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How to Get Rid of Dark Circles

There are a number of methods — both natural and medically prescribed — that people use to get rid of dark circles under the eyes.
By Dermspotlight Staff,
Updated November 19, 2020
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Facts about dark eye circles

Have you ever had dark circles under your eyes? This can be an upsetting problem for many people because it affects your appearance. It can make you look exhausted or even ill. Fortunately, there are several treatments, including both home remedies and medical procedures, although there’s no single dark circle’s cure.

People are usually very eager to understand the cause of dark circles under the eyes, and there are several different possibilities.

What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes?

What causes dark circles? Some of the most common reasons include allergies and hay fever. If you’re allergic to something in the air, either generally or in a particular season, you could end up with dark circles and puffy eyes. Dark circles from allergies happen when your immune system has a reaction to an unwanted substance. Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is another common cause. (1) A deficiency in iron can also cause dark circles.

Dark circles under eyes also have a hereditary factor. If your parents have this issue, there’s a good chance that you’ll end up with a dark circle’s genetic problem. According to research, this issue begins in childhood for some individuals. (2)

Another common reason for developing dark circles is simply fatigue. Exhaustion can cause your eyes to get puffy and dark, especially with age. In fact, some of this response is simply a function of what happens to the skin as we get older. (1)

Other possible causes of dark circles include rubbing your eyes and spending too much time in the sun. Specifically, the sun causes the release of melanin in the skin, which affects the appearance of your eyes. (1) In addition, the area under your eyes is especially sensitive because it’s thin, and the blood vessels are right at the surface. (3)

Can Dark Circles Go Away on Their Own?

Dark circles can go away on their own in some cases, but it depends on the cause of the condition. If the circles are from an allergy and you’re no longer around the allergen, they may go away. (3)

Dark circles that arise due to fatigue could similarly disappear if you catch up on your sleep. If the cause is rubbing your eyes and you stop doing that, you may get rid of the dark circles. The same is true if you start using a strong sunblock. (3)

Dark Circles Treatment at Home

When it comes to dark circles treatment, there are numerous home methods you can try. Many of these options are quite effective, and easy to carry out. Here are the most popular dark circles remedies available:

  • Cold Compress – Cold compress is a dark circle’s natural remedy which tends to work extremely well. This is because of the dilation of the blood vessels under your eyes, which is partly to blame for your dark circles. Take a cold compress, wrap it in a towel, and lay in against your eyes for about 15 minutes. You can do this twice a day.
  • Extra Pillows – In order to get rid of the fluid under your eyes, propping yourself up to more when you sleep can really help. Use an extra pillow or two at night, and you may find yourself looking better in the morning, or in a few days.
  • Egg Whites – Beat egg whites in a bowl and spread the mix under each eye. Wait about 15 minutes for it to dry, then wash it off well. As the egg dries, it will make your skin firmer and more toned. It will also activate the circulation under your eyes and lessen the chance of blood vessels breaking.
  • Green or Black Tea Bags – This is one of the best dark circles under eye remedies that you can do at home. Tea is effective because it contains caffeine, which can constrict the blood vessels under the eyes and improve circulation. Make some hot tea, then remove the tea bags and wait until they reach room temperature. Place them under your eyes for 15-30 minutes. If you do this twice a week, it should make a significant impact.
  • Iron Supplements – Dark circles are sometimes caused by anemia, which comes from a deficiency in iron. Eat iron-rich foods like dark leafy vegetables, seafood, beans, peas, and dried fruit. In addition, take iron supplements daily.
  • Drink Water – Drinking lots of water can have a significant impact on your dark circles. It hydrates the skin deeply, improves circulation under the eyes, and gets rid of toxins in the body. So, to help your dark circles, hydrate!
  • Natural Eye Creams – There are a number of natural wrinkle creams under eye on the market like Mario Badescu, La Mer Cream, Instantly Ageless, Meaningful Beauty, and Advanced Dermatology which can help get rid of dark circles. They are high in anti-inflammatory agents which can lessen swelling, and ingredients that improve circulation under the eyes. They include antioxidants which can repair skin damage and skin-thickening ingredients like Argireline, Vitamin E, Peptides or niacinamide—work to conceal dark circles, Retinol is good for under-eye pigmentation and forehead wrinkles.
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How to Get Rid of Dark Circles: Medical Treatments

There are several medical options for dark circles treatment. These techniques can be highly effective at improving the appearance of dark circles.

  • Surgery – Dark circles surgery is blepharoplasty. It includes the removal of skin, fat, and muscle from the eye area. This can get rid of dark circles and bags under eyes as it tightens up the skin. (4)
  • Fillers – Dark circles fillers are injections that you can get under your eyes, to get rid of the fatty tissue and give the area additional volume. The dark circle’s injection is usually composed of hyaluronic acid. (5) You won’t believe the dark circles before and after. This is an extremely helpful treatment.
  • Laser – Dark circles laser treatment involves treating the area with heat and light in a concentrated way. This activates the skin and eliminates areas of pigmentation. There are actually two types of laser procedures. An ablative laser takes the outer layer of skin off and heats the area underneath to initiate collagen production. A non-ablative laser improves skin tone and texture and initiates collagen production. (6)
  • Chemical Peels – A chemical peel uses alpha hydroxy acid, gently spreading it on your face to remove the top layers of skin. There are light, moderate, and deep peels. The deeper peels lead to more redness on the face and a longer recovery period for the skin after the treatment. These can be effective at removing dark circles and making the skin and eyes more youthful, as it has anti-aging benefits. (7)
  • Topical Creams – There are a number of topical creams you can get which help remove dark circles. For example, bleaching creams like hydroquinone, kojic acid, azelaic acid, and topical retinoic acid. In addition, topical Vitamin C also has lightening properties and is also effective for this purpose. (8)

People Also Ask

Q: Can Dark Circles Become Permanent?

A: It’s possible that with advancing age, they could become more permanent. This may happen when the dark circle’s cause is due to aging, rather than some other factor. The sensitive skin under the eyes is already thin and vulnerable, and with age, it becomes more so as it loses collagen and elastin. This makes it more likely the dark circles will remain. (9)

Q: Can Dark Circles Be a Sign of Illness?

A: Dark circles can be a sign of an allergy or something similar, but in general, they do not indicate any kind of medical issue. (10) One exception is that they could be from anemia, which comes from a deficiency in iron. (9)

Q: Can Dark Circles Go Away with Sleep?

A: If the cause of the dark circles is lack of sleep, then catching up on your sleep can certainly make them go away. If there’s a different root cause, then sleeping more probably won’t help your eyes. It will, however, help your general health to get adequate sleep.

Q: Will Cucumber Reduce Dark Circles?

A: Placing cucumbers under your eyes is an excellent dark circle’s natural remedy. Cucumber has properties for lightening the skin. Wash the cucumber and cut it into thick slices. Place the slices under your eyes and leave them there for about 15 minutes. Then wash your face. You can use this method twice a day, and you should see results quickly.

Q: Which Dark Circle Eye Cream is the Best?

A: There are numerous dark circles products on the market, so it’s difficult to pick just one as the dark circles best cream. When you’re choosing a cream, look at and research the ingredients carefully so you see what you’re getting and how much of chance it has at being effective. In addition, make sure you are not allergic to anything in the product. Finally, you should also have a look at the company and see if they are reputable such as Crepe Erase, Nerium, The Ordinary Skin Care, Image Skin Care, and Jeunesse Global.

The Bottom Line

Developing dark circles under eyes is a problem with several possible root causes, including fatigue, age, allergies, too much sun, rubbing your eyes, or heredity. As such, many people find this problem upsetting and think it mars their appearance.

If you do have dark circles, don’t worry about it too much. Luckily, there are a number of dark circles remedies you can try at home, and there are also some medical treatments like surgery or lasers which work well. The dark circle’s best treatment is a combination of lifestyle changes, skincare products such as Rodan + Fields, Murad Skin Care, Mary Kay, Plexaderm and Clinique Skincare, and medical treatments.

If all else fails, consider using dark circles makeup. Purchase a good concealer and it should make a big difference.

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Darren M. Smith, MD

By Darren M. Smith, MD

Board-certified plastic surgeon Darren M. Smith, MD is among New York’s premier experts in aesthetic surgery and cosmetic injectable treatments.