyes loses elasticity. Of course, gravity can play a role too.

To get rid of those bags, blepheroplasty is the answer. Dr. Palabyab explains there are two kinds: upper and lower. The most common is blepheroplasty on the upper lid where a slit is created for those who want an eyelid. Lower blepheroplasty removes eyebags and sagging skin.

Question is, can those dreaded eyebags return after they’ve been removed? "If you gain weight," answers Dr. Palabyab. "It can also be aggravated by allergies or sleeping late but can be relieved."

For those who are still saving up for surgery, are there any affordable alternatives? Hirudoid. Yup, the same product used to treat varicose veins. It was originally manufactured for hemorrhoids because it can constrict and shrink blood vessels. Then later, it was marketed for varicose veins, narrates Dr. Palabyab.

Her main concern is the absorption on the skin under the eyes. The thin epidermal lining on the genital, anal and lip area (called mucosa) better absorbs a product like Hirudoid. But then the skin around the eye is thin as well and might possibly absorb the product and relieve swelling.

So does it work? "It’s worth a try," says Dr. Palabyab.

You can contact Dr. Clare Palabyab at 631-6961, Room 414 of the Medico Building at Medical City. Her clinic hours are 10 a.m. to 12 noon and 3 to 6 p.m. every day except Sunday and Wednesday afternoon.
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The Aches Of Being Flat-Footed
Dear Rissa,

Hi! I’ve read in one of your articles that you super love shoes! So, I figured you might help me solve my long-time problem. I’ve always wanted to collect shoes but the problem is I have flat feet and those sexy shoes look horrible on me so I wear boots and sneakers all the time, sometimes I wear wide slip-ons. People say I have nice legs and I love wearing skirts but I just can’t find the right shoes. Are there trendy shoes on the market specially made for flat-footed women? Or better yet, is there anything I can use to correct my feet? Thank you so much! — Ms. Deprived

Dear Ms. Deprived,

You don’t necessarily need sexy shoes to show off those nice legs. But since you love wearing skirts, you’re right, the right kind of shoes with those legs can give that killer look! But being flat-footed doesn’t deprive you of those trendy shoes you desire.

According to Dr. Reggie de la Paz, orthopedic surgeon at the Medical City, if your flat-footedness is congenital — meaning you were born with it — there won’t be a chance for it to be corrected. But what would help is wearing shoes that provide padding or cushioning on the arch. Most rubber shoes and sneakers have this and maybe that’s why you find yourself wearing these kinds of shoes most of the time. When you run or walk for a long period of time, these pads help minimize the pain.

But Dr. De la Paz clarifies that being flat-footed doesn’t mean you can’t wear stilettos or heels. You can. Wearing them won’t worsen your condition but it won’t correct it either. But he cautions that there might be a possibility of aches later on. For some flat-footed people, it’s tolerable but some experience a nagging pain. "Walang bawal as long as you’re comfortable." If your feet begin to ache, rest from whatever activity you’re doing.

Dr. De la Paz even knows of some flat-footed basketball players. Some flat-footed women also just make themselves get used to wearing heels. You just have to always remember that you can best minimize foot aches when a shoe provides arch support.

You can contact Dr. Reggie de la Paz at 631-6961, Room 503 of the Medico Building at the Medical City. His clinic hours are 4 to 7 p.m. every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
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