A clinico-epidemiological study of periorbital melanosis

Brinda G. David, Roshni Menon R., R. Shankar


Background: Besides the common alterations related to the intrinsic and extrinsic aging processes, there is one that affects individuals of any age, both sexes, and all races the so called dark circles, periorbital darkening or periorbital melanosis. There is scarcity of data regarding the incidence and prevalence of periorbital melanosis due to its transitory nature and lack of reasonable etiological explanation. Aim: To assess the prevalence of periorbital melanosis and to study the epidemiological factors responsible for the occurrence of periorbital melanosis.

Methods: A single centred, cross-sectional, descriptive study was conducted in patients attending the skin OPD of our teaching hospital from Jan 2016 – Dec 2016. A total of 250 patients were included in our study. Patients with hyperpigmentation around the orbital area of all ages and both genders were included in the study. A careful physical examination to detect involvement of upper or lower or both eyelids and extension beyond the periorbital region, colour of hyperpigmented areas (light brown/dark brown/red/blue), presence of any dermatological disease or scar in periorbital region were assessed. A detailed history was taken including duration of the condition, family history, history of atopy or drug intake, associated faulty habit or lifestyle.

Results: Based on the type of POM, vascular POM (44%) was found to be the most common type among our patients followed by constitutional (33.2%), post-inflammatory (13.6%) and shadow type (9.2%). Among the various factors for POM watching TV for more than 8 hours/day, usage of spectacles, sleeping habit of less than 6 hours/day, habit of regularly rubbing the eye, family history of POM, associated systemic disease like anaemia and irregular menstruation and associated skin lesion like atopic dermatitis had shown a strong association (odds ratio >0.8) in the development of POM.

Conclusions: It is very much essential to classify and grade the peri-orbital melanosis and to determine the causative factors which would help us to intervene earlier and that would result in a better prognosis.


Periorbital melanosis, Type, Grading, Life style habits, Comorbid conditions

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