Raccoon eyes is one of the deformities on your face that almost everyone will notice. Find out what it is, causes and how to get rid of it
What are Raccoon eyes?
Raccoon eyes, also known as periorbital ecchymosis or panda eyes, refers to a condition in which your eyes develop bruises and change of color forming dark rings around the eyes.
The color ranges from red to dark purple and sometimes black resembling the eyes of a raccoon. This affects both the lower and upper eyelids.
Often, it indicates different conditions which can be medical disorders or injuries.
When blood builds up in the tissues around your eyes, bruises may be formed.
The size of the formed ring varies from one individual to the other depending on the cause and injury type.
In most cases, they are usually large in such a way that you can notice them stretching towards the cheeks. Despite this, they are painless except for situations when they are as a result of facial injuries. However, swelling of your eyes may occur in some cases.
You can develop bruises behind the ears, known as battle’s sign, which are an indication of the raccoon eye condition. Other signs may include nose bleeds, less sense of smell, increased blood pressure and double vision.
Possible Causes & Indications
There are several possible causes and indications of raccoon eyes which include the following;
Head injury-basilar skull fracture
Basal skull injuries are the frequent causes of raccoon eyes. Generally, it involves breaking of the bones in your head that form the base of the skull. However, this may also occur due to fracturing of the occipital bone, sphenoid bone, ethmoid bone or the temporal bone.
If you have fractures in the skull, you may be advised to minimize or avoid coughing, sneezing or straining. These actions may worsen the situation by increasing the breaking of bones or even tearing the meninges.
Eye rings may take hours or days to develop from fractured skull. This depends on the state of your injuries.
According to the American Cancer Society, neuroblastoma refers to a type of cancer that results from immature nerve cell in your body especially around the adrenal glands near the kidneys. It is common in infants and children of less than 10 years.
The neuroblastomas grow and spread very faster or slowly depending on the individual. Often, the cancer cells go away without treatment but in some cases you may find that they grow into bigger cells and eventually stop multiplying.
Generally, raccoon eyes in neuroblastoma is associated with the blockage of the palpebral vessels by growth cells around the eye orbitals.
It is recommended that you seek advice from a specialist since anemia may lead to raccoon eyes with same symptoms as neuroblastoma.
However, there are other symptoms associated with neuroblastoma such as fixed and dilated pupils, presence of abdominal mass and failure to thrive. This can help you especially during treatment as you can easily diagnose the problem.
This refers to a condition in which an unusual growth comprising of a mixture of blood and lymph vessels is clumped together. Occasionally, it occurs in the head and neck regions.
In this case, the eyelids are filled with vascular mass, the blood in the capillaries.
This may also be the case in your conjunctiva or the orbit level. Additionally, Lymphangioma is associated with acute proptosis which is caused by an infection in the respiratory tract.
Leukemia is a condition in which the blood tissues, including the bone marrow grows rapidly and out of control. When suffering from leukemia, you become prone to infections and general weight loss.
In addition, you are likely to experience easy bleeding and bruising on your skin. This will eventually lead to the formation of the dark rings around your eyes.
Kaposi’s sarcoma is a type of cancer that affects the cells in the lymphatic system or the blood cells.
It has a characteristic property of producing tumors on the skin including the eyelids. The American Cancer Society says that the lesions (the affected areas) may be purple, red or brown in color.
Multiple myeloma refers to cancer of the plasma cells in which they multiply therefore damaging your bones, red blood cell count and immune system.
When your immune system is affected, you become prone to frequent infections, bone pain and bleeding. This may lead to raccoon eyes.
Rhinoplasty, also known as “nose job”, refers to plastic surgery that is done on your nose to reconstruct the form, enhance functioning and reshape the nasal cavity. Moreover, it can correct impaired breathing caused by defects in the makeup of the nose.
When you undergo nasal surgery, you become prone to infections. Often, these infections lead to scars and sores in the nose.
Additionally, they can lead to the damaging of your mucus membrane hence frequent nose bleeding which eventually leads to formation of bruises on the skin including the eye region, prompting occurrence of raccoon eyes.
Some types of cancer such as Kaposi sarcoma and neuroblastomas may cause raccoon eyes. These affects cells of your lymphatic system as well as blood cells.
Ocular myositis refers to a condition whereby the extra ocular muscles (muscles that control eye movement) become inflamed. In this case, you experience a lot of pain and the eyelids turn red. Sometimes, this may be accompanied by eye rings.
Amyloidosis is a group of diseases in which an abnormal protein is produced in the bone marrow. This protein may be located in any of your body organs after production.
In case the protein builds up in the capillaries, they become weak and eventually break. If this happens, you develop raccoon eyes even on occurrence of simple actions such as sneezing and coughing.
The signs of protein pilling in the body organs differ depending on the position where building up is taking place. Additionally, they will vary from one person to the other.
Other causes of raccoon eyes may include; aplastic anemia and pertussis.
Raccoon eyes at night?
Although Mayo Clinic suggests that eye rings are round and uniform, you can develop shadows under your eyes which are commonly noticed in the morning. This shows that the dark circles occurred over the night.
Normally, you are usually tired at night after a long and busy day. During this time, the skin becomes dull and highly dehydrated leading to formation of hollow regions around the eyes. This weakens the skin tissues making the blood vessels visible,
Moreover, spending nights without sleep makes some body fluids accumulate in the region around the eyes. When this happens, your upper lid swells projecting dark shadow on the region under the eyes.
Due to the above reasons, you are encouraged to have enough sleep (sleep for at least 8 hours per day). However, you can have enough sleep but experience the eye rings. In such a situation, you can visit your doctor for examination and treatment.
How to get rid
Raccoon eyes will make you look old and less attractive and therefore you will want to get rid of them. Apparently, you can try the following routines;
Use rose water.
Despite its smell, rose water has characteristic properties that make it a good remedy to use when you need to get rid of eye rings. Being a mild astringent, it soothes and makes the skin look healthier.
You are advised to dip a cotton cloth in the water for some minutes then place it on your eyelids. Leave it for about 15 minutes for the water to be absorbed by the skin. Repeat this procedure at least twice per day until you achieve the desired look.
Use of tomato pulp.
Generally, tomatoes are rich in lycopene which is responsible for good vision, your cardiovascular health as well as your skin. Therefore, it helps in minimizing the occurrence of eye bags.
- Squeeze the tomato or grind it to obtain its juice.
- Mix the tomato juice with juice from a lemon in equal portions.
- Using a clean cotton cloth, apply the mixture on your eyelids. You are required to be careful when doing this so as to prevent the lemon juice from irritating the eyes.
- Leave it for about 10 to 15 minutes so as to ensure maximum absorption to the skin.
- Rinse with warm water and follow this two times in a day.
Cold tea bags.
You can use this method in case you cannot access a cold compress. Typically, tea (especially green tea) contains antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties. These facilitates in the soothing of strained blood vessels on the eyelids.
Before the use of the tea bags, you are urged to ensure that they are cold. You can place the soaked tea bags in a refrigerator for some time before use. Leaving them for around 15 minutes and rinsing with warm water, twice in a day will help you clear the eye rings.
Orange juice is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C (ascorbic acid) which are essential for maintaining the skin look and softness. When you mix this with glycerin, you achieve the advantage of the vitamins as well as the amazing glow produced by the glycerin.
In addition to this, vitamin E helps you get rid of radicals which are agents of wrinkles on your skin especially the eye region.
Use of turmeric and coconut oil.
A mixture of turmeric and coconut oil can greatly help in clearing raccoon eyes. Turmeric, just like tea contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties which help in removing the dark circles on the eye region.
On the other hand, coconut oil provides moisture to the skin therefore preventing wrinkle formation. In addition, it lightens the dark parts on the eyelids. For better results, rub the coconut oil on the eyes overnight then rinse it off in the morning.
Often, raccoon eyes require no medication because they can go away on their own especially when the fractures on your body heal.
However, when you visit your doctor they can deal with the underlying cause or any other problem that may arise from the infection.
Sometimes, when you have deformed features on your eyes, cosmetic surgery for corrections can help in resolving the situation. Facial fractures and basal skull injuries can also be aligned through surgery.
Additionally, when meningitis is responsible for panda eye occurrence, you need to go through careful examination and care to avoid worsening of the condition. When suffering from amyloid defects, you can be treated by reducing its level in the blood stream.
Moreover, you are advised to seek medical attention so as to be safe in cases of brain injury.
Dealing with raccoon eye make-up during Halloween
Generally, Halloween makeup is worn to cover any bruises or eye rings that you may have on the eyes. This is done so as to make you feel comfortable and prevent the raccoon condition from worsening as a result of excessive exposure to sun.
If you want to get rid of Halloween makeup, you are advised to first know its makeup. For water based paints or makeup, you can use water and soap. Additionally, ensure you don’t stain any cloth while removing the Halloween makeup.