Types of Dark Circles Under the Eyes

By Mary Smith. May 31, 2021
Types of Dark Circles Under the Eyes

One of the greatest aesthetic challenges of beauty therapists and home beauty care are dark circles under the eyes. Although most of us will get them at some point, there are things which can encourage them. They are related to stress, lack of sleep, tobacco use, allergies and other factors which can encourage dark skin under the eyes. While there are many different ways to get rid of dark circles, it is important we work out what causes them first.

At oneHOWTO, we look at what are the different types of dark circles under the eyes. Once we work out the cause, we also provide the best course of treatment for each individual type.

1. Temporary dark circles

This is the most common type of dark circles and the one that all people have experienced at some point. It is directly related to lack of sleep, fatigue and stress. Their appearance occurs in stages in which you do not dedicate enough time to your rest or in which you are too stressed or anxious. They are bluish and dark color, appearing and darkening over time of stress or lack of sleep.

Fortunately, the remedy for temporary dark circles is one of the most direct. You will need to rest and give yourself time to recover. Stress and lack of sleep can also cause eye bags, i.e. inflammation of the skin directly under the eye. With temporary eye bags, they will usually reduce once the body is rested again.

Of course, although the treatment is direct, getting more sleep and reducing stress are not always easy. If it is a short period of stress, it may alleviate on its own. However, continued or chronic stress will likely required lifestyle changes to reduce stress. In serious cases, medical intervention may be required to improve physical and/or mental health. Our article on techniques to reduce anxiety and stress may provide some practical help.

2. Sunken dark circles

This type of dark circles, unlike the first ones, are one of the most difficult to treat since they form a pronounced furrow that goes from the beginning of the tear duct towards the cheek. Its causes are more related to the passage of time and the physical changes that result in flaccidity of the skin. These may include loss of weight and body fat, promoting its characteristic appearance. It is also related to lack of rest, some illnesses and bad eating habits.

The most effective way to treat deep or sunken dark circles is with specific hyaluronic acid treatments. These are administered either in creams or, in more marked cases, in injections. We provide some further information in this article on how to get rid of bags under the eyes.

Types of Dark Circles Under the Eyes - 2. Sunken dark circles

3. Age related dark circles

Dark circles by age have a very similar origin to sunken dark circles, but their appearance differs because they tend to expand a little to the sides. They often tend to be accompanied by so-called ‘crow's feet’. These are small folds or expression wrinkles appearing on the sides of the eyes. These are caused by sagging skin and aging, as well as by decreased blood circulation in the area. This is why eye bags are often darker in color.

Proper hydration throughout life is key so that its appearance is mild or less prolonged in time. One of the most effective treatments for this type of dark circle would be any cream or eye contour that contains vitamins A and E. These contribute to the regeneration of the tissue, giving it strength and elasticity.

Temporary eye bags are often caused by emotional upset. Take a look at our article on how to get rid of puffy eyes after crying to learn more.

Types of Dark Circles Under the Eyes - 3. Age related dark circles

4. Blue dark circles

This type of dark circles, known as blue circles, purple circles or vascular dark circles, has different causes. They include lack of sleep, alcohol, drug or tobacco use, the appearance of certain diseases, or as a side effect of medication. The characteristic blue or purple color is because it has a vascular origin. The circulatory network of veins and capillaries provide the bluish color.

This type of dark circle under the eye is better prevented than treated. Those with a healthier lifestyle tend to avoid them, but it is important to know this is not the only cause. We all reflect our lifestyle differently, but we should consider quitting or reducing certain behaviors if they cause eye bags.

Regardless of lifestyle, we can try to remove these eye bags and dark circles with drainage massages that promote circulation, vitamin K treatment or even laser intervention.

5. Hyperpigmented dark circles

The cause of pigmented or hyperpigmented dark circles is due to an increase in melanin in the skin. Such an increase my be caused by genetic inheritance or hormonal changes that affect our skin. Its appearance tends to be orange or brown, being more frequent in dark or tanned skin. The use of sun creams can be an important factor to help prevent them, as well as the use of creams with vitamin C and E content for their antioxidant components.

Types of Dark Circles Under the Eyes - 5. Hyperpigmented dark circles

6. Allergy related dark circles

This last type of dark circle has to do with a specific origin: allergies. Their appearance is due to the inflammation of the area due to an agent that has caused a reaction in our skin or in the eye area. As part of the reaction, blood vessels are congested and generate darkness under the eyes.

These are usually the result of mild allergies which may not even provide many other symptoms. However, if the allergic reaction is severe, then eye bags are usually not the main worry. To treat and avoid dark circles due to allergies, we will need to find out what is causing the allergy. This will usually involve a visit to your GP, followed by a referral to a dermatologist or similar specialist.

These are the main types of dark circles under the eyes, but it is important to remember they can be the result of a health problem. For this reason, if you are unsure of why you have dark bags under your eyes, consult your physician for an appropriate diagnosis.

There are also some home remedies which may be able to help in removing dark circles. These include removing them with almond oil or even using potato skins.

If you want to read similar articles to Types of Dark Circles Under the Eyes, we recommend you visit our Beauty & Personal Care category.

  • Goldberg, Robert Alan MD; McCann, John DMD, Ph.D .; Fiaschetti, Danica COA; Ben Simon, Guy JMD April 15, 2005. What causes eyelid bags? Analysis of 114 consecutive patients .
  • Apratim Goel, Myuochar, 2019. How to get rit of under eyes bags .
  • Jefrey Jiménez Delgado, José Pablo Madrigal Rojas, Sofía Salazar Barrantes. (2009). Art Medical Journal of the University of Costa Rica 2009. Chamomile treatment to reduce dark circles.

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