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Dark Circles Under Eyes: Causes, Treatment, and Remedies

Apr 2, 2024

Welcome to the ultimate guide on understanding, treating, and preventing those pesky under-eye dark circles! We’ve gathered all the scientific insights and practical tips you need to conquer this common skin concern. No more late-night googling or guesswork – this comprehensive resource is here to demystify the causes and provide you with dermatologist-approved advice.

Whether you’re searching for natural remedies or the latest treatments, we’ve got you covered with personalized approaches to help you achieve visible results.

Worried about your skin condition? Get in touch with best of our skin specialists in Pune. For a skin treatment, book an appointment with our dermatologists near you +919584584111

So, let’s embark on this supported journey together, arming you with the knowledge and tools to enhance your appearance and boost your confidence. Get ready to say goodbye to tired-looking eyes and hello to a fresh and youthful gaze

Table of Contents – 

What is Under Eyes Dark Circles?

Under-eye dark circles, also colloquially known as “bags under the eyes“, are a common dermatological concern that presents as a darkening of the skin beneath the eyes. This gives the appearance of being tired or unwell, even when you’re feeling fine. The formation of these dark circles is typically due to various factors, both genetic and environmental.

From a biological standpoint, the skin under our eyes is much thinner than the skin elsewhere on our body. This thinness makes it more translucent, making the tiny blood vessels underneath more visible and thus, creating a darker appearance. Additionally, as we age, we lose some of the fat and collagen that helps to maintain this area’s plumpness and elasticity, leading to further thinning and darkening.

Environmental factors, such as fatigue, eye strain, dehydration, and sun exposure, can exacerbate the appearance of dark circles. For instance, lack of sleep can cause the skin to become paler, making blood vessels more noticeable. Similarly, excessive sun exposure can prompt melanin production, which further darkens the under-eye area. Allergies and certain medications can also contribute to under-eye darkening due to increased blood flow to the area.

Are you also suffering from dark circles?

Want to know the solution immediately to treat your dark circles? Feel free to ask our skin specialists and dermatologists at Clear Skin, Pune. Book a consultation with our doctors.

What Causes Dark Circles?

In this section, we delve deeper into the root causes of under-eye dark circles. While we’ve touched upon the biological and environmental factors contributing to this common aesthetic concern, there’s more to the story. Understanding these causes in detail can help in determining the most effective strategies for alleviation and prevention.

  • Genetics

Genetics play a central role in determining whether you are likely to develop dark circles under your eyes. If your parents or grandparents have or had this condition, there’s a good chance you may also experience it. This is due to the hereditary nature of skin transparency and thickness, which can make the blood vessels under your eyes more noticeable.

  • Ageing

As we age, our skin naturally loses collagen and grows thinner. This process can be more pronounced in the under-eye area, leading to a more visible vascular network and the subsequent appearance of dark circles. Age-related fat loss can also cause hollow areas beneath the eyes, enhancing the dark circles’ appearance.

  • Fatigue and Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation or excessive fatigue can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing the blood vessels and dark tissues beneath your skin to show through. Furthermore, lack of sleep can cause fluid to build underneath your eyes, leading to puffiness or swelling that can cast shadows and create an illusion of dark circles.

  • Sun exposure

Overexposure to the sun can harm your skin and prompt your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that provides your skin with colour. Overproduction of melanin around your eyes can result in pigmentation and the formation of dark circles.

  • Dehydration

When your body is not receiving the adequate amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes can appear dull, dark, and sunken. Dehydration causes the eyes to look ‘sunken’ due to the close proximity of the underlying bone structure, creating an impression of dark circles.

  • Allergies and Medications

Allergic reactions and certain medications can cause blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath the skin. Allergies can also increase your urge to rub and scratch the itchy skin around your eyes, which can exacerbate your dark circles. Some medications causing blood vessels to dilate can also increase the likelihood of dark circles.

  • Lifestyle Choices

Unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and poor diet can contribute to the development of dark circles. Smoking can cause blood vessels to dilate and become more visible, while alcohol can dehydrate the skin and make it appear dull. A diet lacking in essential nutrients can also lead to dark circles due to a lack of nourishment for the skin.

Who is more prone to under-eye dark circles?

People from all age groups can experience under-eye dark circles, but certain groups are more susceptible. These include:

  • Elderly Individuals: Due to the natural ageing process, the skin around the eyes can become thinner and lose collagen, making dark circles more apparent.
  • Individuals with a Genetic Predisposition: Dark circles can run in families, and individuals with a genetic predisposition may find themselves more prone to developing them.
  • People with a High Melanin Concentration: Those with darker skin tones, who naturally have a higher concentration of melanin, may be more prone to hyperpigmentation around the eye area.
  • Individuals with Certain Medical Conditions: Conditions like allergies, eczema, or thyroid disease can cause dark circles.
  • Individuals with a Sedentary Lifestyle: Lack of regular physical activity can lead to poor blood circulation, which can cause the appearance of dark circles.
  • People with Poor Sleep Patterns: Regular lack of sleep or disturbed sleep can lead to the appearance of dark circles over time.

In conclusion, various factors can make an individual more prone to under-eye dark circles. It may be a combination of ageing, genetics, skin type, medical conditions, lifestyle choices, or even a lack of sufficient sleep.

Is it possible to treat dark circles permanently?

Permanent eradication of dark circles may not be feasible due to the myriad of contributing factors, some of which are genetic or physiological in nature. However, various treatments can significantly reduce their appearance.

Medical treatments such as laser therapy, chemical peels, or fillers can help to reduce pigmentation and increase skin volume around the eyes. Topical treatments with ingredients like retinoids, vitamin C or arbutin can also help to lighten the skin and promote collagen production.

Lifestyle modifications including adequate hydration, balanced diet, sun protection, and reduced alcohol and nicotine intake can further improve skin health. Therefore, while complete and permanent removal of dark circles might not be possible, their appearance can be considerably mitigated with the right combination of treatments and lifestyle changes.

under eye dark circles before and after result

Medical treatments for under eyes dark circles

There are several medical treatment options available for under-eye dark circles, each with different levels of effectiveness and suitability based on individual needs and the underlying causes of the circles.

1. Laser Therapy: This involves using heat energy to modify damaged cells. It’s highly effective in reducing the appearance of dark circles caused by pigmentation or blood vessels near the skin surface. The effectiveness often depends on the type and colour of the under-eye circles, and it may require multiple sessions.

2. Chemical Peels: They involve the application of a chemical solution to the skin, causing it to exfoliate revealing smoother skin underneath. Chemical peels can be effective for dark circles caused by hyperpigmentation, although the results can vary based on the individual and the strength of the peel.

3. Fillers: Dermal fillers are injected under the skin to increase volume and can be effective in treating dark circles caused by thinning skin or loss of fat and collagen. The results are usually immediate and can last from several months to a year.

4. Topical Treatments: Creams containing ingredients like retinoids and vitamin C can help lighten skin and promote collagen production. They can be used in conjunction with other treatments and are suitable for long-term use. However, they may require consistent use over time to maintain results.

It is always recommended to consult with a dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon to understand the best suitable treatment option for your specific situation. They can provide an assessment of the underlying causes of your dark circles and recommend the most effective and appropriate treatment options.

Home Remedies for Dark Circles

While professional treatments can be highly effective, not everybody has the time, budget, or inclination for such procedures. Thankfully, numerous home remedies can also aid in reducing the appearance of dark circles. These remedies may not offer as dramatic results as their clinical counterparts, but can still make a noticeable difference and improve the overall health of your skin.

Let’s explore easy & affordable DIY solutions that you can try at the comfort of your home.

  • Cold Compress: Applying cold compress can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels, helping to reduce the appearance of dark circles. However, this method provides only temporary relief and does not tackle the root causes of dark circles.
  • Cucumber Slices: A popular home remedy involves placing chilled cucumber slices over the eyes. Cucumbers have skin-lightening properties and a soothing effect, which can help fix raccoon eyes naturally. It’s mostly the cold temperature that works the magic, but cucumbers can also provide a mild lightening effect.
  • Tea Bags: Both green and black tea bags can help lessen the dark tones of under-eye circles due to their caffeine and antioxidant properties. Caffeine has vasoconstrictive properties that can reduce puffiness, while antioxidants can help fight free-radical damage.
  • Aloe Vera Gel: Aloe vera is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and can help reduce puffiness. Additionally, it has a hydrating effect that can make the skin under the eyes look revitalised.
  • Tomato Juice: Tomatoes have skin-lightening properties and are rich in vitamin C and lycopene, which can help create softer, suppler skin and a natural glow. However, this remedy might not be as effective for more persistent forms of dark circles.
  • Rose Water: Rose water is touted for its skin-lightening properties and can be used as an astringent, which can lighten the skin under the eyes. However, the scientific backing for this remedy is limited.

Remember, while these remedies can provide temporary relief or a slight improvement, they might not be as effective as medical treatments for persistent or hereditary dark circles. Always do a patch test to ensure you do not react negatively to these natural treatments.

How to Avoid Dark Circles in The First Place?

Avoiding dark circles can be achieved through a combination of lifestyle modifications and preventive skincare measures.

1. Adequate Sleep: Lack of sleep is a major contributor to the development of under-eye circles. It is recommended that adults aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to prevent this.

2. Balanced Diet: Consuming a balanced diet rich in vitamins A, C, and E can help to keep the skin healthy and prevent dark circles.


3. Hydration: Dehydration can cause the skin under the eyes to appear dull and sunken. Drinking sufficient water throughout the day can help to maintain skin hydration and prevent dark circles.

4. Sun Protection: Overexposure to the sun can cause melanin production to increase in the under-eye area, leading to dark circles. Using sunglasses and applying a sunscreen with high SPF can protect the eyes from harmful UV rays.

5. Regular Exercise: Regular physical activity enhances blood circulation, which can help to nourish skin cells and keep them vibrant, mitigating the appearance of dark circles.

It’s important to remember that persistent dark circles may be indicative of underlying health conditions or genetic predisposition, in which case, these lifestyle modifications might not erase them. In such scenarios, it’s recommended to seek a dermatologist’s advice.

Skin Care for Dark Circles

When it comes to skin care specifically targeting dark circles, there a few key strategies that can be incorporated into your daily routine.

  • Eye Creams: Eye creams containing ingredients like retinol, caffeine, and vitamin K can help reduce the appearance of dark circles. They work by promoting collagen production, constricting blood vessels, and reducing pigmentation, respectively.
  • Cold Compress: Applying a cold compress to the eyes can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels, thereby lightening the shadows that can appear under the eyes.
  • Eye Masks: There are specific eye masks available enriched with skin-lightening ingredients and coolants. These can be used to provide immediate relief from puffiness and dark circles.
  • Gentle Massage: A gentle massage around the eyes with almond or vitamin E oil can boost blood circulation, thus reducing the appearance of dark circles.
  • Anti-Inflammatory Diet: Incorporating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants can help reduce inflammation and help with dark circles.

Choosing the right products and maintaining a consistent skincare routine can make a significant difference in managing dark circles. However, it’s important to remember that results may vary, and what works for one person may not always work for another.

Key takeaway,

In conclusion, taking care of your skin and specifically addressing issues like dark circles is an integral part of maintaining overall wellness. Every individual’s skin responds differently to treatments, so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see immediate results. Remember, the journey to healthier skin is a marathon, not a sprint, and patience is key.

Keep persisting and exploring various options until you find what works best for your skin. If your dark circles persist despite trying the strategies mentioned, it’s time to consult a dermatologist.

Don’t delay in seeking professional help; your skin deserves the best care. Book an appointment with our expert dermatologist today, and start your journey towards brighter, healthier-looking eyes.

For treating your skin condition, feel free to get in touch with one of our best dermatologists in Pune. You can also call on +919584584111 to book an appointment at one of our skin clinics near you.


Dr Dhanraj Chavan

About the Author: Dr Dhanraj Chavan

Dr. Dhanraj Chavan is a globally trained, young, and dynamic dermatologist. He is a Consultant Dermatologist and Varicose Vein Specialist at Clear Skin, VeinMD, and HairMD.

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