What Can Cause Dark Circles Under the Eyes?

Dark circles with bags under the lower eyelids are quite a common concern that adds to a weary look among individuals. However certain reasons can amount to the phenomenon. While dark circles can appear on anyone, some people face them more obvious.

• Elderly
• Those with a genetic history of periorbital hyperpigmentation
• Dark-skinned people with increased chances of hyperpigmentation around the eyes

8 Possible Reasons Behind Dark Circles

A couple of factors can cause dark circles of which the common ones include:

1. Fatigue

Oversleeping, high fatigue, or staying awake till late at night(lack of sleep) turns the skin dull and pale which exposes the tissues and blood vessels under the skin. It also causes fluid buildup under the eyes.

2. Age

With age, the skin gets thinner which in turn cuts back on the fat and collagen content. This causes the skin elasticity to shrink and it eventually shows the dark blood vessels lying underneath.

3. Strain on eyes

Staring at the screen can stress the eyes which trigger the blood vessels to enlarge around the eyes. Then, the skin starts darkening.

4. Allergies

Eruption of allergy and dry eyes can result in dark circles. When an allergic reaction takes place, the body releases histamines to fight the germ which thereby causes itchiness, puffs, and redness. It also prompts blood vessels to swell and become visible under the skin. If rubbed, it can cause inflammation and cause the blood vessels to break amounting to dark shadows beneath the eyes.

5. Dehydration

It’s a popular cause contributing to dark circles beneath the eyes. If the body is having insufficient hydration, the skin appears dull and the eyes tend to sink due to the proximity to the underlying bone.

6. Overexposure to the sun

Sun exposure produces excessive melanin- the pigment attributed to lending skin color. With increased exposure to the eyes, the pigmentation around the eyes also increases.

7. Genetic background

If a family has a history of dark circles, it gets carried on into the next generations. One can inherit it in childhood. Over time, they might get lighter or darkened as well. On the other hand, susceptibility to some medical conditions like thyroid can cause dark circles.

8. Anemia

Less count of RBC than the normal range can cause dark circles under the eyes. One needs to consult a doctor to examine the iron content in the blood.

How to Treat Dark Circles?

Homely treatments

The cause triggering dark circles comes to govern the treatment procedure. Meanwhile, some home remedies might address the concern:

1. Cold compression: It can reduce puffiness and dilatory blood vessels. Take some ice cubes in a piece of washcloth put it under the eyes or wet a cloth with chilled water applying it to the specific area.
2. Give yourself adequate sleep with your head lifted on a stack of pillows. It might act against fluid accumulation under the eyes.
3. Stay hydrated: Drink more water. Consumption of liquids (milk, juices, tea), vegetables, and fruits can also help.
4. Apply soaked tea bags: Packed with caffeine and antioxidants, tea boosts blood circulation, contracts dilated blood vessels, and lessens liquid buildup beneath the skin. Soak two green or black tea bags in hot water for 5 minutes and chill them in the freezer for 15-20 mins. When cold, put it on closed eyes for 10-20 mins. Take it off and rinse your eyes with cool water.
5. Use eye creams: Eyes creams for treating dark circles can hydrate and smoothen the skin surrounding the eyes.


Various treatments can address the concern:

• chemical peels to lower pigmentation
• laser surgery to heal the skin and increase skin tightening
• medical tattoos to infuse pigment into dissipating skin areas
• tissue fillers to hide blood vessels and melanin that causes skin discoloration
• fat removal to get rid of excess fat for smoother skin
• surgical implants of fat or synthetic products
• carboxytherapy to boost blood flow under the eyes

However it’s important to consult a doctor before undergoing any cosmetic treatment since such interventions can be costly, and painful with a prolonged recovery period.


One needs to visit a doctor or dermatologist if discoloration goes worse or creates huge swelling around the eyes as it needs to be rightly diagnosed and treated.

About Us

Dr. Abhishek Malviya is a Dermatologist, Cosmetologist, Laser Surgeon Specialist and Hair Transplant Surgeon in Pipliyahana, Indore and has an experience of 9 years in these fields.

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