At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.
Dark eye circles can make people look tired and old, even if they are not a day over 25 and receive eight to ten hours of sleep at night. Men and women from all races can have dark circles under their eyes, but it’s mostly prevalent in African Americans, Southern Italians, and Southeast Asians. Those who suffer from this annoying problem may often wonder if there is anything that can be done about it. No matter what methods people decide to try in order to rid themselves of dark eye circles, it’s important for them to understand why they appear under the eyes so they can learn to effectively combat them.
The sensitive skin beneath the eyes is thin and doesn’t have as many glands as other parts of the body. As a person grows older, this thin skin tends to get drier and more wrinkled. The veins in the skin below the eye become more visible and dark eye circles begin to form. When people have dark circles under their eyes, they may be plagued with them for a variety of reasons.
People with dark eye circles often inherit the problem from a family member. If others in the family tree suffer from allergies, there’s a good chance they have dark under eye circles as well. Airborne allergens can cause a person to rub the eyes a great deal, thereby causing the eyes to become inflamed and irritated. As a result, the skin beneath the eye can often grow darker.
Not receiving enough sleep is another culprit. When people do not get enough shut-eye, they can find themselves with dark eye circles, broadcasting their late nights for all the world to see. Many night owls who don’t get enough rest or who keep late hours end up with skin that looks pale and haggard. Blood vessels are more easily noticeable beneath the eyes of those who are sleep deprived. Ultimately, those visible blood vessels contribute to pesky under eye circles.
The way bones are constructed can be another reason why someone is troubled by dark eye circles. If a person has deep set eyes, dark shadows can linger beneath them. People who spend a lot of time in the sun without proper protection can develop dark areas under the eyes since exposure to the sun can coax pigmentation toward the skin’s surface. Certain medications can even dilate the blood vessels so that dark circles form under the eyes. If a person eats an unhealthy diet, it creates yet another factor that contributes to dark under eye circles. Pregnant or menstruating women are also candidates for this problem because of changes in the hormones.
Once a person learns what causes dark eye circles, there are several tactics that can be used to combat them. First, it's important to drink at least 10 glasses of water each day. Get enough sleep—at least eight to ten hours a night. Eat a balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. If someone has allergies, under eye circles can often be eliminated with an over-the-counter antihistamine. Potato or cucumber slices are home-remedies that often help people get rid of eye circles as well. If none of these methods work, some people resort to topical creams fortified with Vitamins C and K or conceal the blemishes with makeup. Dark eye circles can be a frustrating problem, but understanding what they are and why they appear beneath the eyes will help people decide the best method to either eliminate or conceal them.