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Dark Circles under Eyes – Causes and Treatment

Infraorbital dark circles, often called dark circles under the eyes are the presence of black colored circles under the eyes. This condition affects people of all ages, genders, and races. Dark circles under the eyes are very common skin complaint and one of most annoying beauty problems for a large number of individuals. This cosmetic condition can affect the individual’s emotional well-being, as dark circles can make a person look tired, sad, and sometimes older than their natural age.

What Causes Dark Circles under Eyes?

Here are some of the possible causes of dark circles around eyes:


Stress and anxiety are major causes of black bags under the eyes. They mostly occur due to lack of sleep resulted from chronic stress.

Broken Capillaries

Dark under-eye circles are often caused by broken capillaries around the eyes. Broken capillaries cause cells to leak small amounts of blood and give the appearance of dark blue color.


Tendency to develop dark areas under eyes can be an inherited condition. The level of skin transparency is an inherited characteristic. When the skin is transparent the capilleries under the eyes can look darker and more likely to show through.

Lack of Sleep

Poor sleep and tiredness can cause your skin to be more translucent, which in turn can cause the eye circles to become more obvious.


Poor nutrition and the lack of essential vitamins may cause the appearance of eye circles. Dark rings can also be a sign of lack of iron in the body.

Exposure to the Sun

Too much sun exposure to sun leads to skin wrinkles and increase level of melanin below the eyes, making the skin around the eyes darker.


Tendency to rub itchy eyes frequently can make the skin under the eyes look darker. People who suffer from allergy may be prone to increased darkness under the eyes during allergy season.

Cold and Sinus Infection

Cold and blocked nasal passages can increase the pressure inside the blood vessels and make the skin paler and the eye circles look more distinct.


Dark rings under the eyes become more noticeable with the aging process. The skin around the eyes becomes thinner as we age enhancing the appearance of blood vessels.

Hormonal Changes

For some women monthly cycle can cause hormonal-induced dark circles and puffiness.
Pregnancy and menopause can cause the skin become more transparent and underlying blood vessels to be more visible.

Treatment Options for Under-Eye Circles

Here are some of options available for those who want to get rid of dark circles under eyes:

  • Place chilled cucumber or potato slices on the eyes and keep them for 15 minutes
  • Cover your eyes with cool black tea or green tea bags and keep them for approximately 10 minutes
  • Choose eye creams containing niacinamide and face creams that stimulate collagen production
  • Eye serums are packed with potent ingredients which are safe for delicate skin around eyes
  • Mild chemical peels can improve the collagen production and decrease pigmentation around the eyes
  • Apply almond oil on the affected area every night before bed
  • Add vitamin-rich foods to your diet, reduce alcohol and quit smoking
  • Wear sunglasses anytime you are outside on bright days


Image courtesy of marin, at

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