What Causes Dark Eye Circles and How Can You Fix Them?

What Causes Dark Eye Circles and How Can You Fix Them?

Dark eye circles can cause a great deal of distress and insecurity. They are most often caused by excessive amounts of melanin, which is triggered by genetics or environmental factors. People with dark eye circles may appear exhausted or even unhealthy, but that’s not necessarily the case. This condition can affect anyone regardless of age or lifestyle.

Further, dark eye circles are not only a cosmetic issue, they can also be a symptom of health issues such as fatigue or anaemia. Some people may find that their dark eye circles are worse during certain times of the year (such as when pollen counts are high) or in certain climates.

The good news is that there are some simple steps you can take to help reduce the appearance of dark eye circles.

Knowing the causes of dark eye circles can help you figure out how to tackle them in order to improve your appearance. Here are the possible causes of dark eye circles and how you can fix them:


As we age, the production of elastin and collagen—substances that help keep our skin elastic, firm and smooth—are reduced. As the delicate skin around our eyes becomes thinner with age, blood vessels become more visible, resulting in a shadowy appearance under the eyes.

Treatment for this type of dark circle involves using a good moisturiser or eye cream to keep the delicate under eye area hydrated and concealer to disguise the darkness. Dark eye circles  treatments that are non-invasive are also available such as fillers and non-ablative lasers.


Allergies can lead to dark circles due to congestion of the nasal passages. This leads to a build up of fluid around the eyes and causes discoloration. To reduce the effect, it’s important to treat the allergies at the source.

Allergy medications such as antihistamines can help to reduce the symptoms and therefore reduce the discoloration around the eyes.


Dark eye circles are often hereditary, meaning you may have inherited them from your parents or other family members. If this is the case for you, then there’s no way to completely eliminate them—but there are some treatments available that can help reduce their appearance.

For example, lightening creams or concealers can be used to lessen the visibility of dark circles. Dark eye circles cosmetic treatments are available for those who are looking for faster and more visible results.

Lack of Sleep

When you don’t get enough sleep, it can take a toll on your whole body—including the area around your eyes. Inadequate rest leads to the thinning of skin, which then allows blood vessels to show through more prominently and create a dark shadow.

To reduce the visibility of your dark circles, aim to get at least seven hours of uninterrupted sleep per night.

Sun Damage

Unprotected exposure to UV rays causes damage to the delicate skin around your eyes, leading to discoloration and dark circles. To prevent this, wear sunglasses or a hat when you’re out in the sun and use products with SPF to protect your skin.


When we’re feeling overwhelmed, our bodies can produce more cortisol— a hormone that causes fluid retention around the eyes and leads to dark circles. To reduce the impact of stress on your appearance, it’s important to practise healthy coping mechanisms such as deep breathing, mindfulness practices, and exercise.

Eye Strain

Staring at a screen for long periods of time can cause us to strain our eyes, which in turn can cause dark circles under the eyes. To treat this type of dark circle, give your eyes a break from digital screens by doing eye exercises or using blue light filtering glasses when working on devices.


Dark eye circles can be a nuisance but with the right steps you can minimise their appearance or even get rid of them altogether. If you’re concerned about dark circles, speak to your doctor or dermatologist for advice and treatment options.

With patience and care, you can improve the look of your eyes and feel more confident about your appearance.