Dark circles under the lower eyelids are common in men and women. Often accompanied by bags, dark circles can make you appear older than you are. To make matters worse, they can be difficult to get rid of.
Though they can affect anyone, dark circles are most common in people who:
- are elderly
- have a genetic predisposition to this condition (periorbital hyperpigmentationTrusted Source)
- are from non-white ethnic groups (darker skin tones are more prone to hyperpigmentation around the eye area)
While fatigue may seem like the most logical explanation for this condition, there are a number of factors that can contribute to dark circles under the eyes. In most cases, they are no cause for concern and do not require medical attention. Read on to learn more.
What causes dark circles?
There are a number of contributing factors for dark circles. Some common causes of include:
Oversleeping, extreme fatigue, or just staying up a few hours past your normal bedtime can cause dark circles to form under your eyes. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to become dull and pale, allowing for dark tissues and blood vessels beneath your skin to show.
Lack of sleep can also cause fluid to build underneath your eyes, causing them to appear puffy. As a result, the dark circles you see may actually be shadows cast by your puffy eyelids.
Natural aging is another common cause of those dark circles beneath your eyes. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner. You also lose the fat and collagen needed to maintain your skin’s elasticity. As this occurs, the dark blood vessels beneath your skin become more visible causing the area below your eyes to darken.
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.
Allergic reactions and eye dryness can trigger dark circles. When you have an allergic reaction, your body release histamines as a response to harmful bacteria. Other than causing uncomfortable symptoms — including itchiness, redness, and puffy eyes — histamines also cause your blood vessels to dilate and become more visible beneath your skin.
Allergies can also increase your urge to rub and scratch the itchy skin around your eyes. These actions can worsen your symptoms, causing inflammation, swelling, and broken blood vessels. This can result in dark shadows beneath your eyes.
Dehydration is a common cause of dark circles under your eyes. When your body is not receiving the proper amount of water, the skin beneath your eyes begins to look dull and your eyes look sunken. This is due to their close proximity to the underlying bone.
Overexposure to the sun can cause your body to produce an excess of melanin, the pigment that provides your skin with color. Too much sun — particularly for your eyes — can cause pigmentation in the surrounding skin to darken.
Family history also plays a part in developing dark circles under your eyes. It can be an inherited trait seen early in childhood, and may worsen as you age or slowly disappear. Predispositions to other medical conditions — such as thyroid disease — can also result in dark circles beneath your eyes.
Treatment for dark eye circles depends on the underlying cause. However, there are some home remedies that can help manage this condition. Some of the more common methods include:
1. Tomatoes: Tomatoes are an excellent solution for getting rid of dark circle, as it naturally helps to decrease the dark circles and also makes the skin soft and supple. All you need to do is mix one teaspoon of tomato juice with a teaspoon of lemon juice and apply it under your eyes. Let it remain for about 10 minutes and then, wash it off with water. Repeat this remedy at least twice a day. On a daily basis you can also drink tomato juice mixed with some lemon juice and mint leaves in order to get rid of dark circles.
2. Grated potatoes: Acing the list of ‘how to remove dark circles in a week’ is potatoes. Grate some raw potato and extract the juice of the same. Now take a cotton ball and soak it in the potato juice. Close your eyes and place these cotton balls on your eyes. Make sure they cover the entire area of the dark circles under your eyes as well as the eyelids. Leave it on for 10 minutes and wash off with cold water!
3. Cold tea bags: Another simple technique to get rid of the dark circles is using cold tea bags. Soak a tea bag preferably a chamomile or green tea bags in water. Chill it by placing it in the refrigerator for a while. Now, place them over your eyes. Use this remedy on a regular basis to see considerable difference.
4. Almond Oil: Almonds are loaded with vitamin E and its oil is as an emollient which helps in making the skin supple. With no tantrums, this ‘how to get rid of dark circles in a week’ ‘ routine is easy to do. Just apply little almond oil on your dark circles and massage gently. Just leave it overnight and wash it next morning.
5. Cold milk: Regular use of cold milk will also decrease the dark circles and also soothes your eyes and skin. Take a cotton ball and place it in a bowl of cold milk or iced water for a while. Now apply the cotton ball making sure that it covers the entire eye with the affected area. Keep it for a while. Wash it regular water.
6. Orange juice: Another effective home remedy for the list of how to remove dark circles fast is orange juice. Mix some orange juice with a few drops of glycerin and apply this mixture over the dark circles. Not only will it diminish the dark circles it will also give a natural glow to your eyes.
7. Yoga/meditation: One of the main reasons that’s seen for the recurrence of dark circles under eyes is because of stress, depression and a hectic lifestyle. No amount of home remedies will work if your mind isn’t cool and calm. Yoga and meditation if practiced regularly will not only decrease your dark circles will also balance the body clock whilst calming your mind, body and soul.
8. Cucumber: Everybody has seen the experts put those slice of cucumbers on the eyes while giving any beauty treatment, but how many of us have actually done it? Very few. So if you wondering how to get rid of dark circles fast, put sliced cucumber in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Take them out and place on your dark circles. Leave for 10 minutes prior to washing with cold water. You’ll feel that your eyes have freshened up instantly.
9. Mint Leaves: Mint is known for its invigorating scent and refreshing qualities. It can also be used to remove those ugly dark circles under your eyes. Just crush a few leaves with water, forming a paste, and apply on the dark circles. Leave for 10 minutes and wash with cold water. Do this every night for a week to see miraculous results.
10. Rose Water: Rose water helps in rejuvenating skin and is well known for its beauty qualities. It can also be used to get rid of dark circles fast. Just soak cotton balls in rose water and place them on the dark circles. Leave for 15 minutes and wash with cold water later. Repeat every night for a month for best results.
11. B uttermilk paste: Turmeric is known for its multiple health benefits.Take two tablespoon of buttermilk and turmeric powder and mix them well. Apply this paste on your dark circles and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Wash your face with lukewarm water.
12. Apply a cold compress: A cold compress can help reduce swelling and shrink dilated blood vessels. This can reduce the appearance of puffiness and help eliminate dark circles. Wrap a few ice cubes in a clean washcloth and apply to your eyes. You can also dampen a washcloth with cold water and apply it to the skin under your eyes for 20 minutes for the same effect. Repeat this process if the cloth becomes warm or if the ice melts.
13. Get extra sleep: Catching up on sleep can also help reduce the appearance of dark circles. Sleep deprivation can cause your skin to appear pale, making the dark circles more obvious. Allow yourself seven to eight hours of rest to prevent dark circles from appearing.
14. Elevate your head: While sleep deprivation can play a part in producing those dark bags under your eyes, sometimes it’s how you sleep. Elevate your head with a few pillows to prevent fluid from pooling under your eyes which can make them look puffy and swollen.
15. Conceal with makeup: While makeup and cosmetics do not cure dark eye circles, they can help to camouflage them. Concealers can cover dark marks so they blend in with your normal skin color. However, as with any topical treatment or makeup product, use proper care. Some products can cause your symptoms to worsen and may trigger an allergic reaction. If you begin to experience irregular symptoms from any topical treatment, stop use immediately and schedule a visit with your doctor.
For a more effective and permanent solution, some medical treatments are available to reduce the appearance of dark circles. Some of the more common methods include:
- chemical peels to reduce pigmentation
- laser surgery to resurface the skin and enhance skin tightening
- medical tattoos to inject pigment into thinning skin areas
- tissue fillers to conceal blood vessels and melanin that are causing skin discoloration beneath your eyes.
- fat removal to remove excess fat and skin, revealing a smoother and more even surface
- surgical implants of fat or synthetic products
Before deciding on any cosmetic procedure, discuss your options with a doctor. Invasive medical treatments can be expensive, painful, and often require a long recovery time.
For many people, dark circles are temporary and are often an indication of aging or lack of sleep. Though there are a number of at-home and medical treatments available to improve the appearance of your eyes, dark circles are typically no cause for alarm. However, if the discoloration or swelling worsens over time, schedule a visit with your doctor or dermatologist to ensure you have correctly diagnosed the issue and are receiving the best treatment.