What Causes Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

Have you ever woken up, looked in a mirror, and noticed dark circles sitting comfortably under your eyes? You are not alone.

Dark circles beneath your lower eyelids affect so many people in the population.

They invited unwarranted comments like “You look so tired!” and unwanted advice on how you should be sleeping better.  

However, there are a plethora of issues that cause dark circles under your eyes, and not all of them are related to sleep problems. 

In this article, we will discuss everything that causes dark circles under your eyes and what you can do to treat them.

So, if this is of interest to you, then read on for more! 

Are Dark Circles Common?

Dark circles can be very common if you have certain problems that we will detail later on in the article.

They can also be common for certain people or groups, such as:

  • Older adults or elderly people 
  • Those who are susceptible to periorbital hyperpigmentation 

Of course, being tired is a cause of dark circles. However, it is merely the most known cause, not the only one.

It is important to note that most of the reasons for under-eye circles are nothing to be concerned about. 

What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes?

Dark circles under your eyes are common and nothing to be embarrassed about. Here are some of the most popular causes of dark circles under the eyes.


Being exhausted, oversleeping, or having a few late nights can be the cause of dark circles under your eyes.

These dark circles show because sleep causes your skin to grow paler and duller when you are deprived of sleep.  

Sleep deprivation may result in a fluid build-up under your eyes. This results in your eyes looking puffy.

So, the shadows of puffy eyelids can look like dark circles. 


Aging is also a reason why you may have dark circles under your eyes. Your skin gets thinner as you age.

There is sometimes a reduced amount of collagen and fat that maintains the elasticity of your skin.

There are blood vessels sitting under your skin that grow more visible when this happens. 

Straining Your Eyes

You can strain your eyes when you look at the computer screen or television.

This can result in the blood vessels under your eyes getting larger. This makes the skin around your eyes go darker. 


Woman with allergies and dark circles under her eyes blowing her nose

Sometimes, allergies can cause dark circles under your eyes. Your body will release histamines when you are having an allergic reaction.

These histamines can make your symptoms worse, resulting in swelling, inflammation, and even causing the blood vessels to break. 

This can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. 

Being Dehydrated

If you have dark circles sitting under your eyes, then there’s a chance you are dehydrated!

The skin around your eyes becomes dull when it isn’t hydrated, causing your eyes to look sunken. 


Your family history can have a lot to do with under-eye dark circles. Dark circles can be inherited, and they may darken or lighten with age.

Additionally, if you have a predisposition to thyroid disease or other medical conditions, then this can cause under-eye dark circles 

You May Have Anemia

If you have dark circles under your eyes, then there’s a chance you are anemic.

Anemia is a condition where your red blood cells are at a lower level than usual. This can result in: 

  • Fatigue 
  • Feeling weak 
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Dizziness 
  • Lightheadedness 

You might also see that your skin is pale. If you suspect you have anemia, then you need to consult a doctor or a medical professional.

They will be able to evaluate your blood and iron levels. 

Are There Treatments For Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

Are There Treatments For Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

Yes! There are both at-home and doctor-prescribed treatments for dark circles under your eyes. Let’s check out some examples! 

At-Home Treatments For Under Eye Dark Circles 


It is important to stay hydrated. The main thing you should be drinking to stay hydrated is water, but you can also drink milk, juices, and tea.

You can also improve your fluid intake by eating lots of fruits and veggies. 

Sleeping Well

Naturally, sleeping well will help to prevent dark circles under your eyes in a lot of cases. 

Head Elevation

Not only do dark circles lie in a lack of sleep, but they can also lie in the way you sleep.

It is a good idea to keep your head elevated by sleeping on more than one pillow. This helps to stop fluids from collecting under your eyes. 

A Cold Compress

Applying a cold compress to your eyes can help reduce the appearance of any swelling. This will help to reduce the appearance of dark circles and swelling.

To make a cold compress, you should take a clean washcloth and place some ice cubes in it. Then, you can apply it to your eyes. 

Tea Bags

Woman having tea bags on her eyes laughing

There are antioxidants and caffeine in tea that can help increase blood circulation, reduce the build-up of liquid, and shrink blood vessels.

You should place two green or black tea bags for around five minutes in hot water. Then place them in the refrigerator for around 15-20 minutes.

Now, you can place them on your eyes for around 10-20 minutes and rinse your eyes with cold water afterward. 

Medical Treatments

For more serious conditions, you will need medical treatment. Here are some examples! 

  • Chemical peels 
  • Fat removal for excess skin and fat
  • Tissue fillers 
  • Laser surgery 
  • Carboxytherapy, which will increase blood flow for the under-eye area. 

Final Thoughts

Dark circles under your eyes are a part of being human and are caused by various factors, such as a lack of sleep, aging, or allergies.

You do not normally need medical treatment to change them.

Most of the time, you can follow a few simple home treatments to reduce their appearance, such as staying hydrated, sleeping well, or using a cold compress.  

You should speak to your doctor if you think your dark circles are caused by a serious medical condition.