Adults and children suffer from dark under eye circles. There are a variety of causes for the condition. The most common are lack of sleep and drinking too much alcohol. While these are the most obvious reasons, you need to look further into your own health and family history to find the true cause such as the ones listed below.

  • Allergies – Those who suffer from allergies might experience under eye circles caused by nasal congestion. The blood vessels can become dilated and drain from the area around your eyes. This usually causes dark circles to appear under your eyes.
  • Heredity – Sometimes dark circles run in the family and can be inherited. Generally, when under eye circles are inherited the symptom appears during childhood and follows the individual into adulthood. Some children can outgrow them.
  • Lifestyle – Drinking alcohol excessively or smoking can cause under eye circles. The use of drugs can also contribute to the cause of dark circles.
  • Skin Pigmentation Abnormalities – People of a certain age will begin thinning of the skin around the eyes. This usually causes blood vessels to appear more visible and cause dark circles.
  • Too Much Salt – Consuming too much salt and sodium through your diet can cause your body to retain fluid. This accumulation of fluid can pool underneath your eyes causing circles.
  • Sun Exposure – Exposure to the sun is essential for consuming Vitamin D. Using sunscreen daily is highly recommended for children and adults. However, overexposure to the sun causes your body to produce too much melanin which causes under eye circles in some people.

When to See a Doctor

While under eye circles are generally harmless to your health, in rare cases it could be a sign of something more serious. Although it is rare, dark circles under the eyes can be a symptom of conditions such as diseases of the liver and hypothyroidism. Other serious issues from dark circles that look similar to a black eye. You should visit the doctor if you experience the following.

  • Basilar Skull Fracture
  • Swelling
  • Discoloration appears under only one eye
  • The dark circles appear suddenly

If you experience pain or constant discomfort due to dark circles under your eyes you should contact a doctor immediately.

Women usually disguise their dark circles with makeup. However, some dark circles are too dark for concealing. Men and women are advised to speak to a dermatologist about their options for reducing the dark under eye circles. Laser surgery or injections are possible options depending on the individual patient.