Under Eye Dark Circles – Causes and Treatments

What causes dark circles under eyes?

Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a variety of factors, including:


Dark circles can be hereditary, with some people naturally having darker skin under their eyes due to increased melanin production.


As you age, your skin becomes thinner and loses collagen, making the dark blood vessels beneath your skin more visible.

Sleep Deprivation

Lack of sleep can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show.


Allergic reactions and eye dryness can trigger dark circles. When you have an allergic reaction, your body release histamines that cause itching, redness, and puffy or swollen eyes.


When your body doesn’t receive the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken.

Overexposure to Sun

Excessive sun exposure can cause your body to produce an excess of melanin, the pigment that provides your skin with color, which can make the skin around the eyes darker.

Eye Strain

Staring at your television or computer screen can cause significant strain on your eyes. This strain can cause blood vessels around your eyes to enlarge. As a result, the skin surrounding your eyes can darken.

These are some of the common causes of dark circles. Effective treatment often depends on accurately identifying the underlying cause.

What are the best treatments to treat under eye dark circles?

Treating dark circles under the eyes effectively can depend on the underlying cause, but here are some general treatments and lifestyle changes that can help:

Adequate Sleep

Ensuring you get enough sleep, typically 7-9 hours per night, can help reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Cold Compresses

Applying cold compresses can reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels. This can reduce the appearance of puffiness and help eliminate dark circles.


Drinking plenty of water helps prevent dehydration that can cause the area under your eyes to sink.

Sun Protection

Apply sunscreen with a high SPF under your eyes to prevent pigmentation changes caused by sun exposure.

Eye Creams

Look for eye creams that contain vitamins C and E, retinol, and caffeine. These ingredients can help to brighten the skin, improve collagen production, and reduce puffiness.


Cosmetic solutions like concealers can cover dark circles temporarily. Choose a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone to brighten the under-eye area.

Medical Treatments

For persistent dark circles, medical treatments can include:

Topical bleaching creams

Prescription creams containing hydroquinone or kojic acid can lighten skin.

Chemical peels

Light chemical peels containing glycolic acid or lactic acid can help lighten dark circles.
Laser therapy: Lasers can resurface the skin and enhance skin tightening, reducing the visibility of dark circles due to thinning skin.


A hyaluronic acid-based filler can be injected into the area under your eye to smooth out the skin and reduce the appearance of hollows and shadows.

Diet and Allergies

Addressing allergies and improving your diet can also help reduce dark circles. If allergies are the cause, using an antihistamine can help reduce symptoms. Ensure your diet is rich in nutrients like iron and vitamin C, which can decrease the appearance of dark circles.

It’s a good idea to consult with a dermatologist to better understand the most appropriate treatment options based on the specific cause and severity of the dark circles under your eyes.