Most of us think dark circles appear due to lack of sleep or old age. The truth is, dark circles can affect anyone of any age and ethnicity for a variety of reasons. Genetics, aging, and lifestyle factors all play a part in the development of dark circles. Some may also find that allergies, nutrient deficiencies, or underlying health conditions can cause dark circles. There are a number of at-home and medical treatments available to improve the appearance of your eyes, dark circles are typically no cause for alarm. If people have concerns about the appearance of dark circles, they can see their doctor or dermatologist for treatment options and to check for any underlying health conditions.
What Is Dark Circles Around Eyes?
Dark circles are darkening of the skin around the eyes or darkening of the complexion. It is often accompanied by bags, that can make you appear older than you are. To make matters worse, they can be difficult to get rid of as well.
What Causes Dark Circles?
There are a number of contributing factors for dark circles. Some common causes of include:
Family history also plays a part in developing dark circles under your eyes. It can be an inherited trait seen early in childhood, and may worsen as you age or slowly disappear. Predispositions to other medical conditions — such as thyroid disease — can also result in dark circles beneath your eyes.
Natural aging is another common cause of those dark circles beneath your eyes. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner. You also lose the fat and collagen needed to 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.
- Eye Strain
Staring at your television or computer screen can cause significant strain on your eyes. This strain can cause blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge. As a result, the skin surrounding your eyes can darken.
Oversleeping, extreme fatigue, or just staying up a few hours past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show. Lack of sleep can also cause fluid to build underneath your eyes, causing them to appear puffy. As a result, the dark circles you see may actually be shadows cast by your puffy eyelids.
- Too Much Salt or Caffeine
You may notice that if you indulge in a salt-heavy meal before you go to bed, you’ll wake up with bags under your eyes. Certain foods with high levels of sodium and caffeine content will cause your body to retain water, aggravating the skin under the eyes and making them appear darker.
- Scratching or Rubbing Your Eyes
Itching, rubbing, scratching, you name it: all of it can lead to dark circles under eyes. If you happen to rub them instinctively in the middle of the night and are in dire need of an immediate fix, you should use hemorrhoid creams to temporarily shrink the vessels; it’s a handy modeling trick used before photoshoots. If you have a bit more time on your hands, consider cold cucumbers on the eyes—they are cooling, soothing, and they have many anti-inflammatory skin benefits.
Allergic reactions and eye dryness can trigger dark circles. When you have an allergic reaction, your body release histamines as a response to harmful bacteria. Other than causing uncomfortable symptoms — including itchiness, redness, and puffy eyes — histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin. Allergies can also increase your urge to rub and scratch the itchy skin around your eyes. These actions can worsen your symptoms, causing inflammation, swelling, and broken blood vessels. This can result in dark shadows beneath your eyes.
Dehydration is a common cause of dark circles under your eyes. When your body is not receiving the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken. This is due to their close proximity to the underlying bone.
- Sun Overexposure
Overexposure to the sun can cause your body to produce an excess of melanin, the pigment that provides your skin with color. Too much sun — particularly for your eyes — can cause pigmentation in the surrounding skin to darken.
- Fluid Retention
Fluid retention will cause blood to pool underneath your eyes and produce a darkened appearance.
There are also some other causes of dark circle.
- hyperpigmentation, which happens when the body produces more melanin
- reduced levels of fatty tissue around the eyes
- anemia from iron deficiency
- thyroid conditions
You can help prevent the appearance of dark circles by addressing lifestyle factors. Treatment for dark eye circles depends on the underlying cause. However, there are some home remedies that can help manage this condition. Some of the more common methods include:
- Soak With Tea Bags
Applying cold tea bags to your eyes can improve their appearance. Tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that can help stimulate blood circulation, shrink your blood vessels, and reduce liquid retention beneath your skin. Soak two black or green tea bags in hot water for five minutes. Let them chill in the refrigerator for 15 to 20 minutes. Once they’re cold, apply the teabags to your closed eyes for 10 to 20 minutes. After removing, rinse your eyes with cool water.
- Get Extra Sleep
Catching up on sleep can also help reduce the appearance of dark circles. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to appear pale, making the dark circles more obvious. Allow yourself seven to eight hours of rest to prevent dark circles from appearing.
- Elevate your head
While sleep deprivation can play a part in producing those dark bags under your eyes, sometimes it’s how you sleep. Elevate your head with a few pillows to prevent fluid from pooling under your eyes which can make them look puffy and swollen.
- Apply a Cold Compress
A cold compress can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels. This can reduce the appearance of puffiness and help eliminate dark circles. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean washcloth and apply to your eyes. You can also dampen a washcloth with cold water and apply it to the skin under your eyes for 20 minutes for the same effect. Repeat this process if the cloth becomes warm or if the ice melts.
If you prefer products without the hustle of home remedies that you can try, we recommend the following:
- Gel or cream with Aloe Vera or Avocado
It helps by hydrating the skin and reduces puffiness of the skin with its anti-inflammatory and calming properties.
- Always Use a Sunscreen
The skin under your eye is extremely thin, hence it easily gets penetrated by the sun's harmful ultraviolet A and ultraviolet B (UVA and UVB) rays.