Fatigue is the most common cause of dark circles under your eyes. Sometimes, what appear to be dark circles under your eyes may merely be shadows cast by puffy eyelids or hollows under your eyes that develop as a normal part of aging.
Some of the most common causes of true under-eye circles are:
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Contact dermatitis
- (allergic rhinitis)
- Heredity — dark under-eye circles can run in families
- 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
Oct. 13, 2016
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Friedmann DP, et al. Dark circles: Etiology and management options. Clinics in Plastic Surgery. 2015;42:33.
- Vrcek I, et al. Infraorbital dark circles: A review of the pathogenesis, evaluation and treatment. Journal of Cutaneous Aesthetic Surgery. 2016;9:65.
- Matsui MS, et al. Physiological and lifestyle factors contributing to risk and
severity of peri-orbital dark circles in the Brazilian population. Anais Brasileiros de Dermatologia. 2015;90:494.
- Sarkar R, et al. Periorbital hyperpigmentation: A comprehensive review. The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology. 2016;9:49.
- Wilkinson JM (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Sept. 5, 2016.