ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have dark circles under my eyes?

Question

Why do I have dark circles under my eyes?

I'm 25 and the dark circles under my eyes keep getting worse. I sleep about 6 hours nightly and have tried various creams and whatnot to get rid of them. Still no luck and I've tried to avoid those anyway due to causing breakouts. I'm not sure who to see about this?

Answer

Dark circles under the eyes is a very common cosmetic complaint. It is caused when blood pools in small blood vessels under the skin and it shows up primarily under the eyes because this area of skin is much thinner than other places on the body. It tends to become worse when the skin thins out even more, something which occurs because of sun damage and aging. There is no easy quick treatment for this. Many people manage it by covering it up with cosmetics, while for some skin toning creams probably have at least a minimal benefit. Others find that working on sleep hygiene, diet, exercise, and stress levels can help. For some people there can be a medical problem causing swelling and puffiness of the skin under the eyes and making the circles worse. The most common cause of this is nasal or eye allergies (itching eyes, nasal congestion, sneezing, sinus stuffiness). If you have any of these symptoms you should talk to your primary care doctor, as it is possible that the circles will improve if you treat them. Some specialized cosmetic dermatologist will offer additional (expensive) treatments for the problem, such as laser resurfacing or dermal abrasion.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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