Usually, when you meet another person, you look into their eyes and greet. So, the eyes are the first thing anybody notices about the other person, and consequently, those dark circles that just stand out! Dark circles or under-eye bags are one of the biggest beauty bugbears that everyone tries to avoid at some point. But lack of sleep isn’t the only reason that might be causing this! Under-eye bags could mean a health issue much more serious than sleeplessness.
According to a number of dermatologists, dark circles under the eyes are the second most common skin complaint, preceded only by acne. Even a bright, lovely morning can get annoying when you wake up and look in the mirror to be greeted by these blue-toned bags under your eyes. While you can easily mask these stealthy under-eye shadows with some concealer, getting to the root of the issue and targeting the cause can be a great long-term solution.
Common Causes Of Under-Eye Dark Circles
Here are some of the common causes of dark circles that can be diagnosed easily and don’t cause much harm otherwise.
The skin around your eyelids, also known as periorbital skin, is thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. Because of this, the blood vessels and blood here are seen much more clearly than anywhere else. And most often, the veins here look blue or a shade darker. This is because your skin only allows blue or violet wavelengths of light to pass through it, not because your skin has turned off-color somehow. Only blue light gets reflected, making your veins look like they’re of the same shade. And this process happens to the skin below your eyes, too.
The dark bluish circles that you see around your eyes appear as the light gets reflected from the blood vessels under the thin patch of facial skin. This is why bruises below or around your eyes tend to be more prominent as they show your ruptured blood vessels a little more clearly.
Age And Genetic Predisposition
As you grow older, your skin can lose its elasticity and its ability to regenerate and becomes thinner. Hence, most elderly people have prominent dark circles, regardless of their health or sleep quality. You may also be genetically predisposed to having a thin skin below your eyes.
Periorbital hyperpigmentation is another major reason why you can have under-eye dark circles. In this condition, the skin below your eyes produces more melanin than usual, making it appear a shade darker.
Injuries Or Allergies
At times, the blood vessels around your eyes can get damaged and bleed out. In such a situation, you’ll be left with puffy dark circles around your eyes. You could also have under-eye bags as a result of fluid buildup below your eyes. This can happen because of an illness, allergy, or salt-rich diet.
Health Issues That Cause Dark Circles
While the causes so far mentioned are quite common, they’re mostly harmless and are diagnosed easily. Generally, dark circles or under-eye bags are aesthetic in nature and shouldn’t warrant much concern. When you need to be worried is if an underlying health issue is making you look so. If skin discoloration or puffiness under your eyes persists at any point in time or if it worsens with the passage of time, you’d do well to seek professional medical help at the earliest.
One of the most common causes of inexplicable dark circles around your eyes is iron deficiency or anemia! When you have low levels of iron in your system, hemoglobin — the pigment that carries oxygen to your body cells — can get broken down more easily. This results in poor oxygenation in your body tissues, thereby making the skin below your eyes appear dark or bruised.1
A simple change in your diet can work wonders in treating your iron deficiency. Include a lot of greens, leafy vegetables, dairy products, and plenty of fruits in your diet to keep your body healthy.
Dehydration is another common cause of under-eye dark circles. Even a healthy individual can be prone to dehydration. From being under the sun for quite a while to perspiring more than usual, there are plenty of ways in which your body loses water.2
To solve this issue, drink at least 8–10 glasses of water every day. Including fresh fruits in your daily diet can be really helpful too. Remember to avoid caffeinated drinks, including tea and coffee, as they can aggravate dehydration. Alcohol is a strict no-no at this time, too!
3. Liver Dysfunction
Dark circles under your eyes can mean liver dysfunction issues due to various liver ailments. Such serious ailments can range from general sluggishness to fatty liver or even hepatitis.3
For starters, look up some raw vegetable juice recipes. No matter how bad or good they taste, raw vegetable juices have the power to cleanse your liver. In addition, you can also choose to drink a good-quality liver tonic that contains St Mary’s Thistle, B vitamins, and necessary amino acids.
|↑1||Sheth, Pratik B., Hiral A. Shah, and Jayendra N. Dave. “Periorbital hyperpigmentation: A study of its prevalence, common causative factors and its association with personal habits and other disorders.” Indian journal of dermatology 59, no. 2 (2014): 151.|
|↑2||Verschoore, Michèle, Somesh Gupta, Vinod K. Sharma, and Jean-Paul Ortonne. “Determination of melanin and haemoglobin in the skin of idiopathic cutaneous hyperchromia of the orbital region (ICHOR): A study of Indian patients.” Journal of cutaneous and aesthetic surgery 5, no. 3 (2012): 176.|
|↑3||The Liver & Detoxification. INL.|