Face

Eye Bags & Dark Circles

Makeup can only temporarily conceal dark circles and eye bags. This is a common condition seen that can make individuals look more tired and older.

Some of the common causes for this condition include:

  • aging
  • genetics
  • muscle weakening around the eyes
  • fluid retention
  • allergies
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Our Doctors

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Dr. SK Tan

Special Interest

  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Anti-Aging
  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Ingredient Studies

Dr. SK Tan

Dr Tan graduated in 1971, with a Bachelors of Medicine (MB) and a Bachelors of Surgery (BS) from the University of Malaya. Dr Tan’s interest in dermatology led him to train at the St John’s Institute of Dermatology in London in the 1970s and he has since been focused in the field of aesthetic dermatology.

  • MBBS
  • Diploma in Venereology (University of London)
  • Diploma in Dermatology (University of Wales)
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)
  • Master of Business Administration
  • Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology (FAAD)

He is a member of numerous medical associations, including the American Academy of Dermatology, the International Society of Cosmetic Laser Surgeons, and the International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology. Dr Tan was one of the first local doctors to be certified by the American Board of Anti-Aging Medicine. His personal interest in pigmentary disorders and acne has also led him to become an International Member of the Pigmentary Disorders Society of India, the Asian Society of Pigment Cell Research, and the American Acne and Rosacea Society (AARS).

Dr Tan’s work has led him to be invited to speak at numerous international conferences in the US, Europe and throughout the Asia Pacific region. He is a co-editor of “Handbook of Cosmetic Microbiology”, a reference book published by Marcel Dekker, and his papers have been published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, International Journal of Dermatology, Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, Journal of Cosmetic and Laser Therapy, and Expert Review of Dermatology, and has contributed a chapter in the reference book ‘Pigmentary Disorders: A Comprehensive Compendium’.

Special Interest

  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Anti-Aging
  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Ingredient Studies
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Dr. Ben Yim

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Body-Contouring
  • Fat Reduction

Dr. Ben Yim

Dr Yim graduated from Monash University in Australia with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. He has also earned a Master of Science in Clinical Dermatology from the University of London and more recently in Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics from Anglia Ruskin University in UK, as well as a Graduate Diploma in Family Physicians in National University of Singapore.

  • M.B.B.S (Monash University) 1994
  • Diploma Practical Dermatology (University of Wales College of Medicine) 1998
  • MSc. Clinical Dermatology (University of London) 1999
  • MBA (University of Chicago) 2011
  • MSc Non-Surgical Facial Aesthetics (Anglia Ruskin) 2018
  • GDFM (NUS) 2019

Dr Yim has been practicing aesthetic medicine in private practice since 2000. The former director of Clinical Aesthetics & Laser Centre has been offering a wide armamentarium of aesthetic services including Botox, fillers for facial enhancement, skin tightening with Thermage FLX, Ulthera and fractional lasers, threadlifts, and non-invasive body contouring treatments.

As a trainer for Allergan Medical Institute in Singapore, Dr Yim has been invited to speak and train for numerous aesthetic workshops and conferences including “The Advanced Facial Anatomy and Injectables Workshop”, Botox and Filler injectable training workshops organized by Allergan, “The Singapore Disease Conference 2008” and “1st International Conference on Healthcare Transformation 2008” and Forum for Professional Self-regulation jointly organized by the SingHealth Centre for Health Services Research and the NUS Medical Society, to name a few.

Dr Yim comes from a family of four doctors, all in private practice in family medicine. Despite the move into full-time aesthetic medicine, Dr Yim has also taken an interest in family medicine pursuing a Master degree in Medicine in Family Medicine in NUS in which he hopes to complete in 2020.

Outside of his profession, Dr Yim also actively participates in social projects such as tattoo laser removal for prison inmates and teenage delinquents. For leisure, he enjoys golf, reading, playing the piano and running – he has participated in several half-marathons.

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Hyper-pigmentation
  • Body-Contouring
  • Fat Reduction
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Dr. Liz Lum YX

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring

Dr. Liz Lum YX

Dr Liz Lum YX graduated from Trinity College in Dublin with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. She has also earned a graduate diploma in aesthetic medicine with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM). Apart from these, Dr Lum has also attained certification by the Ministry of Health accredited bodies under the Singapore Medical Council’s Aesthetics Dermatology Education Group for various aesthetics procedures. Before joining IDS, Dr Liz Lum YX was a surgical trainee with the hand surgery department in SGH.

  • MBBCH BAO (Trinity College Dublin)
  • Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine, American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
  • Accredited by the Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee (Singapore Medical Council) for Certificates of Competence in Aesthetic Procedures
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)

Jean Cocteau once said, “If there is a defect in the soul, it cannot be corrected on the face; but if there is a defect on the face and one corrects it, it can correct a soul.” For this reason, Dr Liz Lum YX has a special interest in acne treatment that dates back to times when she had to deal with her own acne problems and breakouts. This drove her to identify the need for innovative products and treatments to treat acne problems. She strongly believes that many acne prone patients will benefit from a combination of innovative dermatological products, lasers and medications.

Dr Liz Lum YX’s other interests include injectables such as botulinum toxins, fillers and laser treatments for pigmentary disorders. Outside of her profession, she enjoys travelling and spending quality time with her family, friends and loved ones over good meals, movies, and a cup of coffee.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring
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Dr. Ian Tan

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Anti-Aging
  • Body Contouring
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring
  • Hair Regrowth
  • Weight Management

Dr. Ian Tan

Dr Tan graduated from the National University of Singapore and is one of the few medical doctors selected to lead the Singapore National Healthcare Group surgical residency program. He had his basic years of training in various hospital surgical specialties and he obtained Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh (General Surgery) in 2013.

  • MBBS (Singapore)
  • MRCS (Edinburgh)
  • GDFM (Singapore)
  • GDFP Dermatology (Singapore)
  • Certificate in Aesthetic Medicine, Amercian Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
  • Accredited by the Aesthetic Practice Oversight Committee (Singapore Medical Council) for Certificates of Competence in Aesthetic Procedures
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)
  • Accredited Family Physician
  • Basic Obesity Management Accreditation 2 (BOMA 2)
  • Certificate Course in Andrology

Through his practice, he developed a keen clinical interest in dermatological conditions and has obtained a Diploma in Dermatology (FP) from NUS. Dr Tan aims to help his patients achieve beauty through science by using appropriate skincare, aesthetic procedures and lasers. He believes his experience in surgery will complement his work in aesthetic and dermatological procedures at the IDS clinic.

A former national, Dr Tan was an avid athlete during his college days and developed him in local and regional canoe competitions. Outside of his profession, he enjoys running and going to the gym.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Anti-Aging
  • Body Contouring
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Slimming and Contouring
  • Hair Regrowth
  • Weight Management
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Dr. Michelle Wong

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Focused Ultrasound Lifting
  • Skin Brightening
  • Cryo based Treatment

Dr. Michelle Wong

Dr Michelle Wong graduated from The University of Melbourne, Australia with a Bachelors of Medicine, Bachelors of Surgery and Bachelors of Medical Science. She obtained her post-graduate Diploma in Clinical Dermatology with Distinction from the Queen Mary University of London, and holds a Diploma in Aesthetic Medicine with the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine (AAAM).

  • MBBS from The University of Melbourne, Australia
  • Diploma in Clinical Dermatology from Queen Mary University of London
  • Diploma in Aesthetics Medicine from American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine
  • Diploma in Cosmetic Science (UK)

In aesthetics, Dr Wong believes she has discovered her ikigai – the intersection of what she is both good at and loves doing. Her preferred tools of the trade are injectables such as Botox and Fillers, which she wields with finesse and intuition - often achieving what her patients desire but cannot express through words. Out of passion and interest, she regularly attends conferences and workshops, eager to learn about the latest treatments and techniques to further hone her craft.

Combining the science of medicine with the art of beauty, Dr Wong provides an honest consult to help her patients achieve their skincare and beauty goals. She believes in understated elegance – a focus on a less-is-more approach - and works to enhance her patients’ natural features whilst instilling self-confidence. Her reassuring and gentle approach puts patients at ease allowing her to achieve maximum results through safe and effective procedures.

In her free time, Dr Wong enjoys taking long walks with her dog at the park. Her family praises her inner domestic goddess that can whip up an impressive variety of home-cooked meals. She is also active in church medical missions and believes in contributing back to society through her God-given gifts and talents.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Focused Ultrasound Lifting
  • Skin Brightening
  • Cryo based Treatment
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Dr. Vivian Yong

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Enhancement

Dr. Vivian Yong

Dr Vivian Yong graduated from National University of Singapore in 2006, and has an experience of more than 10 years in Aesthetics. She has also accumulated extensive surgical skills and experience from various rotations in general surgery, ophthalmology, and ENT.

  • MBBS
  • GDFM

Dr Vivian has always had a natural inclination towards science subjects and this led her into medicine. During her medical graduate days, she developed a keen interest in Aesthetics and Skincare, and she believes that Aesthetics is one area that allows her to help a patient achieve their ideal artistic expression based on science. While Dr Vivian is always keen to accommodate her patients’ needs, she ensures that their welfare remains the utmost priority. This is why Dr Vivian is loved by her patients for always being meticulous and attentive to details.

Dr Vivian’s eye for beauty goes beyond aesthetics. Outside the clinic, Dr Vivian loves to spend her time in leather crafting and jewelry making, transforming basics into beauty. She also loves spending her quiet time exercising in the gym or chilling at home with her loved one.

Special Interest

  • Acne
  • Acne Scarring
  • Fillers
  • Neurotoxin Injection - Botox
  • Face Lifting
  • Facial Enhancement
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Dr. Lina Yow

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Acne and Acne Scarring
  • Skin Rejuvenation
  • Facial Lifting and Contouring

Dr. Lina Yow

  • MBBCH BAO
  • MRCS (Edinburgh)
  • Masters in Surgical Science
  • Diploma in Dermatology

Dr Yow graduated from Queen’s University Belfast, United Kingdom, with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degree. In addition, she has a Masters in Surgical Science from the University of Edinburgh and a membership from the Royal College of Surgeons (Edinburgh). She underwent her initial years of surgical training in the United Kingdom before returning to Singapore in 2020.

Over the years, Dr Yow developed a growing interest in medical aesthetics as it is a fine art marrying science and clinical acumen to achieve a patient’s aesthetic goal. To further her knowledge and skills, she is constantly further educating herself and is also currently pursuing a diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff University, United Kingdom.

Dr Yow believes in the importance of an equal doctor-patient partnership. She aims to provide informed clinical knowledge to guide her patients to reach an optimal shared goal and achieve a more confident version of themselves. Her attention to detail and friendly manner led her to receive the Singapore Health Quality Service Award during her time in the public hospital, recognizing the high quality of care she has provided to her patients.

In her free time, Dr Yow enjoys spending quality time with her family. She also loves the outdoors and was previously part of her university rowing team. She keeps up her enjoyment of fitness through regular strength training, spin, and pilates.

Special Interest

  • Anti-aging
  • Acne and Acne Scarring
  • Skin Rejuvenation
  • Facial Lifting and Contouring
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What causes eye bags?

The main causes are:

  • Muscle weakening around our eyes

  • Widening of the orbital rim(bony sockets) of the eye, allowing the forward protrusion of the fat-pads

  • Fluid retention around the eyes due to poor circulation and insufficient rest

Treatments

Treatments

Home Remedies

There are various DIY remedies that many have touted as ‘effective’ to treat dark eye circles and eye bags. This includes applying cold compress, sliced cucumber, tea bags, milk etc on the eyes. However, let’s face it. If these really work, nobody will be paying big bucks for expensive eye creams and treatments. The most relevant home ‘remedy’ is actually lifestyle adjustments such as having regular and sufficient sleep, and abstaining from smoking and alcohol.

Topicals

The main mode of action of topical treatment are:

  • Reduction of the pigmentation on the skin

  • Reduction of the fine-lines around the eyes

  • Constriction of the veins around the eyes

  • Protection of the skin again free radical damage from sunlight

In-Clinic Procedures

  • Surgery(lower blepharoplasty): Surgery can be done to remove the fat pads under the eyes or reposition it. This may be an effective treatment but the risk and downtime need to be explained to the patient.

  • Aesthetic treatment: There are a few non-surgical options that one can consider for the treatment of dark eye circles. Results may not be as definite or long-lasting, but they certainly have lower risk and no disruptions to one’s daily life.

  • Injectable fillers: Hyaluronic acid filler are inject to specific points around the eyes to, lift the skin under the eyes, support the front of the cheeks, lift the depression in the tear-trough deformity.

  • Laser: A combination of laser treatments may be used to lighten pigmentation around the eyes, reduce the appearance of blood vessels around the eyes, firm and tighten the skin under the eyes.

  • Microneedle Radiofrequency: For this treatment method, small pinpoint needles are inserted into the fat pads under the eyes, delivering heat to melt the excess fat with RF energy.

  • Threadlifts: Under Eye threads can be placed to increase collagen production. These PDO threads provide continuous stimulation of the skin which helps to increase the firmness and elasticity of the under eye.

What causes dark circles?

What causes dark circles?

Aging

With aging, comes the loss of collagen and elastin. The skin around the eyes is already delicate and thin to begin with. With aging, the skin becomes thinner, leaving the blood vessels beneath the skin to appear more visible and more pronounced. There is also bone resorption, loss and descend of fat tissues in the area of the under-eyes and cheeks, the resulting hollow creates a shadowing effect, which adds to the dark colour of the undereyes.

Fatigue

Lack of sleep, extreme fatigue, or continuous late nights can cause dark circles to develop. Sleep deprivation disrupts blood circulation and consequently reduces oxygen flow to the skin. This can cause your skin to become dull and pale. Unhealthy sleep patterns can also cause premature aging as well as water retention under the eyes or puffy eyelids, which can also cause shadows under the eyes to appear as dark circles.An anatomical feature seen in most people is the tear troughs, which are natural depressions or hollowness which run from the inner corner of the eyes to the lower eyelid.These get worse as we age, due to loss of collagen and fat tissue. The development of eye bags and hyperpigmentation also worsens the look, making one look old and tired.

Allergies

Allergies can cause congestion of the blood vessels of the under eye, making them more prominent. Consultation with patients complaining of dark eye circles often reveal an underlying history of chronic allergies (eg. allergic rhinitis, chronic rhinosinusitis or atopic eczema). Constant rubbing of our eyes can cause the lines to be more prominent and the skin to darken.

UV and Blue Light Exposure

Overexposure to the sun’s UV rays and blue light can cause an overproduction of melanin in the skin and cause a buildup of pigmentation, which in turn darken the skin. Blue light, also known as High Energy Visible Light (HEVL) can be found not only in the sun but also emitted from your computer, television and mobile device screens. This can also induce oxidative stress that accelerates skin aging.

Genetics

There can be a family history of dark eye circles. This is common in people of South Asian ethnic descent.

Are your eyebags or dark circles affecting your quality of life? Consult our doctors for an accurate diagnosis of your condition and a suitable treatment plan.

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    FAQs on Eyebags & Dark Circles

    Can lack of sleep really cause dark circles under the eyes?

    • Yes, lack of sleep can contribute to the development of dark circles under the eyes. When you don't get enough sleep, the skin around your eyes can become paler, making blood vessels more visible and leading to the appearance of dark circles.

    Can dark circles and eyebags be a sign of a serious medical condition?

    • In some cases, dark circles and eyebags can be a symptom of an underlying medical condition, such as a thyroid disorder or anemia. If you are experiencing persistent or severe symptoms, it's important to consult with a medical doctor to rule out any underlying health issues.

    What is the best age to consider getting treatment for eyebags and dark circles?

    • There is no specific age that is considered best for getting treatment for eyebags and dark circles. However, many individuals start to notice the development of these conditions in their 30s or 40s. Consult a medical doctor to determine the best course of action for your specific case.

    Are there any lifestyle changes that can help prevent the development of eyebags and dark circles?

    • Yes, maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help prevent the development of eyebags and dark circles. This includes getting enough sleep, staying hydrated, avoiding smoking and alcohol consumption, and following a healthy diet that is rich in nutrients that support skin health, such as vitamins C and E.