Many people around the world have dark circles under their eyes which makes them feel anxious about their appearance. Sometimes, dark circles affect also children. So the question is: What causes dark circles under your eyes? A number of factors can be responsible for causing dark circles under your eyes. Lack of sleep is the most common factor that causes dark circles under your eyes.
Those circles under the eyes can also run in families due to heredity. Aging, allergies, dehydration, and overexposure to the sun play a role in developing dark circles. The area under the eyes appears to look purple, red, or even dark brown. This appearance could be embarrassing and frustrating for some people. So dark circles have a negative impact on people’s life.
Some women wear makeup every day before going out to hide these annoying circles under their eyes. This could be a temporary solution that can make the area under your eyes look better.
Usually, having dark circles is not a cause for concern. At-home remedies, lifestyle changes, and proper treatment can help you to get rid of dark circles under your eyes. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the main key to combating dark circles.
So here are the top factors that could cause dark circles under your eyes:
What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?
Having an allergic reaction makes your body release histamines to protect you against any harm. Histamines make the blood vessels around your eyes dilate which results in discoloring the area around your eyes. They also cause redness and make your eyes and nose itch. It’s important not to rub the skin around your eyes as it can worsen the condition.
Excessive rubbing of your eyes causes inflammation of the blood vessels and breaks them. And this can darken the area around your eyes.
2- Lack Of Sleep
When your body doesn’t get enough rest or sleep daily, dark circles start to form under your eyes. Also, sleeping for long periods causes dark circles under the eyes. Lack of sleep makes blood vessels and dark tissues beneath your eyes appear. And your skin begins to look pale and dull. Eye puffiness can also appear due to lack of sleep as fluid buildup underneath your eyes gives them that puffy appearance.
Our skin becomes thinner and loses fat tissue around the eyes as we age. Blood vessels underneath the skin start also to appear as a result of losing collagen and fat tissue around the eyes which causes this area to become darker. So the natural aging process causes dark circles to form under the eyes. Additionally, drinking too much alcohol can speed up the aging process which makes dark circles appear faster.
Genes could be to blame for having dark circles under your eyes. A study showed that the appearance of dark circles has a genetic basis. So this condition runs in families and you may find one of your family members have it just like you. Visiting a dermatologist can help you get more information about your condition. Your dermatologist may recommend specific lasers as a study showed that laser can treat this condition in Asians.
Drinking enough water daily keeps your skin and body hydrated. Being dehydrated gives your skin a dull appearance. Lack of proper hydration can also cause your eyes to look hollow. The reason for that is the area around the eyes is close to the underlying bone. Moreover, blood vessels start to look more visible due to dehydration which leaves a purple tint under your eyes.
Drinking too much alcohol dehydrates your body which causes blood vessels under the eyes to become more evident. And your face becomes pale.
6- Overexposure To The Sun
When you expose your skin to the sun daily without protection, melanin production increases. Melanin is the pigment that provides your eyes, skin, and hair with color. The more melanin your body produces, the darker your skin (especially around your eyes) becomes.
Overexposure to the sun can darken the area around your eyes and cause collagen breakdown. When collagen breaks down, eyelid skin may become thin, allowing veins to show. Also, repeated exposure to sunlight can damage your skin causing erythema, burns, and skin cancer.
The area around your eyes is more sensitive and thinner than the rest of your body. So you should take good care of your eyelid skin to avoid dark circles and wrinkles.
Sinus infection can dilate blood vessels which makes the area around your eyes look darker. Sinusitis is caused by viral infections, bacterial infections, or allergies. Sinusitis symptoms are like headache, fever, facial pain, sore throat, bad breath, and an overall feeling of tiredness. It’s an annoying condition that requires medical attention as it can cause serious complications. So consult your doctor if you have sinusitis to help you treat it and reduce the dark circles around your eyes.
8- Eye Strain
Watching TV or spending too much time on your phone for long periods can put a real strain on the eyes. This makes your eyes start to burn and itch. Also, eye strain can give you headaches. It makes the blood vessels around the eyes enlarge which makes the area under your eyes look darker.
Also, a study discovered that blue light from laptops and smartphones can harm our vision as it damages the eye’s retina. In spite of the discovery, the experiments were not held on eyes themselves but in a lab setting, So scientists still don’t know for sure if the blue light from digital devices causes blindness. But you should consider decreasing your exposure to your digital devices.
9- Bone Structure
The way your eye socket is shaped could be the reason for causing the appearance of darkness under your eyes. Deep tear troughs cause shadows and make the area under your eyes look darker. Fillers are a safe nonsurgical procedure that can even out the eye area. Although fillers aren’t permanent, they help decrease the appearance of dark circles. You can repeat the procedure every few months.
Studies showed that smoking causes premature skin aging, wrinkles, acne, oral cancer, and hair loss. Toxins in cigarettes decrease estrogen levels which makes your skin thinner and less elastic. Also, smoking breaks down collagen.
It makes dark circles look worse due to collagen breakdown and fat tissue damage. Also, if you don’t have dark circles, you’ll notice them start to form under your eyes due to smoking. Other studies showed that smoking affects the attractiveness of the female body and increases testosterone levels.
Anxiety and stress make you unable to rest or sleep well which causes dark circles under your eyes. When you’re stressed, your face looks pale and tired due to blood flow from the main organs. This causes dark circles to become more apparent.
Also, stress makes fragile capillaries around your eyes break causing blood to spread underneath your skin which forms a dark tint under the eyes. It’s important to know how to manage stress before it affects your health and quality of life.
At-home remedies and medical treatment help reduce those circles under your eyes. Some home remedies include:
- Sleep well daily and keep your body hydrated.
- Elevate your head during sleep to reduce fluid pooling under your eyes. This helps prevent dark circles and puffiness.
- Apply a cold compress under your eyes for 10-20 minutes. A cold compress can reduce puffiness and shrink blood vessels.
- Wear sunglasses and apply sunscreen daily to protect your skin from sun damage.
- Apply cold caffeinated tea bags to your eyes to lessen dark circles and reduce swelling.
- Use concealer to cover the dark circles under your eyes, choose a concealer that suits your skin type as some products can irritate your skin and trigger an allergic reaction.
- Take your allergy medication if you suffer from allergies. Medications improve breathing which prevents discoloration and swelling under the eyes.
- Stop smoking and reduce your stress levels.
Medical treatments include:
- Eye creams and serums can lighten hyperpigmentation under the eyes. Certain eye creams contain vitamin C & E, kojic acid, hydroquinone, or azelaic acid can treat dark circles.
- A chemical peel can help lighten the skin under your eyes.
- Laser therapy can also tighten the skin and reduce pigmentation.
- Excess fat and skin removal ( blepharoplasty ) eliminate dark circles under the eyes.
- Fillers and platelet-rich plasma reduce the appearance of dark circles.
For more information about home remedies and medical treatment, Check out this article.
Consult a dermatologist if discoloration or puffiness forms under one eye only. Visit a doctor also if dark circles appear to look worse. It’s recommended to ask your doctor before trying out different home remedies.