Dark Circles: Cause, Treatment and Home Remedies

dark circles

You might be thinking that dark circles are due to a lack of sleep and tiredness, however, it might not be the case.

People around the world mostly think that dark circles are due to the above two factors.

Though this can be just one cause, there are different other reasons for them to appear under your eyes.

These can be allergies or the natural aging process. Moreover, these circles can rarely be a cause of concern.

But a lot of individuals want to reduce their appearance for cosmetic reasons.

It is important to note that in some cases, dark circles can be a sign that you need certain lifestyle changes. These include improvement in your sleep habits and diet.

Keep on reading to learn more about them in Detail.

Dark Circles: Causes

The area under your eyes can appear dark than your other facial skin due to constricted blood vessels causing hyperpigmentation or pigmentation.

It can also be due to thinking of skin around your eyes.

The causes are as follows:

  • lack of sleep or poor sleeping habits
  • allergies like hay fever
  • the hyperpigmentation that often occurs when your body produces more melanin.
  • thyroid conditions
  • smoking
  • inherited genes
  • aging
  • dermatitis

Moreover, reduced levels of fatty tissue around your eyes, thinking of skin, anemia from iron deficiency,  and dehydration can cause dark circles.

dark circles causesFurthermore, eye drop treatment for glaucoma like bimatoprost, and frequently rubbing your eyes can cause dark circles.

Oversleeping, extreme fatigue or just staying up late for hours past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles.

Moreover, sleep deprivation can also make your skin dull and pale, thus, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show.

Furthermore, staring at your T.V. or computer screens can cause significant eye strain.

This strain causes blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge, thus, resulting in the darkening of eyes.

Certain allergies and eye dryness can trigger dark circles.

Histamines are released as a result of an allergic reaction, as well as itching, redness, and puffy eyes can cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible under your eyes.

One of the common causes of dark circles is dehydration.

When your body is not receiving enough water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken.

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Risk Factors for developing Dark Circles

There are certain risk factors for dark circles under your eyes.

These are:

Older Age: Loss of fatty tissue around your eyes and thinking of skin are part of the natural aging process.

These changes often make dark circles appear even more defined in older adults.

A tear-through is the hollow under your eyes that can also cause them. It is related to aging.

dark circles, risk factorsEthnicity: It is important to note that dark circles are more common in individuals with darker skin tones.

Moreover, they can also affect people of color more than those with white color.

These risk factors are thought to be due to changes in pigmentation.

Genetics: In some cases, these can be heredity.

Research suggests that if you have someone in the family with dark circles, then then you can also have them.

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Home Remedies for Dark Circles

With the help of certain home remedies, you may be able to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Though some of these are not scientifically proven, they may be worth trying as many of these are inexpensive and produce no side effects.

Let’s discuss them as follows:

Get More Sleep

Make sure that you are getting enough quality sleep or 8 hours of sleep every night to reduce and even prevent dark circles.

Raising your head up with the help of extra pillows can also help to reduce and swelling around your eyes.


Applying cucumber slices to your eyes can soothe the tired eyes and even help to reduce swelling.

The high water and vitamin C content in cucumber can help to nourish and moisturize the skin. Moreover, it also contains silica which is essential for healthy tissue.

Tea Bags

Teabags can help to reduce or lessen dark circles and puffiness under your eyes.

dark circles 1Caffeine contains antioxidant properties and also stimulates blood circulation around your eyes, according to studies.

For this remedy, you will have to boil 2 teabags in water before letting them cool, then resting them on your eyes.

Moreover, put them in the fridge first to add a cooling effect for your eyes.

You can choose to use black, green, or herbal tea bags.

Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to your eyes can constrict blood vessels and reduce their appearance.


The poor circulation around your eyes can cause the appearance of dark circles. Thus, the help of gentle massage around the area around your eyes can help to improve circulation.

Antioxidant Skincare Products

Certain face creams and under-the-eye products or eye creams that contain antioxidants can help to reduce the appearance of dark circles or eye bags.

Vitamin E and C are the two antioxidants that can help treat them.


Though make will not alter them, however, you may want to use an under-the-eye concealer for cosmetic purposes.

Medical Treatments for Dark Circles

In cases, home remedies do not help you to get rid of dark circles, you can always visit your doctor or dermatologist for advice on medical treatment.

Some of the medical options are as follows:

Topical Creams: Bleaching creams can help to reduce hyperpigmentation.

These might include:

  • tretinoin
  • hydroquinone
  • a combination of both

Moreover, you may need to use hydroquinone for at least 3 months to see any visible effects.

treatmentsKojic acid: Anecdotal reports states that kojic acid is an effective treatment.

Kojic acid is a natural product that comes from two species of fungi.

However, it is important to understand the side effects that include contact dermatitis and reddening of the skin.

Azelaic Acid: You can use this acid to treat hyperpigmentation under your eyes and it is also safe to use for longer periods of time.

Topical Vitamin C: According to a study, vitamin C lotion for the treatment of dark circles for 6 months can help to effectively lighten darkness under your eyes.

Other Medical Treatments

Some of the other medical treatments for under eye dark circles are:

Chemical Peels: Peels that use alpha-hydroxy acids like glycolic acid can help to lighten hyperpigmentation under your eyes.

Moreover, you can also use chemical peels along with topical creams for better effects.

Lasers: With the help of laser therapy, they can help produce effective results for dark circles.

Moreover, less invasive laser procedures like pulsed dye or diode lasers can lessen the risk of scarring or other potential side effects.

Fillers: In case of thinking of skin or loss of fatty tissue is causing the appearance of dark circles, fillers can be a potential option.

fillersYou can have injections of platelet-rich plasma or hyaluronic acid gel into the area under your eyes to reduce their appearance.

Surgery: A type of surgery, i.e. blepharoplasty can help to get rid of dark circles that are due to deposits of extra fat or extra skin around the eye area.

The area under your eyes is extremely delicate and you should always discuss the possible side effects before undergoing surgery.

Moreover, make sure that only a certified dermatologist carries out medical procedures for this area.

If you are taking certain medications like bimatoprost for glaucoma, they will disappear after you stop using medication.

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Prevention Tips

You can prevent the appearance of dark circles by addressing lifestyle factors contributing to their appearance.

Some of these preventive measures are:

Getting enough Sleep and Reducing Stress

Research suggests that stress tends to increase the appearance of dark circles while resting and healthy lifestyle habits can help to decrease discoloration.

preventionProtecting our Eyes from the Sun

Wearing UV protection sunglasses that cover the eyes and wearing sunscreen around your eyes can help to prevent or even reduce them.

Stop Smoking and Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can speed up the aging process of your body.

Moreover, it can also increase the risk of increasing their appearance.

Final Thoughts

Dark circles can affect anyone of any age and ethnicity for a variety of reasons like aging, genetics, and certain lifestyle factors. You may also find allergies, nutrient deficiencies, or some underlying medical condition causing dark circles.

Certain home remedies can help to treat them. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, quality sleep, a balanced diet, and proper hydration can help to prevent dark circles.

However, if you have concerns about their appearance, then you can visit your doctor or dermatologist for treatment options and check for any underlying health conditions.

With the help of treatments like fillers, chemical peels. hyaluronic acid, PRP treatments, etc. you can effectively reduce their appearance and even prevent them.


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