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What Causes Dark Eye Circles?

dark eye circles causes

Dark circles under the eyes are fairly common regardless of gender and age. Often regarded as panda eyes, dark circles can make anyone appear older than they are. And for some reason, dark eye circles can be difficult to get rid of.

That said, it’s easy to notice dark circles as the under-eye skin is one of the thinnest areas on the body. This makes the reddish-blue blood vessels appear more visible. With little to no subcutaneous tissue, the under-eye skin is not supported as much as the rest of the facial skin. This results in puffy eyes and the appearance of dark shadows under the eyes.

While dark eye circles are harmless, their appearance can be due to various reasons and may or may not be an indicator of health problems. Also, it can be an inherited trait that worsens over time.

For many people, dark eye circles present a distasteful appearance. However, it can be treated based on what’s causing them. Here are seven causes of dark eye circles and how you can diminish their appearance.

Lack of Sleep

Staying up past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles to appear under your eyes. Along with extreme fatigue, the lack of sleep can cause your skin to appear dull and pale. This further results in your blood vessels and dark tissues becoming more apparent against your pale complexion.

When you’re sleeping, your body helps to regulate blood circulation and repair the skin along with other tissues. Not getting enough sleep increases stress to your body system, leading to poor blood circulation to the skin. Hence, the importance of getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep every night.


Family history also plays a part in the development of dark eye circles. If your parents have dark eye circles, you’ll likely have them no matter what kind of dark eye circle treatment you employ or how much sleep you get.

Additionally, if you belong to melanin-rich genetic groups, the chances of having dark eye circles is high. This is because darker skin tone contains more melanin content.

Iron Deficiency

Anaemia is a medical condition caused by the lack of iron in the body. Due to iron deficiency, the blood cells are unable to carry enough oxygen to all the tissues in the body including those under the eyes. This results in dark circles under the eyes.

Not consuming iron-rich foods to replenish the iron deficiency in your body can also cause discolouration as the veins located around your eyes become more apparent whenever you lack iron in your system. Thus, the importance of eating a healthy diet with iron-rich foods.

Medications and Medical Condition

Certain medication and medical condition can cause dark eye circles to become apparent. That’s because certain medication contains compounds that can make the blood vessels under your eyes dilate or encourage fluid retention.

Not only that, but medical conditions such as kidney and heart problems can also cause fluid retention, leading to enlarged blood capillaries or build-up of lymphatic fluid. Hormonal changes such as those experiencing PMS or menopause may notice some changes to the pigmentation of their skin, especially around the under-eye area.

Eye Strain

As we continue to work remotely, the amount of time spent staring at your computer screen can cause significant eye strain and dry eyes. This causes the blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge, leading to more visible blood capillaries. As a result, the skin surrounding your eyes may appear dark.

Try giving your eyes a break from the computer screen every once in a while. It’s one way to relax your eyesight and minimise your exposure to blue light. Also, make an effort to blink as often as possible to keep your eyes from drying out.

Allergies and Eczema

Allergic reactions and eczema can cause dark eye circles to appear. When your allergy is triggered, the body releases a chemical, known as histamine, as a response to fight harmful bacteria. While it helps to battle the bacteria, histamine can cause your blood vessels to dilate, leading to increased blood flow under the eyes.

Histamine can also increase the urge to rub and scratch the itchy skin around your eyes. This results in inflammation, swelling, and broken blood vessels underneath your eyes. Hence, the dark circles under your eyes. Try applying a cold compress to relieve the itch so that you can resist the urge to rub your eyes.


There’s a reason why we have to drink plenty of water every day – to replenish the amount of water in our body as well as to aid bodily processes. When your body is dehydrated, it can make you feel tired and lead to tired-looking eyes, even though you had enough sleep.

Not only that, but dehydration also decreases the blood flow and makes your heart work less efficiently. When the blood circulation to the skin underneath your eyes is reduced, it may appear dull, causing your eyes to look sunken. Thus, the importance of drinking plenty of water daily.

Knowing the cause of your dark eye circles will allow for better dark eye circle treatment. With Eeva Medical Clinic’s Eeva REJUE Polynucleotide Eye Rejuvenation (eyes) treatment, you can have brighter under-eye skin tone, reduced fine lines and wrinkles while improving hydration and water balance under your eyes.

Eeva Medical Aesthetic Clinic