Dark circles under the lower eyelids are common in men and women. Often accompanied by bags, dark circles can make you look older than you are. Even worse, they can be difficult to get rid of.
While they can affect anyone, dark circles are most common in people who:
- have a genetic predisposition to this condition
- are from non-white ethnic backgrounds (darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation around the eye area)
While fatigue may seem like the most logical explanation for this condition, there are a number of factors that can contribute to the appearance of dark circles under the eyes. In most cases, they are not a cause for concern and do not require medical attention. Read on to find out more.
Causes of dark circles under the eyes in women
In addition to fatigue, some common causes of under eye circles include:
- Heredity. Sometimes genetics can be to blame for thin or light skin under the eyes. You are left with fragile capillaries that stretch and leak.
- Allergies. Allergies can cause your body to release histamine, a chemical found in certain body cells. And it can inflame the blood vessels, causing swelling.
- Eczema. This chronic skin condition causes patches of skin to become inflamed, dry and often intensely itchy and can affect the skin under the eyes.
- Scratching or rubbing your eyes. The skin under the eye is very sensitive, so the more you irritate it, the more it will react.
- Sun exposure. This causes your body to produce more melanin, which is the pigment that gives skin its color. And when you expose your skin to the sun, you increase the breakdown of collagen, which thins the skin and makes the veins more obvious.
- Irregular pigmentation. These disorders are common in people of color, especially Asians and African Americans.
- Aging. Your skin loses collagen and thins as you age, making veins more visible.
- Contact dermatitis. Soaps, cosmetics, hair products, jewelry, and other things can cause itchy, red rashes when they touch your skin.
Causes of dark circles under the eyes in men
Dark circles under the eyes are a common complaint in men. As people age, the skin will become thinner and the occurrence of blood vessels under the eyes may increase, making the under-eye area appear darker. Dark circles under the eyes are not necessarily a sign of fatigue, but stress and fatigue seem to impair the appearance of many people’s faces, including their tendency to develop dark circles.
Conditions such as fluid imbalances or local swelling that lead to puffy or puffy eyelids can cause shadows that make the under-eye area appear darker. Injury (“black eye”) can cause darkening of the entire area of the eye.
In most cases, dark circles under the eyes are not a sign of a serious medical condition.
Other causes of dark circles under the eyes
- Excessive rubbing of the eye area
- Fluid retention
- Nasal congestion
- sun exposure
Why do dark circles appear under the eyes
There are a number of contributing factors for dark circles. Some common reasons include:
Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing dark tissue and blood vessels under the skin to show.
Lack of sleep can also cause fluid to form under the eyes, making them appear puffy. As a result, the dark circles you see may actually be shadows cast by your puffy eyelids.
Natural aging is another common cause of dark circles under the eyes. As you age, your skin becomes thinner. You also lose the fat and collagen needed to keep your skin supple. When this happens, the dark blood vessels under your skin become more visible, causing the area under your eyes to darken.
Staring at a TV or computer screen can cause significant eye strain. This tension can harm the blood vessels around your eyes. As a result, the skin around your eyes may darken.
Allergic reactions and dry eyes can cause dark circles under the eyes. When you have an allergic reaction, your body releases histamines in response to harmful bacteria. In addition to causing uncomfortable symptoms — including itchy, red, and swollen eyes — histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible under the skin.
Allergies can also increase your desire to rub and scratch the itchy skin around your eyes. These activities can make your symptoms worse by causing inflammation, swelling, and rupture of blood vessels. This can lead to dark shadows under the eyes.
Dehydration is a common cause of dark circles under the eyes. When your body doesn’t get the proper amount of water, the skin under your eyes starts to look dull and your eyes look sunken. This is due to their close proximity to the main bone.
Too much sun
Overexposure to the sun can cause your body to produce excess melanin, the pigment that gives your skin color. Too much sun—especially for your eyes—can cause pigmentation in the surrounding skin to darken.
Family history also plays a role in the development of dark circles under the eyes. It may be an inherited trait seen in early childhood and may worsen with aging or slowly disappear. A predisposition to other medical conditions – such as thyroid disease – can also lead to dark circles under the eyes.
How to quickly remove dark circles under the eyes
Treatment for dark circles under the eyes depends on the underlying cause. However, there are some home remedies that can help manage this condition. Some of the more common methods include:
- Apply a cold compress . A cold compress can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels. It can reduce the appearance of puffiness and help eliminate dark circles. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean cloth and apply to your eyes. You can also dampen a towel with cold water and apply it on the skin under your eyes for 20 minutes for the same effect. Repeat this process if the fabric becomes warm or if the ice melts.
- Get extra sleep. Catch-up sleep can also help reduce the appearance of dark…