CausesBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you get plenty of sleep and still have dark circles under your eyes, that's not unusual. Fatigue isn't the only reason for under-eye circles. What appear to be under-eye circles are sometimes just shadows cast by puffy eyelids or hollows under your eyes that develop as a normal part of aging.
Here are some of the most common causes of true under-eye circles.
- Atopic dermatitis (eczema)
- Heredity — dark under-eye circles can run in families
- Lifestyle factors, such as physical or emotional stress, smoking, or chronic alcohol use can take a toll on your appearance
- Nasal congestion
- Pigmentation irregularities — these are a particular concern for people of color, especially blacks and Asians
- Rubbing or scratching your eyes
- Sun exposure, which prompts your body to produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color
- Thinning skin and loss of fat and collagen — common as you age — can make the reddish-blue blood vessels under your eyes more obvious
Causes shown here are commonly associated with this symptom. Work with your doctor or other health care professional for an accurate diagnosis.
- Roh MR, et al. Infraorbital dark circles: Definition, causes, and treatment options. Dermatologic Surgery. 2009;35:1163.
- Eberlin S, et al. Effects of a Brazilian herbal compound as a cosmetic eyecare for periorbital hyperchromia ("dark circles"). Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology. 2009;8:127.
- Oppenheimer JJ. The nose and its relationship to the eyes. Current Allergy and Asthma Report. 2010;10:75.
- Roh MR, et al. Treatment of infraorbital dark circles by autologous fat transplantation: A pilot study. British Journal of Dermatology. 2009;160:1022.
- Momosawa A, et al. Combined therapy using Q-switched ruby laser and bleaching treatment with tretinoin and hydroquinone for periorbital skin hyperpigmentation in Asians. Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. 2008;121:282.