Dark Circles Under the Eyes

Dark Circles Under the Eyes Symptoms & Signs

Medical Author:

Related
Symptoms & Signs

Dark circles under the eyes are a common complaint of both men and women, although they can occasionally be seen in children. As people age, the skin becomes thinner and collagen is lost, sometimes enhancing the appearance of blood vessels beneath the eyes and making the area appear darker. Dark circles under the eyes are not necessarily a sign of tiredness, but stress and fatigue seem to worsen the facial appearance of many people, including their tendency to develop dark circles.

Conditions like fluid imbalance or local swelling that lead to puffy or swollen eyelids can cause shadows that make the area under the eyes appear darker. Trauma (a "black eye") can cause darkening of the entire eye area. Some people notice that dark circles under the eyes tend to run in families, as well.

In most cases, dark circles under the eyes are not a sign of a serious medical condition.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/30/2017

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Pictures, Images, Illustrations & Quizzes
Causes of Dark Circles Under the Eyes
    • Allergy (Allergies) An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...learn more »
    • Asthma in Children Asthma in children manifests with symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Rates of asthma in children are increasing. Asthma in...learn more »
      In This Article
      Asthma in Children Article
      • What is asthma in children?
      • How common is asthma in children?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of asthma in children?
      • How is asthma in children diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for asthma in children?
      • What is the prognosis for asthma in children?
      • Can asthma in children be prevented?
    • Dehydration Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged...learn more »
      In This Article
      Dehydration Article
      • Dehydration facts
      • What is dehydration?
      • What causes dehydration?
      • Dehydration pictures
      • What are the signs and symptoms of dehydration?
      • What about dehydration in children?
      • How is dehydration diagnosed?
      • How is dehydration treated?
      • Can I treat dehydration at home?
      • What are the complications of dehydration?
      • Can dehydration be prevented?
    • Drug Abuse Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Drug Abuse Article
      • Drug use disorder facts
      • What is drug use disorder?
      • What types of drugs are commonly abused?
      • What are the physical and psychological effects of drug use disorders?
      • What are causes and risk factors for developing a drug use disorder?
      • What are warning signs that you or a loved one may have a drug use disorder?
      • What are symptoms and signs of drug use disorder?
      • What happens to your brain when you take drugs?
      • How do health-care professionals diagnose drug addiction?
      • What is the treatment for drug addiction?
      • What are complications of drug addiction?
      • What is the prognosis of drug use disorder?
      • Is it possible to prevent drug abuse and addiction?
      • Where can people get more information and help for drug use disorders?
    • Neuroblastoma Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that usually afflicts children under 5 years of age. The cancer forms in the adrenal glands,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Neuroblastoma Article
      • Neuroblastoma facts*
      • What is neuroblastoma?
      • What are symptoms and signs of neuroblastoma?
      • What tests are used in the detection and diagnosis of neuroblastoma?
      • What is the prognosis for neuroblastoma?
      • What are the stages of neuroblastoma?
      • What is the treatment for neuroblastoma?
      • What are treatment options for neuroblastoma?
    • Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Sinus infection (sinusitis) is caused by allergies, infection, and chemicals or other irritants of sinuses. Signs and symptoms...learn more »
    • Smoking (How to Quit Smoking) Smoking is an addiction. More than 430,000 deaths occur each year in the U.S. from smoking related illnesses. Secondhand smoke or...learn more »
      In This Article
      Smoking (How to Quit Smoking) Article
      • Smoking and quitting smoking facts
      • What problems are caused by smoking?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of cigarette addiction?
      • What are the steps in quitting?
      • Getting ready to quit smoking
      • On the day you quit smoking
      • Staying quit
      • What methods can help a person quit smoking?
      • Nicotine replacement therapy to quit smoking
      • Nicotine patches
      • Nicorette gum
      • Nicotine lozenges
      • What prescription products are available for smoking cessation?
      • How can nicotine-containing products be used safely?
      • What are e-cigarettes?
      • Is an e-cigarette harmful?
      • Is secondhand smoke from e-cigarettes harmful?
      • What is in the future for smoking?
    • Stress Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stress Article
      • Stress facts
      • What is stress?
      • A brief history of stress
      • What are the signs and symptoms of poorly managed stress?
      • Who is most vulnerable to stress? What are the risk factors for stress?
      • Teen stress
      • What is the healthy response to stress?
      • How does the response to stress work?
      • What is the role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (grouping) in stress?
      • What is the role of the locus coeruleus in stress?
      • How do the connections in the brain work in stress?
      • What do we know about using (activating) and overusing our internal systems that respond to stress?
      • What are the effects of stress on medical and psychological conditions?
      • Conclusions about the effects of stress
      • What can people do for stress management? What are home remedies to combat stress symptoms?
      • What's in the future for stress?
Other Causes of Dark Circles Under the Eyes
  • Excessive Rubbing of the Eye Area
  • Fluid Retention
  • Heredity
  • Nasal Congestion
  • Sun Exposure
  • Trauma


Symptoms & Signs A-Z List