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How to Get Rid of Dark Undereye Circles

Woman studies the instructions for using eye patches

It is nice to help soften or eliminate dark circles as they can make you look tired, older, or unhealthy. They are usually caused by a combination of factors, such as fatigue, aging, allergies, genetics, and skin color irregularities. In this blog post, we will explore some of the causes and treatments for dark circles under your eyes.

The Causes of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

  • Fatigue: Extreme fatigue, or staying up late can cause your skin to become dull and pale, making the dark blood vessels and tissues under your skin more visible. Actually oversleeping is not healthy either. The thin under eye skin then is the most prone to looking dark!
  • Lack of Sleep: The lack of sleep can cause fluid to build up, that fluid will make your eyes look puffy, and eventually stretch out the skin
  • Aging: As you get older, your skin becomes thinner and loses some of the fat and collagen that keep it elastic and smooth, another reason those blood filled capillaries become more noticeable under your eyes.
  • Eyestrain: Working long hours reading or on a screen puts strain on the network of blood vessels under your eyes and causes them to swell with additional blood which makes the circles appear darker.
  • Allergies: Allergic reactions and eye dryness can trigger dark circles by releasing histamines, which cause redness, swelling, and dilation of the blood vessels under your eyes. In addition rubbing or scratching can worsen the symptoms by breaking blood vessels which releases blood and literally causes an undereye bruise1.
  • Heredity: Dark circles under your eyes may run in your family, with darker more pigmented skin. 
  • Skin color irregularities: Some people have naturally darker or lighter skin around their eyes due to variations in melanin production. Melanin is the pigment that gives skin its color, and this also is genetic and can be exaggerated by sun exposure. 
  • Aging: With age the skin tends to sag and loosen and have a poorer texture, the skin thins and loses its fat and collagen that keeps skin elastic and smooth.

How to Treat Dark Circles Under Your Eyes?

Depending on the cause and severity of your dark circles, you may be able to treat them with some simple home remedies or permanent medical treatments. Here are some options:

  • Self-care steps: Some lifestyle changes and self-care steps may help reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes.
    • Sleep more
    • Elevating your head with extra pillows at night to prevent fluid accumulation under your eyes
    • Applying a cold compress or chilled cucumber slices on your eyes for a few minutes at a time to constrict the blood vessels
    • Avoiding excessive sun exposure and wearing sunscreen and sunglasses when outdoors
    • Drinking plenty of water and avoiding alcohol and caffeine to stay hydrated and prevent dehydration
    • Increase skin health by eating a more nutritional diet
    • Stop smoking
    • Relaxation, yoga, meditation and deep breathing will reduce strain, inflammation, and promote better circulation
    • Avoid triggering allergens and use antihistamines if necessary
    • Use medical grade eye creams or gels that contain brighteners and can firm and smooth the skin so light is reflected
  • Medical treatments: If home remedies are not effective or you want a more permanent solution for your dark circles, you may consider some medical treatments that can improve the appearance of your skin around your eyes
    • Chemical peels: A chemical peel is a procedure that uses a mild acid solution to remove the top layer of dead skin cells and reveal smoother and brighter skin underneath. It can also stimulate collagen production and reduce pigmentation. Chemical peels are usually done by a dermatologist or a cosmetic surgeon.
    • Laser therapy: Laser therapy is a procedure that uses a focused beam of light to target the pigmented or damaged skin cells and break them down. It can also stimulate collagen production and tighten the skin. Laser therapy is usually done
    • Botox: To smooth the lines around your eyes
    • Filler: To replace lost underlying tissue


Suzanne Trupin, MD, Board Certified Obstetrician and Gynecologist and owner of Women's Health Practice, Hada Cosmetic Medicine, and Hatha Yoga and Fitness

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