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What is the eye dark circle? What are its clinical treatments and home remedies?

What is the eye dark circle? What are its clinical treatments and home remedies? Dark circles appear around the eyes, presenting as a brown to dark brown homogenous pigmented macules under the lower eyelids. These dark circles are very common in men as well as women. Dark circles make you appear aged and a bit ugly.

These dark circles are a bit different from bruises or redness occurring due to any trauma or infection of eye. Sometimes, these dark circles are difficult to get rid of. These usually are not a medical problem but may arise cosmetic and beauty issues.

In this article, you'll know more about eye dark circles, their clinical treatments, and home remedies.

What is the eye dark circle?

Eye dark circle comes by different names in medical literature such as periorbita hyperpigmentation, infraorbital darkening, or infraorbital discoloration, etc. These dark circles are a challenge in the world of cosmetic science and aesthetic medicine. Not much data is available regarding the causes, pathogenesis, or formation mechanisms of dark eye circles.

Dark circles can affect anyone irrespective of age, gender, or race. Having said that, let us now get into the detail of this condition.

Causes of Eye Dark Circle

There are a plethora of contributing factors causing dark eye circles. These include:

  • Age: Age is the most important contributing factor in the formation of a dark eye circle. As a person ages, the skin under the eye becomes loose and saggy. In addition to this, blood supply at that area decreases causing dark eye circles.
  • Race and genetic predisposition: Black colored people tend to get more dark circles that the white. It is due to the fact that their genes cause increased pigmenting compound called melanin in them.
  • Dehydration: It is the common cause of dark circles.  When you are deficient in water, your skin looks dull, and your eyes look sunken.
  • Fatigue and lack of sleep: Extreme fatigue or oversleeping causes a dark circle in the eyes. In addition to this, putting a strain on your eyes by not sleeping causes skin wrinkling beneath your lower eyelid with time. This wrinkled skin then becomes hyperpigmented to form dark circles.1
  • Overexposure of sun: Those persons work in daylight and are exposed to the sun for a very long time, they get dark circles as the sun triggers the production of melanin.
  • Allergies: Certain allergies make your eyes dry and cause dark circles around your eyes.2

Clinical Treatments for Eye Dark Circle

There are treatment options available for treating and preventing dark circles. Such treatment options are:

  • Topical creams: Many medicated topical creams are widely used to resolve the problem of dark circles. These creams have a compound called tretinoin, which is very helpful in treating skin conditions and making skin healthy.
  • Vitamin C: Most of the skin allergies and disorders occur due to the generation of a compound called oxidizing radicals within the body. Vitamin C is very effective in treating dark circles as it possesses anti-oxidant properties.3
  • Sunscreens: Several sunscreens are also advised by the doctors to the people having skin problems. These sunscreens protect the skin from harmful UV rays coming through sunlight. These sunscreens are especially used by those who work under the sun for a very long time.4
  • Skin peeling agents: Like sunscreens, certain skin peeling agents are available in cream form. Their application causes the dead skin cells to slough off. However, most doctors contraindicate their usage as they are highly toxic to healthy skin cells too. Moreover, they also severe skin allergies. Thus, they must be used under proper medical care.
  • Laser therapy: Almost every skin condition is treatable using lasers. Hyperpigmented skin can also be sloughed off by using laser, and it is a quite effective treatment.5 

Home Remedies for Eye Dark Circle

Here is the list of best home remedies that would surely help you reduce your dark circles around the eyes.

  • Cold compress: Using a cold towel or cold-water soaked cloth on the dark circle area helps it to reduce it.
  • Drinking fresh juices: Juices are very much nutritious, and they provide essential vitamins necessary for your skin growth.
  • Vitamin E oil: You can use vitamin E oil on the dark skin area, and it will help reduce the darkening. It is because vitamin E is a natural anti-oxidant.6
  • Eye massage: Regularly massaging the eyelids increases blood flow and helps maintain healthy skin.

The Bottom Line

For most people, dark circles are due to aging. However, if they occur for any other cause, you can follow the above-listed home remedies that are helpful in alleviating the dark circles. Moreover, you can consult your doctor for medical care too. He or she can guide you best regarding your skincare.


1.        Sheth, P., Shah, H. & Dave, J. Periorbital hyperpigmentation: A study of its prevalence, common causative factors and its association with personal habits and other disorders. Indian J. Dermatol. 59, 151–157 (2014).

2.        What causes dark circles under your eyes? | Optical Express. https://www.opticalexpress.co.uk/magazine/article/what-causes-dark-circles-under-your-eyes.

3.        Causes of and Treatments for Dark Circles Under Eyes. https://www.aarp.org/health/conditions-treatments/info-2020/treating-dark-circles-eyes.html.

4.        Lipp, M. & Weiss, E. Nonsurgical Treatments for Infraorbital Rejuvenation: A Review. Dermatologic Surgery vol. 45 700–710 (2019).

5.        Sarkar, R. et al. Periorbital Hyperpigmentation: A Comprehensive Review. J. Clin. Aesthet. Dermatol. 9, 49–55 (2016).

6.        Ahmadraji, F. & Shatalebi, M. A. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Adv. Biomed. Res. 4, 10 (2015).

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