If you get plenty of sleep and still have dark circles under your eyes, that's not unusual. Fatigue isn't the only reason for under-eye circles. What appear to be under-eye circles are sometimes just shadows cast by puffy eyelids or hollows under your eyes that develop as a normal part of aging.
Here are some of the most common causes of true under-eye circles.
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Heredity — dark under-eye circles can run in families
- Lifestyle factors, such as physical or emotional stress, smoking, or chronic alcohol use can take a toll on your appearance
- Nasal congestion (which can dilate and darken the veins that drain from your eyes to your nose)
- Pigmentation irregularities — these are a particular concern for people of color, especially blacks and Asians
- Rubbing or scratching your eyes
- Sun exposure, which prompts your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color
- Thinning skin and loss of fat and collagen — common as you age — can make the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes more obvious
Dec. 11, 2010
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Roh MR, et al. Infraorbital dark circles: Definition, causes, and treatment options. Dermatologic Surgery. 2009;35:1163.
- Eberlin S, et al. Effects of a Brazilian herbal compound as a cosmetic eyecare for periorbital hyperchromia ("dark circles"). Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2009;8:127.
- Oppenheimer JJ. The nose and its relationship to the eyes. Current Allergy and Asthma Report. 2010;10:75.
- Roh MR, et al. Treatment of infraorbital dark circles by autologous fat transplantation: A pilot study. British Journal of Dermatology. 2009;160:1022.
- Momosawa A, et al. Combined therapy using Q-switched ruby laser and bleaching treatment with tretinoin and hydroquinone for periorbital skin hyperpigmentation in Asians. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2008;121:282.