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Types of Dark circles | Causes & Treatment

Dark circles under the eyes are formed when the skin beneath both eyes appears darkened.

Dark Circles

Dark circles under the eyes are formed when the skin beneath both eyes appears darkened. It's quite different from bruising around one eye from an injury or redness and swelling in one eye caused by an infection. However, dark circles around the eyes are not a reason for medical concern. 

Dark circles under the eyes are formed due to being tired. Oftentimes, what appears to be dark circles under the eyes may merely be shadows cast by puffy eyelids or hollows under the eyes that develop in the process of ageing. If there are signs of discolouration and swelling appear under just one eye and this seems to get worse over time, it is advised to visit a doctor. 

Often for treatment, depending on what's causing the circles under the eyes, the doctor recommends a  prescription cream or a combination of treatments to erase or reduce discolouration. Laser therapy or chemical peels can be helpful in some cases. Additionally, the hollows that cause shadows can be smoothed with injectable fillers, and surgery can help in eliminating puffy lids.

However, quite often, home remedies for dark circles under the eyes may be all that is needed to help manage this condition.

Causes of Dark Circles

  • Hyperpigmentation is the process that occurs when the body produces excess melanin.
  • Poor sleeping habits could potentially cause dark circles.
  • Thinning skin under the eyes causes dark circles.
  • Prolonged exposure to sunlight causes dark circles.
  • Smoking
  • Dehydration
  • Ageing causes 
  • Genetics

Types of Dark Circles

As surprising as it might sound, there are three types of dark circles. 

  1. Brown dark circle

These are majorly triggered due to post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation. These clusters of brown pigment tend to collect under the eye due to excessive sun damage, genetics, or chronic rubbing, making the dark circles look brownish-black. This type of dark circle is more common in medium to dark-skinned tones.


  • Post-inflammation
  • Allergies 
  • Hyperpigmentation, it the process in which the body produces extra melanin
  • Overexposure to sunlight
  • Frequent rubbing of the eyes
  • Dermatitis
  • Hormonal causes or medication
  • Inherited genes 


  • If the cause of the dark circles are allergies, fever or dermatitis which could potentially cause us to rub our eyes to ease the itch, it is advised to tackle those health issues as this will directly reduce the urge to rub.
  • Avoid rubbing the eye area. Sometimes, applying a cooling towel to calm itchiness works wonders. 
  • Remove eye makeup using very gentle pressure.
  • Protect the eye area from prolonged sun exposure.
  1. Black dark circles

A lack of sleep is the most major cause of dark circles. Moreover, Puffy eyelids or hollows cause a shadow to be formed under the eye. It is a typical sign of ageing and, in some cases, caused by facial volume loss.


  • Lack of collagen production and elasticity
  • Accumulated fatty tissue under the eye area
  • Genetically deep tear troughs


  • Employ anti-ageing skincare products, routine and creams
  • Use sunscreen every day to protect the skin
  • Consume healthy foods and exercise regularly
  1. Blue dark circles 

Enlarged veins and thin under-eye skin causes the appearance of bluish dark circles. Enlarged veins are triggered by caffeine, energy drinks, and other medications. These stimulants tend to dilate the blood vessels, causing the under-eye area to look severely bluish. Some people are born with thin skin under the eyes, whereas others develop it later in their lives. Delicate under-eye skin is also a natural sign of ageing.


  • Poor and inefficient circulation
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Lack of sleep
  • Thinning of the skin under the eyes
  • Iron deficiency
  • Dehydration, excessive consumption of salty or spicy foods, alcohol consumption
  • Illness like  Anemia, kidney or liver problems etc
  • Prolonged use of a computer, smartphone or TV


  • Get an adequate amount of sleep
  • De-stress
  • Eat healthily
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Regularly massage the area around the eye 
  • Take a bath
  • Apply heat pack on the eye area regularly 

Home Remedies for Dark Circles

  1. Cold compress

Apply a cold compress in the morning and evening for about 10 minutes. If you happen to have an eye mask, pop it in the fridge and use it twice a day. Keep the area clean and scrub often.

  1. Cucumbers

Cucumbers are known to have mild-astringent and skin lightening properties. Therefore, cucumber slicers can be used to fix dark circles. Leave the slices for about 10 minutes and rinse the area with warm water.

  1. Rosewater

Apart from smelling fantastic, rose water soothes and rejuvenates tired skin. It is also a mild astringent and hence works as a toner. Soak makeup pads in rosewater for a few minutes and rest the pads on closed eyelids for around 15 minutes. Do this twice daily.

  1. Orange juice

Orange juice is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. It removes dark circles from under the eyes efficiently. Add a few drops of glycerine to this juice and soak it up in a makeup pad. Apply this to the eyelids to reap the benefits of this element. 

Take Away

Unfortunately, dark circles are something that cannot be completely cured. But, its appearance can be minimized by figuring out its type and its causes of it. In most cases, dark circles are caused due to poor lifestyle and diet habits. Correcting these habits will be helpful to a great extent. Consuming a healthy diet could also be quite beneficial.