Reasons for Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Dark circles under the eyes are a common concern that affects people of all ages and skin types. They can give a tired, aged, or unhealthy appearance, prompting many to seek effective remedies. Understanding the underlying causes is the first step in addressing this issue. In this article, we’ll explore the various reasons behind dark circles.

Sleep and Hydration Routine

Before diving deep, it’s essential to evaluate your sleep and hydration routine. Disruption in these can make the skin around your eyes thin and dull. Poor metabolism makes the blood vessels more visible, giving the area a characteristic dark shade. Chronic intoxications like smoking and alcohol also contribute to this issue.

Genetic (Hereditary) Factors

  • Anatomical features of the face (deep-set or slightly bulging eyes)
  • General lack of subcutaneous fat
  • Thin, light skin
  • Blood vessels located close to the skin surface around the eyes
  • Rarely, underlying medical conditions (self-diagnosis is not recommended)

Hereditary causes often manifest in early childhood. The color of the dark circles is not necessarily related to kidney or other organ problems but is rather dependent on anatomical factors such as which underlying structures (vessels or muscles) are more visible.

Age-Related Factors

As we age, the subcutaneous fat that separates the skin from the muscles and blood vessels around the eyes thins. Additionally, the density and elasticity of the skin decrease, making the underlying muscles and vessels more visible. Poor blood circulation and lymphatic drainage can worsen this, leading to puffiness.


Both acquired and congenital pigmentation play a role. Genetics again plays a significant part, and certain ethnic groups are more prone to pigmentation issues. Increased sun exposure without adequate protection can exacerbate the problem.

Deficiencies and Internal Organ Diseases

Self-diagnosis should be avoided. However, it’s important to consider iron deficiency, vitamin deficiencies, and poor nutrition (lack of protein, vitamins, iron, and essential micro/macro elements) first. After ruling these out, consult a doctor to explore other potential causes such as hypothyroidism, liver diseases, heart and kidney failure, etc.

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