Skin Care

Dark Circles – Causes And Prevention

Dark circles around the eyes, particularly below the lower eyelids, hamper the natural brightness of the face and make you look sick and dull. Lack of sleep is the most apparent routine that causes dark circles. But, there can be other reasons too leading to this unwanted condition. Before we find out what causes dark circles and how to prevent them, let’s quickly understand what dark circles basically are.

1. What are dark circles?

Periorbital dark circles, in simpler words, are dark blemishes or shadow visible under the lower eyelids. Dark circles do not fall under the category of a medical emergency and are harmless, and one can avoid them by adopting healthy life practices.

2. What causes dark circles under your eyes?

Your everyday routine, be it having a deprived sleep or improper diet, can lead to the formation of these dark bags. Here are the main causes of dark circles.

2.1 Inadequate sleep

Sleep deprivation is the most apparent habit that causes dark circles. Getting inadequate sleep leads to decreased blood circulation and dilates the blood vessels which results in dark circles. It also leads to tired and puffed up eyes which are painful and make the dark circles more prominent.

2.2 Constant rubbing of eyes

Allergies often lead to vigorous rubbing of eyes which leads to swelling and breakage of blood vessels in the area under the eyes. This, in turn, causes dark circles. Interestingly, makeup, when used beyond its estimated shelf life can result in ocular herpes and trigger several types of problems.

Excessive itching associated with skin diseases like eczema also leads to swelling and inflammation around the eye area. In case of eczema or an allergy, consult a doctor.

2.3 Stress

Stress results in insomnia and affects the ability to sleep on time and also causes hormonal change. It flushes down the look of the face and makes it look dull and drab. Lesser sleep gives the appearance of shrunken eyes making the blood vessels and veins under the eye look all the more visible. Also, the hormonal changes associated with stress can hike up the chances of skin pigmentation.

2.4 Lack of nutrition

An improper diet leads to the deficiency of iron, vitamin K and vitamin E which are the three main nutrients whose scantiness causes dark circles. Their shortage leads to a bluish tinge which is visible under the eye in the form of dark blemishes. Lack of vitamin A & vitamin C can also contribute to the formation of dark circles.

2.5 Exposure to sun

Overexposure to the sun causes the skin to darken, and the skin beneath our eyes is no exception. The skin near our eyes is sensitive and thin and suffers damage more than the epidermis on other parts of our body. It causes increased melanin production in the body which shows up the circles even more.

2.6 Dehydration

Drinking plenty of water leads to the flushing of toxins and dehydration does the exact opposite. Dehydration stalls the impurities and fails to eliminate them which leads to tired, baggy eyes that give rise to dark circles.

2.7 Genes

Last but not least, your genetic makeup can also be a reason why you have dark blemishes. The hereditary conditions seen in generations of a family can cause darkening under the eyes.

3. How to prevent dark circles?

Prevention is better than cure. Opt for these healthy life practices and avoid having dark circles in first place.

3.1 Have a proper sleeping routine

Try to sleep for at least 8 hours a day and do not exceed the said duration until or unless it is necessary. Either way (less or more hours a day), it is going to harm.

3.2 In case of irritation, don’t rub your eyes 

Don’t rub your eyes vigorously. Have a repeated splash of cold water in case of constant itching. You can also use ice packs for rapid relief. In case of excessive itching, consult a doctor.

3.3 Wash-off your eye makeup before going to bed

Before you hit the bed in the night, wash your face and be sure to remove all the eye makeup. Also, remember to discard eye makeup after every three to five months.

3.4 Avoid stressing yourself

Probably, the most difficult but the most important habit to adopt. Don’t think too much about anything and try to divert your mind towards more positive and productive activities.

3.5 Have a healthy and balanced food

Have a balanced diet and make sure you have adequate levels of vitamins and minerals in your body. In case of any severe deficiency, take external supplements, as directed by a nutritionist or doctor.

3.6 Protect your face from direct sun

Wear sunscreen lotion every time you step out of the house and keep your sunglasses handy all the time.

3.7 Drink lots of water

Keep your body hydrated and drink 8-10 glasses of water per day. You will notice great results if you stick to this resolution.

Even though dark circles themselves do not pose a threat, they can cause great aesthetic concerns and may lead to tired, dull and old looking face. So, try inculcating mentioned healthy life practices and avoid them.

The author’s views are personal here.