What causes dark circles?

dark circles

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With the fast-paced life of the 21st century, 24 hours in a day is not enough. People are often seen complaining that there is too much to be done in a day. Everyone wishes to possess every element of life – a good source of income, a social life, a good family time and a time for oneself. To want it all is a dream, a dream often unaccompanied by sleep.

It is just to say a person will miss out on a few elements until they are settled in life. A young adult is expected to keep up their grades, make friends, engage in an exercise, and indulge themselves in a hobby to keep their mind healthy. Sleep is often undermined when the person has a compulsive need to fulfil all their duties. Once a busy life begins, it never stops. The lack of sleep often manifests morphologically (changes the appearance) and causes a characteristic most people dread – DARK CIRCLES.

dark circle

How are dark circles caused?

The most common reason for developing dark circles is due to fatigue and lack of sleep. Since the eyes are not rested as much as they are required to, the skin underneath the eyes receive less blood than what it would have received if the person had had enough sleep. Thus, this chunk of the skin becomes pale and dark and the resultant new tissues also grow with the same appearance. As the skin becomes pale, the blood vessels underneath the skin may start to show and cause a much darker tone. As time progresses, this darkening spreads to the upper cheeks and make a person look old and unhealthy.


Why are dark circles caused?

People with dark circles often blame their schedule – which mostly cannot accommodate a good 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night. Lack of sleep can cause darkening of the skin under the eye in a hue of purple to red. There are several other reasons which can initiate or even contribute to the development of dark circles.

  1. Ageing

As the age progresses, the skin tends to become loose and lose its elasticity. As a result of it, the thinning of the skin under the eye makes the BLOOD VESSELS underneath more prominent. The blue hue of the blood vessels (as observed through the skin) makes the skin look darker.

  1. Strain on the eyes

Excessive strain on the eyes caused due to long hours on the computer or mobile phone can contribute to the enlargement of the blood vessels. As the blood vessels grow, their visibility through the skin is significantly higher.

strained eye

3. Sun exposure

Exposure to the sun can promote the production of MELANIN (in a process called TANNING). Tanning tends to darken the uncovered parts of the body and can worsen the condition of the pre-existing dark circles underneath the eyes.

4. Racial predispositions

Individuals with a higher content of the skin pigment melanin are more susceptible to dark circles since their pigment generating machinery is more active than people who have relatively less pigmentation. Those with pale skin possess dark circles with less pigmentation and prominent due to the visibility of the blood vessels underneath.

5. Allergies

When someone encounters an ALLERGEN (individuals are allergic to different substances such as pollen, dust, or flowers) the body has a strict protocol of response. Response to an allergen is an immune response which involves the release of HISTAMINE. Histamine tends to dilate the blood vessels and increase their visibility. A symptom of allergy is itching and redness of the eye, which can cause strain on the eye and tire out the blood vessels underneath.


Are dark circles treatable?

Most people prefer home remedies over cosmetic ways to get rid of dark circles. The foremost step is to start ensuring that they get quality sleep and the results will start surfacing soon. A popular technique is to apply a cold compress to the eye – which relaxes the blood vessels and ensures good circulation of blood through the tissues.

Placing tea bags on one’s eyes can help relieve tension under the eyes and the antioxidants found in the tea can improve blood circulation and reduce the dullness of the skin. If none of these techniques work, people most popularly apply makeup to conceal their dark circles. This is a two-edged sword since residual makeup can aggravate the problem of dark circles by their temporary pigments and the ability to dehydrate the skin. It is also essential to use a hydrating formula of makeup which is easy to take off after a long day of work.

lady relaxing

However, dark circles are normal signs of ageing and proof of hard work which is done by a person. Concealing dark circles is fundamental for actors and public figures, but regular people are not judged for possessing bags under their eyes. Inculcating the habit of not straining the eyes and ensuring sound sleep can help avoid or reduce the development of dark circles.

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