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.
Other causes of dark circles under the eyes
- Excessive Rubbing of the Eye Area
- Fluid Retention
- Nasal Congestion
- Sun Exposure
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Causes of Dark Circles Under the Eyes
An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. When these allergens come in contact with the body, it causes the immune system to develop an allergic reaction in people who are allergic to it. It is estimated that 50 million North Americans are affected by allergic conditions. The parts of the body that are prone to react to allergies include the eyes, nose, lungs, skin, and stomach. Common allergic disorders include hay fever, asthma, allergic eyes, allergic eczema, hives, and allergic shock.
Asthma in Children
Asthma in children manifests with symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Rates of asthma in children are increasing. Asthma in children is usually diagnosed based on the description of symptoms. Lung function tests may also be used. A variety of medications are used for the treatment of childhood asthma.
Dehydration is the excessive loss of body water. There are a number of causes of dehydration including heat exposure, prolonged vigorous exercise, and some diseases of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms of dehydration include headache, lightheadedness, constipation, and bad breath. Treatment for dehydration is to replace lost fluids and electrolytes.
Drug addiction is a chronic disease that causes drug-seeking behavior and drug use despite negative consequences to the user and those around him. Though the initial decision to use drugs is voluntary, changes in the brain caused by repeated drug abuse can affect a person's self-control and ability to make the right decisions and increase the urge to take drugs. Drug abuse and addiction are preventable.
Neuroblastoma is a type of cancer that usually afflicts children under 5 years of age. The cancer forms in the adrenal glands, neck, chest, or spinal cord. Symptoms include bulging eyes, bone pain, dark eye circles, a lump in the neck, chest, or abdomen, weakness, or swollen stomach. Treatment depends upon the risk group, which is determined by staging, the child's age, tumor histology, and the tumor biology.
Sinus Infection (Sinusitis)
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Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However, over-stress, can be harmful. There is now speculation, as well as some evidence, that points to the abnormal stress responses as being involved in causing various diseases or conditions.