Dark circles under the lower eyelids may appear due to genetics, allergies, or other reasons. Home remedies and medical treatments exist that may help reduce their appearance.
Dark circles under your eyes, also known as
They can affect anyone but are typically more common in:
- older adults
- people with a
geneticpredisposition to this condition
- people with darker skin tones, who are more prone to hyperpigmentation around the eye area
Read on to learn more about the possible causes, diagnosis, and treatment options for dark circles under the eyes.
Aging may be one of the most common reasons for having dark circles under your eyes.
As you get older, your skin tends to sag and become thinner. You might experience a decrease in the fat and collagen that helps maintain your skin’s elasticity. As this occurs, the dark blood vessels beneath your skin become more visible, causing the area below your eyes to darken.
Aging might also cause tear troughs to appear more hollow. This may give you the appearance of looking tired or older.
Oversleeping, or a lack of sleep, may cause your skin to become more dull and pale. As a result, the blood vessels and dark tissues beneath your skin might become more visible.
When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamines to fight off the invader. This may cause itchy, red, and puffy eyes. Scratching the itchy skin may cause inflammation, swelling, and broken blood vessels, leading to post-inflammatory pigmentation.
These are most likely to develop between
Sometimes, changes may be permanent, so it’s important to speak with a doctor if you notice any major discoloration.
Staring at a television or computer screen for long periods of time may strain your eyes. This strain could enlarge the blood vessels around your eyes, potentially causing dark circles.
Dehydration might attribute to POH developing. When your body isn’t well hydrated, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken. This is due to how close your eyes are to the underlying bone.
Prolonged sun exposure or injury may cause dark circles to form under your eyes. This is known as post-inflammatory pigmentation.
Too much sun may produce
It can be an inherited trait seen early in childhood. Over time, the dark circles may lighten or get darker.
Anemia is when your levels of red blood cells are lower than normal. This could leave you feeling:
- short of breath
The 2014 study mentioned earlier found that
If you have anemia, you may notice that your skin is paler than usual, and you might have dark circles under your eyes. Talk with a doctor about getting blood work done to check your iron levels.
A number of lifestyle factors, such as smoking and drinking alcohol, may also be
Dark circles under the eyes are very common. They’re typically no cause for alarm.
That said, if they’re getting darker, swelling, or bothering you, speak with a doctor or dermatologist. They may be able to help you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment.
To assess POH, a doctor will typically perform a few tests, which might include:
- physical and medical history examination
- an eyelid stretch test or slit lamp exam
- Wood’s lamp examination, which is commonly used to determine bacterial or fungal infections, skin pigmentation disorders, or corneal abrasions
- blood and liver function tests
The doctor will then use the assessment results to help classify your POH appearances and causes.
These might include:
It’s important to note that
Certain treatments might help you get rid of dark circles. But, these are mainly for cosmetic reasons rather than medical.
- apply a cold compress to the skin under your eyes for 20 minutes
- get adequate sleep
- stay hydrated by drinking more water and including more fruits and vegetables in your diet
- elevate your head with an extra pillow or rolled up blanket while sleeping
- place chilled, soaked black or green tea bags over your eyes for 10–20 minutes
- apply eye creams
- conceal dark circles with makeup
For a more permanent option, some medical treatments are available to help reduce the appearance of dark circles.
That said, it’s important to remember that dark circles aren’t something that have to be fixed. There’s nothing wrong with just leaving them be.
Some medical treatments used for reducing dark circles include:
- chemical peels to reduce pigmentation
- laser surgery to resurface the skin and enhance skin tightening
- medical tattoos to inject pigment into thinning skin areas
- tissue fillers to conceal blood vessels and melanin that cause skin discoloration beneath your eyes
- fat removal to remove excess fat and skin, revealing a smoother and more even surface
- surgical implants of fat or synthetic products
- carboxytherapy to increase blood flow to the area under the eyes
Before deciding on any cosmetic procedures, speak with a doctor. Invasive medical treatments can be expensive and painful and may require a long recovery.
How to get rid of dark circles under your eyes?
For some people, getting more sleep, staying hydrated, and reducing screen time may be helpful. Cold compresses or eye creams may help. There are also more permanent medical treatments for dark circles under your eyes.
Are dark under-eye circles permanent?
Dark circles may come and go. How long they last could depend on many factors, such as:
- lifestyle factors
- nutritional deficiencies
What vitamins are good for dark circles under the eyes?
A few older studies suggest that
Dark circles under the eyes may be a sign of iron deficiency
What deficiency causes dark circles under eyes?
Iron deficiency anemia may also cause dark circles under your eyes.
As mentioned earlier,
Are dark circles related to liver?
One study found that 7.7% of participants had dark circles due to a liver disorder. But, overall there isn’t enough research to fully support this.
For many people, dark circles come and go.
They may be genetic, or they may result from the stasis of blood vessels (when blood flow slows down and pools in one area) caused by a mixture of
More often than not, dark circles are simply a part of aging.
They’re not typically a cause for alarm. But, if the discoloration and swelling gets worse, or if they’re bothering you, speak with a doctor or dermatologist. They may be able to help you receive the correct diagnosis and treatment.
You can connect with a dermatologist in your area using the Healthline FindCare tool.