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Everyone gets the dreaded under eye circles now and then, and travel nurses are no exception.
Although dark circles can be a side-effect of exhaustion, they are more a sign of water retention than sleep deprivation. Excess water tends to make your eyes look puffy and that casts shadows that give you a tired look. A good night’s sleep helps the body function well leading to less water retention and a healthier glow. Consider these tips on how to reduce under eye circles at home and on the road.
It is not really about being overly tired, but sleep is certainly a factor. It can be hard to get a good night’s rest when you travel until you’ve acclimate to your new surroundings. Do things to promote sleep like taking a hot bath, or drinking a cup of soothing tea in the evening. Sleeping with your head elevated can promote fluid drainage under the eyes and prevent the bags.
If you are unable to get a good night’s sleep, a quick power nap will not only help eliminate under eye bags, but give you an energy boost as well. Even a quick 15 to 20 minutes with your eyes closed can make you more alert.
Traveling can put a dent in your skin care routine. Make an extra effort to take care of your face even when you are on assignment. The skin around your eyes is very delicate, so give it a little added attention. If you notice puffiness, try lying on the bed with a cool compress on your eyes, once in the morning and once at night. Afterward, lightly massage the area with your fingertips to promote circulation, but avoid using too much pressure.
If you decide to cover up the dark circles with a concealer, look for something that offers UV protection, as well, and wear sunglasses when you go outside. Sun exposure triggers melanin production and that can add pigment in places you don’t want it.
Fast food may contribute to water retention and dark circles so avoid foods that are high in salt, like chips or fries. Focus more on healthy food choices like fresh fruits and vegetables, and foods rich in vitamin C like kiwis or strawberries. They will provide necessary nutrients for healthy skin, and protein enhances muscle growth.
Water is the best gift you can give your body, though, because it helps flush out excess sodium that may be causing you to retain fluid. Water keeps the skin supple and hydrated, too.
Itchy eyes can lead to swelling and puffiness that can trigger dark circles. If you have allergies, take antihistamines to minimize your allergic reaction. Over-the-counter treatments like Claritin can provide long-term relief without making you drowsy on the job.
If the dark circles appear suddenly or are just under one eye, see your doctor to rule out a medical problem. If they’re really bothering you, there may be a medical solution available. For example, a dermatologist may recommend a prescription treatment to eliminate them.
Do you have any at-home remedies? Leave your secrets in the comments below.