Blog Hero

Why We Get Dark Circles Under Our Eyes

Book Appointment

Getting a poor night’s rest isn’t the only reason you get dark circles under your eyes!

Many of us have seen those pesky dark circles or bags under our eyes and blame it on a lack of sleep. But there’s actually more to it than that!

The Skin Under Your Eyes Is Very Thin

The skin underneath and around your eyes is much thinner than the skin on the rest of your body. On average, it’s about 0.5 mm thick, while the skin on other parts of your body is around 2 mm thick. Because it is so thin, it’s much easier to see blood vessels underneath, making your skin appear darker in that area. But why are dark circles worse at some times than at others, and what causes them to appear in the first place?

Dark Circles Can Have A Variety Of Causes

[iframe 620 349]

Contrary to popular belief, dark circles are caused by more than just fatigue. They can be caused by a number of other issues, such as:

  • Allergies–When your body releases histamines in response to allergies, your blood vessels can dilate, causing dark circles under your eyes to appear worse.
  • Eczema–Rubbing or itching the sensitive skin around your eyes can cause swelling and inflammation, and sometimes blood vessels to break, causing dark circles.
  • Age–The skin underneath our eyes thins as we get older, making it even more transparent.
  • Sun exposure–If our skin isn’t protected from the sun, our bodies produce more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its color. This can sometimes cause the skin around the eyes to appear darker.
  • Heredity–Some people have more prominent dark circles than others simply because of genetics.
  • Pigmentation issues–Certain conditions such as Periorbital Hyperpigmentation can result in an increased amount of melanin to be produced around the eyes.

Take Care Of Yourself

For most people, dark circles can be treated with cold compresses, which help dilated blood vessels and puffiness go down–this is usually why people put cucumbers on their eyes! You can also make sure to take your allergy medication if you suffer from hay fever as well as get some well-deserved shut eye. And as always, don’t forget to wear sunscreen!

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little bit more about your body today and why we get dark circles under our eyes! Do you have any other burning questions about your eyes or your vision? Let us know and we’ll be sure to address them!

Thank you for being such wonderful patients!

Top image by Flickr user Daniel X. O’Neil used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Written by Vision Care Center

More Articles By Vision Care Center

Our Locations


Find us just south of the Sheridan & Glen intersection, on the same side of the road as Marco’s Pizza and across the street from Walgreens.

To contact our Vision Therapy department, please call 309.670.2020 ext. 2, then choose Option #2 to be directed to VT.

  • 4727 N Sheridan Road
  • Peoria, IL 61614


You can find our office on North Cummings Lane, right next door to Rock Valley Physical Therapy. We offer plenty of parking in front of our clinic with accessible parking stalls.

To contact our Vision Therapy department, please call 309.670.2020 ext. 2, then choose Option #2 to be directed to VT.

  • 1009 North Cummings Lane
  • Washington, IL 61571
instagram facebook facebook2 pinterest twitter google-plus google linkedin2 yelp youtube phone location calendar share2 link star-full star star-half chevron-right chevron-left chevron-down chevron-up envelope fax