What Causes Dark Circles Under the Eyes?
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Many people believe that dark circles under the eyes are caused by lack of sleep and being overly tired. This is one thing that can cause dark circles, but there are many others. Even the natural aging process or allergies can lead to darker-colored skin underneath the eyes.
Dark circles can come in several colors, whether purple, black, blue, or dark brown, depending on a person’s skin color. In most cases, dark circles aren’t a concern, but many wish to eliminate them for cosmetic reasons.
Sometimes, dark circles might mean a person should make lifestyle changes, such as changing their diet or sleep habits. We’ll go through the most common causes for these dark circles. You may find that one or more of the causes applies to your situation.
Lack of Sleep
Lack of sleep is one reason that you may experience dark circles under your eyes. When you aren’t sleeping enough, your body doesn’t have time to repair the skin or other tissues. Also, if you aren’t reaching the deepest stages of sleep, your body can’t focus blood circulation on the skin to make you look rejuvenated.
In addition, not getting enough sleep creates stress for your body systems. This can increase the production of compounds in the body that reduce circulation in the skin. As a result, slow circulation and deoxygenated blood can make dark circles more noticeable.
Simply becoming older can also cause you to have dark circles under your eyes. This is because as you get older, the skin on your body starts to become thinner. This applies to all skin, even around the eyes, where the skin is already some of the thinnest on your body.
In addition, aging may cause you to lose collagen and fat that ensures your skin has the appropriate level of elasticity. When this happens, the dark blood vessels under your skin will be more visible. This can make the area under your eyes appear to be darker.
Allergies and Eye Dryness
Both eye dryness and allergic reactions can be a trigger for dark eye circles. When your body is dealing with an allergic reaction, it automatically releases histamines as a way of fighting off harmful bacteria. This can cause many uncomfortable symptoms, such as puffy eyes, itchiness, and redness. Histamines can also make your blood vessels dilate and appear more visible under the skin.
Allergies also often make you want to scratch and rub the itchy skin located near the eyes. The issue is that this makes your symptoms even worse, increasing swelling or inflammation and causing broken blood vessels. This can create dark spots under your eyes.
If you work in an environment where you are constantly focused on a computer screen, that can create eye strain. The same applies to watching hours of television or staring down at the screen on your phone.
When you experience eye strain, it causes the blood vessels near the eyes to enlarge. The result is that the skin near your eyes may become darker.
Another common cause of dark circles around the eyes is dehydration. Something as simple as not taking in enough water every day can cause issues with the skin around your eyes (and other areas of your body).
When the body doesn’t have enough water, the skin will start to become dull. It can also create the appearance of sunken eyes. This sunken visual occurs because the eyes are so close to the underlying bone.
Spending too much time in the sun isn’t good for you. When you take in a bit too much sunlight, your body can start to create more melanin than it usually would. Melanin is the pigment that creates the color in your skin.
When you spend too much time under the sun, it can start to dark the pigmentation in your skin. This often occurs in the areas around the eyes, creating the dark circles that you may wish you had a cure for.
Many things can cause dark eye circles, but one you might not expect is genetics. If you have a family history of dark circles, it’s more likely that you will experience the problem yourself. Sometimes it can be seen in childhood and will either disappear as you age or go on to be worse.
Being predisposed to other conditions, such as thyroid disease, can also indicate that you will be more likely to experience dark circles under your eyes.
Not Enough Iron
If you have an iron deficiency, this can be another cause of dark circles. Keeping a good diet can help with this issue. Otherwise, a lack of iron could lead to puffiness and dark circles around your eyes. The veins near the eyes will also be more noticeable if your body isn’t getting the appropriate amount of iron.
One study indicates that anemia is a health cause in 50% of people who experience dark circles under the eye. In addition, those who adhere to a vegetarian diet are most at risk for anemia since most food sources with large amounts of iron contain meat.
Smoking tobacco can restrict blood flow in the body, creating pale skin and enhancing dark circles under the eyes. Cigarettes also contain dozens of toxins that the body has to filter out, which takes away from other important bodily functions.
Smokers also are less likely to feel fully rested after sleeping. They spend less time in deep sleep than nonsmokers do. This may be related to nicotine withdrawal during the night. In either case, the act of smoking can exacerbate the look of dark circles.
Know the Causes and Fight Dark Circles
There are dozens of causes of dark circles under the eyes, some that can be controlled and others that can’t. Knowing what causes the circles gives you the chance to make changes to alleviate the issue and keep it from coming back. There are many remedies to help prevent dark circles or keep their appearance to a minimum.
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