What Causes Dark Eye Circles – 9 Ways To Remove Them

What are Dark Circles?

Dark circles

Dark eye circles are nothing but dark-like spots under your eyelids. They are common in both men and women. It can also be a sign that may indicate that your lifestyle is out of balance.

Dark circles can happen to anyone, but they are most common in elderly people and include those due to genetic predisposition. The most logical clarification for this would be fatigue, lack of sleep, or allergies

Even the colors of dark circles may vary for each individual – they go from purple or blue to dark brown or black. It depends on one’s skin color. In most cases, they aren’t of any concern but people may wish to reduce them for various reasons such as cosmetics.

Causes and Risk Factors:

There are a number of factors that can contribute to dark eye circles. Some of them are:

1) Age: Aging is a natural process but also one of the causes of dark circles. Your skin tends to get thinner as you get older. During this process, your body may lose fat and collagen which are responsible for skin’s elasticity. When this happens, the blood vessels beneath your skin may become prominently visible causing the area to darken. (1)

2)  Dehydration: Another factor that may cause dark eye circles is dehydration. When your body receives improper or very less amount of water, the skin beneath your eyelids becomes dull and your eyes may look like they are sunken. 

3) Fatigue or poor sleeping habits: When people go through disproportionate sleep cycles, they may lack energy or motivation. Oversleeping or staying up a few hours before your normal bedtime can contribute to dark circles. (2)

Insomnia or sleep deprivation can make your skin dull and pale, allowing blood vessels and dark tissues to show below your eyes. Lack of sleep can also cause puffy eyes due to which shadows may show up underneath your eyelids which may appear as dark circles. 

4) Allergies: Certain allergic reactions allow your body to release histamine as a response to harmful bacteria or viruses. Eye dryness, itchiness, redness, and puffy eyes are the consequences of such allergies. The chemical histamine causes your blood vessels to dilate and hence, they become more visible beneath your eyes. 

Due to allergic reactions, one may develop the urge to rub or scratch their eyes. Doing this may worsen your symptoms and cause inflammation and broken blood vessels. This may result in dark shadows appearing below your eyelids. 

5) Overexposure to sunlight: Getting out in the sun is normal and healthy. But it gets worse when one spends a lot of time doing that. Your body produces an excess of a pigment called “melanin” when you are overexposed to the sun which is responsible for contributing to darker skin tone.

Hence, too much sunlight can cause pigmentation in the skin surrounding your eyes to darken. 

6) Genetics: Dark circles can also be seen in your family history. It can be an inherited trait that is generally noticed in early childhood and it may worsen or slowly disappear as you get older.  

Other causes of dark circles are:

1) Smoking

2) Thyroid conditions

3) Anemia

4) Dermatitis 

Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Dark Circles:

Remove dark circles

Treatment for dark eye circles depends on its cause. However, there are plenty of home treatments that can manage this condition. Some of them are:

1) Get quality sleep: Allow yourself to get sufficient sleep so that you feel fresh and energetic upon waking up. Getting good and quality sleep will help reduce the appearance of dark circles. So, make sure you are sleeping right each and every night. 

2) Cold compress: Applying a cold compress to your eyes can help reduce swelling and constrict blood vessels. This will further help in reducing the appearance of puffiness and help remove dark circles. Wrap some ice cubes in a washed cloth and apply it to your eyes.

You can also dampen a cloth with cold water and apply it under your eyes. You may wish to repeat the process if the washcloth gets warm or if the ice cubes melt.

3) Skin-care and makeup: Face creams that contain antioxidants are said to be effective against the appearance of dark circles. Vitamin E and C may help to treat them.

Makeup, on the other hand, won’t alter your appearance in natural form. But people do apply makeup, as in the case of dark circles, they use under-the-eye concealer for cosmetic purposes. 

4) Teabags: Applying tea bags to your eyes can help lessen dark circles and puffiness underneath the eyes. Tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that help to circulate blood around the eyes and shrink blood vessels. 

You can boil one or two tea bags in water and let them cool off for a while. You can also keep them in the refrigerator to make the process faster. Once they are cold enough, apply them to your closed eyes for 15-20 minutes and rinse your eyes with cool water after you are done. 

Medical Treatments:

If you are not able to get rid of them with home remedies, you can look for more effective and permanent solutions that medical treatments are offering. Some of them include:

1) Laser surgery for tightening and resurfacing of the skin. 

2) Topical bleaching creams which include hydroquinone or tretinoin to reduce hyperpigmentation. Hydroquinone needs to be used for at least 3 months to see an effect. 

3) Chemical peels to reduce pigmentation.

4) Fat removal to remove excess fat and skin for smoother skin. 

5) Fillers to cover blood vessels and melanin.

Remember to consult a professional doctor before approaching any medical treatments. They would know what is suitable for your skin condition. 


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