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What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

Dark circles under the lower lids are common. Often accompanied by bags with dark circles under the eyes, they can invite unwanted comments about how tired you look. In fact, there are many causes of dark circles. It is not always due to lack of sleep.

Although they can affect anyone, dark circles are more common in: older adults people with a genetic predisposition to the condition (periorbital hyperpigmentation Trusted Source) people with a darker skin tone who are more prone to hyperpigmentation around the eyes Fatigue seems to be the most common cause, but there are many causes of dark circles. In most cases, there is nothing to worry about and no medical attention is needed.

There is a lot of pressure on people to always look perfect. Dark circles can actually be a natural aspect of being human. Read on to learn more about dark circles under the eyes.

What Causes Dark Circles?

There are several possible causes of dark circles under the eyes. Some common causes include:


Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by sleeping too much, being extremely tired, or simply staying awake several hours after your usual sleep. Your skin may appear pale and drab if you are sleep deprived. Dark tissue and blood vessels may begin to appear under the skin. Lack of sleep can also cause fluid to build up under the eyes, making them look puffy. The dark circles you see may be shadows on the eyelids.


Natural aging is another common cause of dark circles under the eyes. As you age, your skin becomes thinner. The fat and collagen that keeps your skin supple can be reduced. When this happens, the dark blood vessels under the skin become more visible, causing the area under the eyes to darken.

Eye Strain

Looking at a TV or computer screen can cause eye strain. The blood vessels surrounding the eyes may expand due to this tension. As a result, the skin around the eyes may darken.


Dark circles can be a result of dry eyes and allergic reactions. When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamines to fight the invader. This causes many symptoms, including itching, redness, and swelling of the eyes. Histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible under the skin. When you have allergies, the itchy skin around your eyes may itch more. These actions can worsen your symptoms, and cause swelling, inflammation and damage to blood vessels. This can result in dark shadows under the eyes.


The most typical cause of dark circles under the eyes is dehydration. If your body is not properly hydrated, the skin under your eyes will start to look dull and your eyes will look sunken. This is due to the proximity of the eye to the underlying bone.

Excessive Sun Exposure

Sunlight causes your body to produce too much melanin, the pigment that gives your skin its color. Too much sun – especially around the eyes – can darken the pigmentation in the surrounding skin.


Family history also plays a role in the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. It can be a hereditary trait that appears in early childhood. Dark circles may become lighter or darker with time. A predisposition to other medical conditions – such as thyroid disease – can also lead to dark circles under the eyes.


Anemia is a condition where the level of your red blood cells is lower than normal. It makes you feel:

  • dizziness
  • weak
  • light head
  • shortness of breath
  • tired

If you are anemic, you may notice that your skin is paler than usual and you may have dark circles under your eyes. To check your iron levels, inquire with your doctor about a blood test. Treatment for anemia includes:

  • changes in diet
  • iron supplements
  • iron infusion, depending on your level


Home Treatment

Treatment for dark circles under the eyes depends on the underlying cause. However, some natural therapies are effective. Here are some typical methods:

Apply A Cold Compress

A cold compress can reduce swelling and shrink enlarged blood vessels to reduce puffiness and dark circle. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and place them on your eyes. For the same effect, you can also wash with cold water and apply to the skin under the eyes for 20 minutes.

Get More Sleep

Dark circles can also be made less visible with sleep. Lack of sleep can make your skin look pale, making dark circles more visible.

Go For It

While lack of sleep can play a role in the formation of dark bags under the eyes, sometimes it stems from your sleep. Try elevating your head with some pillows. This can prevent fluid from building up under the eyes, which can cause swelling and puffiness.

Stay Hydrated

Try to drink a lot of water. Other liquids also help keep you hydrated, including milk, tea, and juices. Eating fruits and vegetables will also increase your overall fluid intake.

Soak The Tea Bags

Tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that help stimulate blood circulation, constrict blood vessels, and reduce the amount of fluid under the skin. Steep two black or green tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes, then chill them in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Once they cool, place the tea bags on your closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes, then remove them and rinse your eyes with cold water.

Try Eye Creams

The market is flooded with eye creams. They can reduce the appearance of dark circles on the skin to hydrate and smooth your eyes.

Cover With Makeup

If you want to hide dark circles, concealers can cover them to blend in with your normal skin tone.

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