Dark circles under the eyes can start very early in life and they can make you look tired even after a good nights sleep. Tired-looking eyes can be the result of too much skin, excess fat, retained fluid or bulging muscles.
Given your young age and I would agree with you that there is likely a hereditary component.
You may be retaining some fluid in the tissues around your lower lids. A history of circles that are worse in the morning, or fluctuate in severity throughout the week would be consistent with retained edema. This can be hereditary or be caused by allergies or sinus disorders. If you have symptoms allergies or sinusitis, improving these conditions may improve the discoloration.
The color of your skin may also contributing to the severity of the darkness under your eyes. The increased pigmentation of the lower eyelid skin may be improved with a very short course of a skin lightening agent such as hydroquinone 4%. This agent alone will not fully correct the discoloration, but could enhance more definitive treatments.
And finally, there is frequently a degree of volume loss with descent of cheek fat pads which typically line the lower part of the eye socket. Bulging of the lower eyelids and cheek fat pads reflects light, causing a shadow to occur in between these areas. For someone your age a good initial treatment would be to try a filler, such as Restylane.
When placed by a properly trained professional, injectables are a safe and effective way to restore volume under your eyes.
During a consultation with a Facial Plastic Surgeon or Plastic Surgeon multiple treatment options will be presented and you can choose the one that best suits your needs and expectations.
Hope this helps.
Dr. Christopher Kolstad
<message edited by Anna RN JD on Saturday, December 24, 2011 7:45 AM>