Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by licensed doctors

"What causes eyelids to darken in color?"


My daughter's eyelids have been getting darker over the past months, and it's definitely not makeup - she refuses to wear any! She hasn't really seen it, but it's especially evident in pictures. Can a change in the color of eyelids indicate some kind of medical issue?


The skin under the eyes and of the eyelids is some of the thinnest skin on the body. Therefore it is quite typical for the dark blood underneath to show through giving them a darker appearance. Generally this can be treated by rest, good skin care, and started facial preparations.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Dermatologists near you

A few medical conditions can make this appearance look worse. By far the most common is allergic rhinitis, or nasal allergies, or allergic conjunctivitis, or eye allergies. These result in puffiness and inflammation of the tissue around the eyes and they can be easily treated by focusing on medications to relieve the allergies. Another condition is melasma, which is a gradual darkening of the skin below the eyes and on the cheeks from collections of pigment cells under the influence of female hormones. As always the diagnosis and the management of her particular condition will require a physical examination by her personal physician. Setting up an office visit with her primary care doctor might be indicated.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.