Dark Circles Under Your Eyes—Causes and Treatment

Updated on January 15, 2022

The lower eyelid skin is one of the thinnest and most delicate part of the human skin. With no oil glands around it, the dermis is ultra-susceptible and easily exposes the subdermal features to shadows and rings. Often accompanied by bags, dark circles can make one appear older than they actually are. Besides, they can be quite difficult to get rid of hence making things more complicated. 

Though they can affect anyone, dark circles are common in elderly and people with genetic predisposition. Organic cream for dark circles under eyes is recommended to help alleviate the problem. Read on to learn more

Root cause of dark circles

Lack of sleep

Sleep deprivation makes the skin dull and pale hence allowing the formation of dark tissues in your skin. Naturally, human body repair skin and tissues when in state of good sleep. Lack of the above will increase stress to the body system. As a result, the body produces steroidal compounds which in turn reduces circulation to the skin. This causes a buildup of deoxygenated blood making the eye circles more perceptible.


Family history plays a crucial role in the formation of dark circles. Individuals whose parents had dark circles are more likely to have them regardless of the treatment used. This inherited trait can be seen early in childhood for people with melanin-rich genetic groups. Susceptibility to other health conditions such as thyroid may also cause dark circles.

Iron Deficiency 

If you are not consuming a nutrient-rich diet, then chances are you might develop dark circles in your eyes. Lack of minerals such as iron makes veins more noticeable. Research indicates that 50% of people suffering from Anemia have dark circles in the eyes. 


Some medications are known to encourage fluid retention. As a result, blood capillaries are likely to enlarge and change skin pigmentation. Medical conditions such as kidney problems and hormonal changes also causes fluid retention. 

Allergies and Eczema

Human body releases histamines as responses to allergic reactions. This causes swelling of tissues and circulation problems. Allergies also increases the urge to rub and scratch the skin beneath the eyes. This damages the delicate circulatory system of the eyes hence dark circles. Conditions like eczema are also likely to cause darkening of eye tissues. 


Tobacco contains chemical toxins that are difficult to filter. They limit blood flow to body organs such as the eyelids, causing an exceedingly pale appearance around the eyes.  


Alcohol intake worsens the workload on the liver and lowers blood oxygenation. This causes blood vessels to expand hence a puffy and bluish appearance in the under eye skin. Alcohol also affects normal patterns of sleep.

Sun overexposure

Too much sun rays causes your body to produce excess melanin especially around the eyes.


As you get older, the skin becomes thinner and loses fat and collagen needed for skin elasticity. This makes blood vessels beneath your skin more noticeable.

At-Home Treatments to Reduce Dark Eye Circles

  1. Get enough sleep
  2. Reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption and smoking of cigarettes.
  3. Eat a balanced-diet containing antioxidant-rich foods.
  4. Apply cold tea bags to your eyes.
  5.  Apply a cold compress using ice-cubes.
  6. Take quality supplements.
  1. Conceal with a makeup
  2. Use skincare containing natural skin lightening ingredients.
  3.  Use a caffeine cream 

What the doctor might suggest for dark circles

For a more effective and permanent solution, a doctor might offer some medical treatments to reduce the appearance of circles under your eyes. That recommendation includes:

Skin-lightening cream

These skin-lightening creams contain active ingredients such as hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid and more. The formula will help lighten under-eye hyperpigmentation. 

Laser therapy

The darker pigment is targeted using heat energy to activate damaged cells. Also, laser treatments help encourage new collagen formation. 

Chemical peels

Chemical peels such as Jessner peel will help reduce dark pigmentation. 


A plastic or dermatologic surgeon can surgically remove fat in a lower lid. This helps reduce the shadow cast by your eyelid, hence a reduction of dark circles.


Fillers such Juverderm are injected into the tissue to aid in volume loss under the eye, which triggers dark under eye circles.

Before deciding on any medical treatment, discuss the options with a dermatologist. 

When to see a doctor

In most cases, dark circles are no cause for concern and do not require medical attention. However, if inflammation and discoloration appear under only one eye, seek urgent medical attention, particularly if it the condition seems to worsen over time. 

The Takeaway

While dark circles are not dangerous, they can be a good indicator of underlying health problems in the body.  Besides, you might want them to disappear for cosmetic reasons. You need to consult a doctor to ensure correct diagnosis of the issue and best treatment. Mental reasons are mainly why dark under eye circles are so repugnant to people. All in all, a good eye-care routine is the first step to help your eyes look fresh and bright.