Causes of dark circles under the eyes

Why does the discoloration under the eyes occur?

Under the eyes, the skin is particularly thin and usually almost completely without padding fatty tissue. On the other hand, there are many small blood and lymph vessels around the eye to supply the important visual organ. Through the thin skin these are then easily visible from the outside, so that a change is immediately noticeable and shows itself in dark rings under the eyes.

Causes of dark circles under the eyes

In some families, the tendency to dark discoloration around the eyes is particularly pronounced and is inherited more and more because the particularly thin layer of skin is in the genes. Skin colour, shape of the eye socket and other hereditary factors can also emphasise dark circles around the eyes. Skin changes, such as aging of the skin, increased pigmentation due to exposure to the sun (or solarium) and changes after (conjunctivitis) inflammation can cause dark circles under the eyes.

As the eyelids become droopy with age, the eyes can also become darker, which visually enhances the effect of dark circles. Circles under the eyes that are not inherited can also be a sign of a disease of the body and are a symptom of a large number of diseases and nutrient / vitamin deficiencies. Especially iron, zinc and vitamin C prevent the appearance of the unloved dark circles if they are sufficiently supplied.

In order to determine a vitamin or nutrient deficiency, a blood count by the family doctor is helpful and purposeful. Diseases that cause fluid retention, such as heart, thyroid, kidney or liver diseases, can be the reason for dark circles and should be treated. Taking vasodilator drugs can also lead to dark circles.

Allergies, especially hay fever, can also cause dark circles around the eyes. These are caused by itching and associated eye rubbing, which can increase swelling of the eyes. In this case, a therapy for hay fever makes sense.

At best, it is started by hyposensitization in the autumn before the hay fever season and can now also be carried out using the turbo method. Another cause of dark circles under the eyes can be drug use. The poisoning of the body associated with this is manifested externally by the dark discolouration under the eyes and only disappears again after weeks or months when the drug consumption has been stopped.

Salt in the diet or smoking can cause the fine blood vessels under the eyes to swell, leading to dark circles under the eyes, as salt removes fluid from the body and makes the blood thicker. When consuming salty food, it is therefore strongly recommended that you drink enough fluids. Computers and television are unhealthy for the eyes in the long run, because staring at the screen can dry them out and cause burning, and the resulting irritation can cause dark circles under the eyes.

It is therefore important when working at the PC for long periods of time that “eye exercises” are taken in between and that regular breaks are taken in which the eyes can recover. Additional moisturising eye drops can soothe irritated eyes. A typical cause of dark circles under the eyes is of course lack of sleep.

The body can normally regenerate itself during sleep. If it is deprived of this by insufficient or poor sleep, lymph congestion and swelling occur, resulting in dark shadows under the eyes. Psychological stress is also reflected in the skin and eyes.

Depression, which is also often associated with sleep problems, can lead to dark circles under the eyes. Stress and persistent worries are also possible triggers for dark circles under the eyes. In children, dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a blocked nose (colds, allergies) or a lack of fluids (gastrointestinal diseases). Other deficiency symptoms (see above) also appear more quickly in children than in adults and can manifest themselves as dark circles under the eyes.