Dark Circles Symptoms: Causes, Types, Treatments and Home Remedies

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By Medicover Hospitals / 28 March 2022
Home / symptoms / Dark Circles

What are Dark Circles?

  • Dark circles often look purple, blue, or dark brown which forms around the eyes. The color of the circle depends on the color of the skin. Having dark circles under the eyes is common and rarely something to worry about, but for cosmetic reasons, many people want to get rid of dark circles. People often associate dark circles with tiredness or lack of sleep. While these can contribute to the appearance of dark circles, there are other common causes, such as poor diet or sun exposure.
  • Types of dark circles

    These are classified based on clinical analysis, pigmentation pattern, and vasculature.
       TypesAppearance
       Pigmented (P) Like the shade of brown under the eyes
       Vascular (V)A shade of blue/pink/purple color +/- swelling
       Structural(s) shadow tone
    Associated with bags and furrows of the lower eyelid
    Fat loss with bony prominence.
       mixed type Combination of 2 or 3 of the above (PV, PS, PVS, etc)


    Causes of dark circle

    Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a variety of conditions, including inflammation, allergies, and lifestyle factors. If symptoms persist, contact the doctor.
    Some medical conditions can cause dark circles and discoloration under the eyes, including
    • Allergies
    • Anemia
    • Atopic dermatitis (eczema), or contact dermatitis
    • Dehydration
    • Lichen planus
    • Malnutrition

    Lifestyle and general causes of dark circles under the eyes

    • Aging
    • Consumption of alcohol, caffeine, or sodium
    • Certain medications, such as birth control pills
    • Crying
    • Fatigue
    • Inherited (genetic) factors
    • Insomnia or poor quality sleep.
    • Stress
    • Sun exposure

    How do doctors diagnose dark circles?

    • To diagnose the underlying cause of dark circles under the eyes, the doctor will take a complete medical history, perform an exam, and possibly order a test.
    • The doctor may look for signs of underlying problems, such as thyroid disease or anemia.
    • A doctor may use a handheld dermatoscopy tool to closely examine the skin.
    • They may perform blood tests to check the blood cell count, blood chemistry, nutritional status, and certain hormone levels.

    Treatment of dark circles

    Doctor may offer a medical option, depending on the diagnosis of the cause of the dark circles. That recommendation could include the following.

    Skin lightening cream - To lighten hyperpigmentation under the eyes, a dermatologist may prescribe a skin lightening cream with azelaic acid, kojic acid, glycolic acid, or hydroquinone.

    Fillers - Reduce the appearance of dark circles by injecting platelet-rich plasma or hyaluronic acid gel into the under-eye area. This treatment is best for dark circles caused by skin thinning or collagen loss.

    Chemical Peels – A dermatologist may suggest a light chemical peel to lighten dark pigmentation under the eyes. Commonly these will include glycolic acid, retinoic acid or hydroquinone.

    Blepharoplasty - This procedure can diminish the shadow cast by the eyelid, which can diminish the appearance of dark circles by removing fat from under the eyes.

    Laser therapy – uses thermal energy to vaporize damaged cells. Darker pigment under the eyes can be treated. In addition to lightening darker skin tones, laser therapy can induce new collagen formation.

    Prevention of dark circles People can help prevent the appearance of dark circles by addressing lifestyle factors.

    • The researchers found that stress increased the appearance of dark circles, while rest and healthy lifestyle habits decreased discoloration.
    • Wearing sunglasses with UV protection that cover the eyes and using sunscreen around the eyes can help prevent or reduce dark circles.
    • Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can speed up the body's aging process and increase the risk of dark circles under the eyes.
    • Apply cold compresses to the eyes to reduce swelling and constrict blood vessels
    • Sleeping with extra pillows to elevate the head and reduce puffiness in lower eyelids

    Frequently Asked Questions:

  • Dark circles will likely become more visible and permanent over time. This is because as people age, their skin loses collagen and becomes thinner and more translucent.
  • Dark circles can be cured with numerous home remedies and medical treatment.
  • The cost of a dark circles peel treatment in India ranges from Rs. 2,000 and Rs. 5,000 per session and laser treatment costs around Rs. 4,000.
  • Dark circles under the eyes are usually caused by tiredness.
  • Eating foods rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, and vitamin E can help reduce dark circles under the eyes.
  • Dark circles should disappear in 10 to 14 days.
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