Dark Circles Under Your Eyes—What can you do?

A young woman with dark circles under her eyes

When you look in the mirror, do you see eyes with dark circles underneath looking back at you?

According to the Cleveland Clinic, “Dark circles under your eyes typically aren’t a cause for concern” and they “usually aren’t a sign of a medical problem.” But the fact remains, dark circles can make you look tired and older.

If you have dark circles under your eyes, find out here what causes them and what you can do to get rid of them.

What Do Dark Circles Look Like?

Dark circles under the eyes are darkened areas of skin just below your eyes.

The actual color of dark circles depends on your natural skin tone. They can be shades of:

  • Brown
  • Purple
  • Blue
  • Black
A close-up of a man’s eye with dark circles

Undereye dark circles can appear on anyone—even children. However, they are most likely seen under the eyes of:

  • Older people
  • People with darker skin tones
  • People with a genetic predisposition to dark circles

What Causes Dark Circles?

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The Mayo clinic reports that “dark circles under the eyes are usually caused by being tired.”

The following are other common causes for dark circles under the eyes. s leo.


Skin naturally thins and sags with age. This allows dark blood vessels underneath your skin to show through more easily; your under-eye area looks darker. Tear troughs (hollowed areas under the eyes) often develop as well and cause shadows to show under the eyes. You appear older or more tired.

Read here how to fight skin aging around the eyes.

Lack of Sleep or Poor Sleep Habits

Now’s a time to fix poor sleeping habits; they contribute to dark circles—as will fatigue or exhaustion.

When you’re tired, the skin under your eyes becomes pale; blood vessels show through, and dark circles appear.

Sleep deprivation also causes eyes to become puffy. Shadows from puffy lids cause dark circles. Read more about easy and pain-free ways to treat puffy eyes.

If you oversleep, this isn’t good either. It can cause skin under the eyes to appear pale and dull.

Read more about how to fight fatigue and improve your sleep habits.


Many people have dark circles passed on to them through DNA. Studies show dark circles under the eyes often run in families.

Certain Medications

Some medications used to treat glaucoma can cause dark circles to appear. If this happens, notify your ophthalmologist right away, as these changes can become permanent.

Dehydration and Diet

A woman takes time out from jogging to drink water

When you’re dehydrated, the skin under your eyes can look dull.

If your diet is too high in sodium or sugar, dark circles may appear, as well.

Anemia can cause dark circles under the eyes. Your doctor may recommend that you take an iron supplement to treat your iron deficiency.


Your smartphone or computer isn’t always your friend. When you stare at these devices for too long without a break, you can develop eyestrain. Eyestrain enlarges the blood vessels around your eyes and causes dark circles.

Sun Exposure

If you’re out in the sun too long, dark circles under the eye can occur. The medical term is post-inflammatory pigmentation.


If you experience an allergic reaction, your eyes may become itchy and puffy. This naturally makes you want to scratch your eyes, causing swelling and broken blood vessels. This, like too much sun exposure, leads to post-inflammatory pigmentation.

Lifestyle Changes to Reduce Dark Circles

The following changes to your lifestyle can help reduce the dark circles around your eyes. Try making small changes every day and hopefully you’ll see results!

A man and a woman in sunglasses and hats taking a selfie
  • Eat a diet with healthful, moderate amounts of salt and sugar; stay hydrated
  • Limit your use of alcohol and tobacco—smoking makes your skin age faster
  • Work to improve your sleep habits so you will get a healthful amount of uninterrupted sleep
  • Use sunscreen around your eyes and wear a hat, and sunglasses when outside

Treatments for Dark Circles

There are several treatments that can help you get rid of dark circles under the eyes.

Your doctor may prescribe prescription creams or recommend a specific treatment to eliminate or reduce dark circles. Doctors usually recommend treatment for cosmetic reasons and not out of medical necessity.

Treatments used to eliminate dark circles under eyes are:

  • Injectable fillers such as hyaluronic acid gel to correct hollows under eyes and smooth skin
  • Surgery for to remove fat and skin from around the eye
  • Facials that improve circulation around the eye through massage
  • Topical creams/Bleaching agents

At-Home Routines

Here are a few easy at-home remedies to send your dark circles packing. If you don’t yet have dark circles around your eyes, take these measures to help keep them from developing.

Two young women relaxing with cucumber slices on eyes to reduce dark circles under their eyes
  • Apply a cool compress to your eyes; use refrigerated slices of cucumber, cold soaked tea bags, backs of cold spoons, or other cold compress for reduced puffiness and to shrink dilated blood vessels
  • Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night; use extra pillows in bed to keep fluid from gathering under your eyes
  • Stay hydrated and eat a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables

Improve Your Skincare Routine

If you’re fighting dark circles under the eyes, a change in your skincare routine may just do the trick. Aging skin around the eyes loses elasticity and moisture, making skincare more important than ever.

A good skincare routine with excellent products can improve the look of dark circles. Check out our professional and reliable skincare products.

Dark circles under your eyes may come and go. Much of it depends on your genetics, lifestyle, and diet. If you have a dark circle or swelling under just one eye, the Cleveland Clinic recommends you contact your doctor.

Contact us at Vibrance MedSpa for a complimentary consultation and information about our highest-quality skincare treatments.

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