What Causes Dark Circles Around Eyes?

Dark circles around eyes are called periorbital. They may be caused by:

  • sleep deprivation or fatigue,
  • hyper pigmentation,
  • heredity,
  • age,
  • pregnancy,
  • medications,
  • allergies,
  • asthma,
  • eczema or other health problems.

In young people, they are most often a symptom of minor sleep deprivation and are accompanied by slight to moderate puffiness. These symptoms usually disappear as the day goes on or after the person gets enough sleep.

Lack of sleep causes the problem, because it causes paleness and blood beneath the skin becomes visible as a blue or black color. It’s like how you can see the veins beneath the skin of your wrists.

Hyperpigmentation means that the skin is actually darker in this area, because there is more of the pigment melanin being produced. When the problem seems to be hereditary, it could be due to hyperpigmentation.

Excessive sun exposure could also cause hyperpigmentation.

The skin becomes thinner with age due to collagen loss and decreased skin cell production. Loss of collagen also causes the skin to become more translucent. The blood and blood vessels beneath the skin can become visible as a result of the collagen loss and/or the thinning.

Some women become paler during pregnancy or menstruation because of a lack of iron. Anemia or a lack of any essential nutrient in the diet could also cause dark circles around eyes.

Medications that cause the blood vessels to dilate or get larger can cause them to be more apparent beneath the skin. Because the skin around the eyes is thinner than it is elsewhere on the body, blood vessel dilation could be visible.

Allergies, asthma and eczema are often accompanied by itchy skin and itchy eyes. The actually cause is rubbing or scratching, which may be involuntary.

Liver disease along with any serious health problem could lead to dark circles around eyes.

But, the most common causes are lack of sleep and skin aging.

Preventing Dark Circles Around Eyes

How to prevent them depends on the underlying cause. Even if age or heredity is the underlying cause, there are still things you can do. Getting enough sleep is an obvious preventative measure.

Hyperpigmentation may be preventable if it is caused by sun exposure.

Skin thinning, decreased skin cell production and loss of collagen may be preventable to a certain degree with good nutrition and the use of good anti-aging skincare products.

Eating a healthy diet and taking good dietary supplements could help prevent dark circles around eyes if the cause is lack of iron or another type of malnutrition. Most doctors now recommend that women who are menstruating take an iron supplement.

When paleness is associated with pregnancy, the skin’s color should return soon after giving birth. If the darkness is a side effect of some medication, you may talk to your doctor about an alternative drug.

If you have allergies, eczema, asthma or anything that causes itching, the use of a good moisturizer can help reduce the itching. There are specific moisturizers available for the delicate area around the eyes.

If the problem persists and you have other symptoms, such as fatigue even after getting a good night’s sleep, take some time to see your doctor and get a check-up.

Solution for Getting Rid of Dark Circles Around Eye

Like the methods of prevention, the solution for getting rid of them depends on the cause. If the cause is sleep deprivation, they will go away after you get a good night’s sleep. If the cause is an illness or a lack of nutrients, correcting those issues will correct the problem. In some cases, such as in pregnancy, it is just a matter of time.

Time can also work against you obviously. There may be a solution for permanent dark circles around eyes that are associated with the aging process. Some ingredients found in moisturizers specially designed for the skin beneath and around the eyes have proven to be effective in clinical trials. You can learn about those ingredients in the last section of this page.

For hyperpigmentation, there are whitening creams that inhibit melanin production. But you must be very careful to select one that contains only safe and natural ingredients. Most contain hydroquinone which can do more harm than good. There is a plant extract that has been shown to inhibit melanin production. That would be a safer choice.

Home Remedies You Can Try for Dark Circles Around Eyes

There are many concoctions that people have come up with. They might work. They might not. The only evidence is anecdotal. There are no scientific studies to support their effectiveness.

Since they are safe, as long as you avoid getting the concoctions in your eyes, there’s no reason not to try them.

So, here are some of the home remedies that people have used for dark circles around eyes.

  • Make a paste of turmeric powder and pineapple juice. Use just enough juice to moisten the powder.
  • Spread the paste on the dark areas and allow it to dry.
  • Rinse with warm water and pat dry. I
  • In order for this to work you would likely need to repeat the process.

The thing about turmeric is that it contains an antioxidant called curcumin that has been shown to do some pretty miraculous things in scientific studies.

So, it might work for this.

For this one, you need a cucumber, some lemon juice and some olive oil.

  • You grate the cucumber to make about a quarter cup and chill in the freezer for about five minutes.
  • Mix one tablespoon of lemon juice with one tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Then mix that with the cucumber.
  • Apply the mixture to the area around your eyes and leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  • You may need to lie down or recline to keep it from sliding off your face.
  • Applying almond oil and placing slices of raw potato over the area are other things that are said to work.

Another thing you can do is use a yellow based concealer.

Ingredients Found in Skincare Products that Work Better than the Home Remedies

The plant extract mentioned above is called Extrapone Nutgrass. It is found in whitening facial creams and typically applied over the entire facial area to reduce pigmentation caused by sun exposure.

For age-related dark circles, the most effective ingredient is HALOXYL, a proprietary formula created in Europe. The key ingredients in the formula are protein peptides and antioxidants that have proven to be effective for removing dark circles around eyes after 56 days of use. So, you may only be months away from a younger looking you. Be patient.  Use regularly.


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