What causes dark circles-Dermatocare's beauty tips

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 26/11/15
"Doctor, what causes dark circles?" Most people think that dark circles are because of overwork, sleeplessness, or nutritional causes. However, dark circles are not always related to lifestyle, but structural changes around eye might be causing them. So, sit in front of the mirror and read further!

This article helps you understand the cause for dark circles. All you need to do is audit your lifestyle and examine the under eye area in the mirror for the following changes:  

Colour of skin: 

If your dark circles are

  • Violaceous, then they might be due to engorged blood vessel (due to nasal blockage) with or without thin eyelid skin.
  • Brown pigmentation in under eye area might be due to repeated rubbing of skin in under eye area due to the allergy in eye or surrounding skin.


Depression in under eye area is because of

  • Tear trough deformity is a common cause of dark circles in old age. It is sign of ageing that occurs due to sagging of cheeks down to mid-face.
  • Rarely, depression in lower eyelid is seen at younger age of 20 and 30’s; it is due to Arcus Deformity, that occurs when fat of lower eyelid pushes out appearing as puffy and swollen lower eyelid with a depression below it.


Darkness in under eye area can be due to a shadow of the eyebrow on lower eyelids, in the case of deep-seated eyes. The shadow will disappear if you look up.


If your dark circles extend to the adjacent cheeks and forehead then, hereditary conditions like Pigment demarcation line and Dermal melanocytosis could be the cause. They usually give bluish to blackish hue to dark circles and extend to the adjacent cheeks.


In old age, wrinkles and thin under eye skin appear as dark circles.

Medical conditions:

Anaemia, prolonged illness, sudden weight loss and hormonal imbalances, etc. can trigger dark circles.

Lifestyle factors:

Like smoking, alcohol, caffeinated sodas, fatigue, sleepless nights, etc. can also aggravate dark circles.

Prolonged sun exposure:

This can lead to thinning, wrinkling and darkening of your under eye skin.


The one that contains irritants or allergens like fragrance, balsam of Peru, nickel, psoralens, etc. can also cause low-grade inflammation and hence darken the under eye skin.



Thus, a single eye cream cannot do justice to all the cases of dark circles. Check out Dermatocare reviews on the top under eye creams. Here are few brand recommendations: