Dark Eye Circles

What causes dark eye circles?

Are you fed up of people telling that you look tired? Are you also trying to cover up your racoon eyes but even with the most expensive concealors, you still look like you haven’t slept in ages?

Well, you may be having dark eye circles. Dark eye circles and eye bags can be easily confused as it seems similar.

Dark eye circle is the darkening of the lower eyelid which may impart a dull and tired look. Dark under eye circles become very noticeable because the lower eyelid skin is one of the thinnest areas of skin in the body and allows subdermal features to be accentuated.

Eyebags on the other hand, is a slight protrusion at the lower eyelid which is caused by weakening of the muscles supporting your eyelid or migration of fat pads.

So, how to tell if you are having dark eye circles or eye bags?

This is a classic example of eyebags – notice that there are some protrusions.
Wonder woman also suffers from dark eye circles. Perhaps, fighting crime all night have its’ inconveniences eh?

Dark eye circles actually have a variety of causes. To get the right treatment, we have to explore the causes so we could proceed with an effective treatment.

  1. Congestion of blood vessels

Do you suffer from allergic rhinitis since young? Allergic rhinitis is a condition associated with a group of symptoms affecting the nose. It causes uncomfortable symptoms like sneezing and stuffy itchy nose.

Also known as allergic facies and periorbital venous congestion, they occur when congestion in the sinus cavities cause vascular congestion in the veins under the eyes. When these small blood vessels are blocked and blood drainage is restricted, the blood pools and causes swollen veins, creating the appearance of dark circles.

2. Pigmentation

Some people are more prone to having some pigmentation around the orbital area especially if they are suffering from melasma. On top of that, constant rubbing of the eyes can lead to micro injuries which cause post inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

Melasma can make dark eye circles more prominent than usual.

3. Lifestyle

Lack of sleep is one of the common causes of dark eye circles as well. Your body is able to repair the skin,  along with all the other tissues only when you are in a state of deep sleep.

Not getting enough sleep stresses up the body.  When stress increases, steroidal compounds produced by the body reduce circulation to the skin hence  this sluggish circulation and the buildup of deoxygenated blood can make eye circles more noticeable.

On top of that, alcohol consumption and smoking also are bad lifestyle habits that will contribute to dark eye circles.

Alcohol is a vasodilator which cause blood vessels to dilate further which can cause a swollen, puffy appearance and increase visibility of the bluish tinge in the under eye skin. 

On the other hand, smoking restricts blood flow, causing an overly pale appearance to skin and emphasizing dark under eye circles.  It also contain dozens of additional chemical toxins that burdens the body.

4. Loss of volume

When we age, we tend to lose some fats over our orbital area. With the loss of collagen and elastin, our skin becomes lax which leads to some shadowing under the eye when the light hits on the skin. Besides that, the skin becomes thinner too as age catches up with us.

Different causes of dark eye circles require different treatment plans. Some patients may even have a combination of causes and therefore, each treatment plan should be tailor made for each individual.

Are you looking for an eye treatment for dark circles? Do contact us for a proper consultation !


Petaling Jaya Branch:

Kaiteki Skin Aesthetic Laser, B-1-03, The Hub SS2, 19 Sentral, Jalan Harapan, Seksyen 19, 46300 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia.


Kuala Lumpur Branch :

Kaiteki Clinic, C-5-G, Jalil Link 2, Jalan Jalil Perkasa 1, 57000, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.

Operating hours: Weekdays 10am-7pm, Weekends 10.30am-6pm

About AuthorDr Chew

Dr Chew's love for discovering new knowledge and keen eye on beauty motivated her to pursue aesthetic medicine where she practices with delectation. Often placing herself in patient’s shoes, she listens with empathy and goes the extra mile to ensure satisfaction from them. She is an accomplished Aesthetic Physician with MBBS, MAC certification and specializes in lasers and injectables.