What Causes Dark Circles Under The Eyes? 15 Possible Reasons You Have Dark Under Eye Circles

If you’ve recently noticed dark circles appearing under or around your eyes, you may be wondering…

“What’s wrong with me?” or “Why did this happen?”

Most likely, there is nothing wrong with you, as dark circles under the eyes are a somewhat “normal” occurrence which can be brought on by a variety of factors, as we’ll explore further in this list.

15 Possible Causes For Dark Under Eye Circles

There are a number of reasons for dark circles appearing under your eyes. Let’s take a quick look at 15 of the top causes we found… one or more of them may fit your circumstance. Note that in some of these cases you should consult with your doctor for guidance.

1 – Heredity

Do your parents, grandparents or siblings have dark circles under their eyes? If the answer is yes, then the dark circles under your eyes are probably due to genetics. Hyper-pigmentation is a genetic phenomenon which causes certain areas of your body, such as the skin under your eyes, to be significantly darker than the rest of your skin. If you have exceptionally fair skin, or spend lots of time in the sun, these circles can appear much darker than the rest of the skin on your face.

2 – Allergies

The most common cause of dark circles under eyes is allergies. Common seasonal allergies such as pollen and hay fever, as well as environmental allergies like mold and dust, are notorious culprits in causing dark circles under eyes. If you believe allergens are responsible for the dark circles under your eyes it is important to talk to your doctor to make sure that these allergens are not causing other harm to your body.

3 – Sinus Infection

A sinus infection not only affects your nose but the entire area around your nose, including your eyes and cheeks. Your body, in an attempt to fight of the infection, may decrease the blood flow in your cheek bones and carry the precious white blood flow to your nostril area. This decrease in blood flow to your cheek bones as well as inflammation in your upper cheeks can cause the skin under your eyes to appear darker and stand out.

Any Surprises Yet?

Would you believe that getting a suntan could be to blame?

4 – Sun Exposure and Tanning

Many people begin to notice dark circles under their eyes during the summer months, and this is not a coincidence. Lots of exposure to the sun, which often occurs when people are outside during the summer months, can spark an excess of melanin production in your body. To protect your skin your body begins to naturally increase the level of pigmentation. These melanin pigments then move closer to the surface of your skin and can make the skin under your eyes appear very dark. Tanning worsens this process.

5 – Fluid Retention

Your body retains fluids for a variety of reasons, several of which are mentioned throughout this post. Hormonal changes, dehydration and other medical problems can cause your body to retain fluids. This retention causes your eyes to appear puffy and the dark spots under your eyes to stand out.

6 – Thin Skin

When you have less fat on your body there is less of a separation between your skin and your blood vessels. Sometimes very skinny people appear to be see-through since you can literally see their blood vessels. With many blood vessels running through your face, especially to your eye, a lack of fat can cause the area around your eye to look very dark.

Proper Hydration Can Do Amazing Things

Are you drinking enough water?

7 – Dehydration

Not consuming an adequate amount of water does strange things to your body, such as causing dark circles under your eyes to develop. When you do not consume enough water your body is unable to circulate fluids properly. When circulation is not occurring as usual in your cheek bones, dark circles can develop.

8 – Lack of Sleep

Lack of sleep is the most famous and well-known cause for dark circles under eyes. Lack of sleep causes your eyes to become very puffy which causes the area under your eyes to appear dark. Additionally, if you are not sleeping properly your body may not be processing vitamins correctly which, as mentioned below, worsens the coloration under your eyes.

9 – Anemia

Having an iron deficiency also aides in the development of dark circles under your eyes. When you are anemic (lacking iron) your skin becomes paler. When your skin becomes more pale, it can cause the skin beneath your eyes to appear much darker.

Of Course You Can Always Blame It On Aging

Fortunately, “aging” is often the result of habits you can control

10 – Aging

As you age your body changes. Although some people gain weight as they age others become quite skinny and frail, making the vessels under their eyes more noticeable and the area under their eyes to appear dark. Additionally, as people age they are exposed to more diseases and toxins, which can further the darkening of the skin under their eyes.

11 – Toxic Buildup

Every breath you take and every time you eat, you bring certain toxins into your body which disperses into different parts. These toxins can do a variety of things, such as constrict blood vessels, which can cause a lack of blood flow and darken the area of skin beneath your eyes.

12 – Nutritional Deficiencies

Deficiencies in vitamins such as B12, C, E and K can lead to dark circles forming under your eyes. These vitamins are essential for your adrenal gland to function properly. When your adrenal gland is not functioning its best your face will appear puffy. This puffiness will cause the dark area under your eyes to stand out.

How Many Causes Fit You So Far?

Here are 3 more to consider…

13 – Caffeine

Consuming high quantities of caffeinated beverages such as soda can cause adrenal exhaustion. Adrenal exhaustion occurs after the caffeine has over stimulated the hormonal glands. This adrenal exhaustion can cause hormonal changes that make your face paler, thus causing the area under your skin to look darker and stand out.

14 – Smoking

Smoking is not only bad to your overall health, but also to your appearance. Smoking causes constriction in your blood vessels. This constriction leads to poor circulation which, as mentioned above, causes the skin under your eyes to appear very dark.

15 – Hormonal Changes

During periods of intense hormonal changes, such as your menstrual cycle, pregnancy and menopause, your body retains fluid. This fluid retention causes your skin to look puffy and the dark areas under your eyes to stand out. Additionally, the increase in carbs and salts that your body needs during this time can worsen the appearance of the dark circles under your eyes.

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