Dark Eye Circles

Do you have dark circles under your eyes? It is commonly believed that dark eye circles are caused by a lack of sleep. This is usually true for younger adults who stay up late and don’t get enough sleep for months on end. However, a lot of older adults get dark eye circles for a plethora of reasons. Some of the reasons include hyperpigmentation loss, allergies, fatty tissue levels reduced, eye strain, smoking, genetics, excessive UV exposure, dermatitis, thyroid issues, nonwhite ethnicity, thinning skin, or dehydration.

Men and women are prone to developing dark eye circles. Most of the darkness is visible underneath the lower eyelids. You may even have swollen bags underneath your lower eyelids too. There is nothing more unattractive than dark bags under the eyes, especially when they don’t go away. If you try catching up on your sleep for 8 hours per night and you still have dark eye circles after about a month, then constricted blood vessels are the cause of the problem.

At-Home Treatments

Applying hydrating eye patches

Before you seek out a cosmetic surgeon to treat your dark eye circle problem, you may want to exhaust every other possible solution first. Start with the most common at-home treatment solutions.

Cold Presses – Dilated blood vessels underneath the lower eyelids could be the cause of your dark circles. Apply a cold press to the skin for at least 20 minutes. Use a cold damped washcloth or wrap some ice cubes in a soft cloth to create your cold press.

Vitamin C Lotion – Some medical studies have shown that 10% Vitamin C lotion has the potential to reduce dark eye circles if regularly applied over the course of 6 months.

Green Tea Bags – The antioxidants and caffeine of green tea have the ability to increase blood circulation. If you apply cold green tea bags over your lower eyelids, then more blood circulation to this area could reduce the size of the blood vessels there.

Sleep More – Sleep deprivation is the number one cause of dark eye circles. Try to sleep between 8 to 10 hours per day if you can spare the time. Reduce the distractions which may wake you up too. Turn on a fan in your room to produce white noise that blocks out all other sounds.

Concealer – This is not really a treatment, but rather a temporary fix. If you’re incredibly embarrassed by the dark circles under your lower eyelids and you need to go out in public, then apply a skin-coloured concealer over the dark pigmentation. It may not attack the root cause of the problem, but at least concealer will cover up the dark circles until you can find a better treatment.

Professional Cosmetic Treatments

Professional Cosmetic Treatments

If the at-home treatments failed to treat your dark eye circle problem, then you may want to try one or more of the professional cosmetic treatments below.

Chemical Peels – Glycolic acid and other types of hydroxy acids have the ability to reduce hyperpigmentation caused by constricted blood vessels. Some of the lighter chemical peels can be purchased over the counter, but you should consider going to a cosmetic specialist and have commercial quality chemical peels applied.

Medical Tattoos – You may or may not like this idea. Medical tattoos are basically a way to conceal the hyperpigmentation permanently. The cosmetic specialist will inject pigment into the dark skin areas, which also happen to be very thin-skinned areas. That way, the dark circles under your eyes will appear as light as the rest of your surrounding skin colour.

Laser Therapy – Dark circles can be treated the most effectively with laser therapy. There is no surgery or invasiveness to worry about with this procedure. The cosmetic specialist uses diode lasers or pulsed dye lasers to resurface and tighten the skin under the eyelids. There is minimal risk of side effects or scarring too.

Fillers – Tissues fillers are another way to conceal the dark skin discolouration caused by the melanin and constricted blood vessels under your lower eyelids. Fillers won’t be a permanent solution, but they’re a great alternative to medical tattoos in case you don’t feel comfortable having your skin permanently marked up.

Blepharoplasty – This is a type of plastic surgery which focuses on fixing any discolouration, disfigurations, or other defects around the eyelids. It can resolve the bagginess issue underneath your eyelids too. The surgeon basically removes the excess skin and fat deposits in this region of your face. After the small recovery period, the dark circles and bagginess should be reduced or gone completely.


For most people, the dark circles will only be temporary. If you just remember to get sleep and use at-home treatments periodically, then your dark eye circle problem should not last very long. Consult with a dermatologist or PCP if you’re still not sure what to do.