Dark Circles & Bags Under Eyes: What You Need To Know

Written by Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna on Fri, 11 November 2022

Key Highlights

  • If you have dark circles, the area beneath your eyes seems darker.
  • Fluid retention or weak tissues under the eye give them a puffy appearance.
  • Age, over rubbing, lack of sleep, dehydration, and overuse of screens may cause these conditions.
  • Home remedies can prevent and treat both conditions.
  • Get enough sleep, use cucumber, tea bags, cold compress, etc to reduce the effect of dark circles and saggy eyes.

Concerned about the dark circles under your eyes? Experiencing puffy eyes when you wake up in the morning, or puffy eyes bothering you all day long? 

Saggy eyes are some common problems plenty of adults face. The good news is, they can be treated with home remedies and medication.

There are some other causes of dark circles and puffy eyes that need to be addressed. Let us understand how to treat and prevent those conditions.

Two common eye conditions for all ages

Common eye conditions for all ages1. Dark circles under your eyes 

  • One of the thinnest skin layers on the body is situated under the eyes. 
  • The lower eyelids enable has low subdermal features. The skin and the orbicularis muscle have very little to no subcutaneous tissue in common. 
  • Due to this, aging changes are more pronounced on the cheeks than on the rest of the facial skin.
  • If you have dark circles under your eyes, the area of skin beneath your eyes seems darker. 
  • Depending on your natural skin tone, this area may appear in blue, purple, brown, or black tones. You can appear exhausted or older than you are if you have dark circles under your eyes.

2. Heavy bags under your eyes

  • Mild swelling or puffiness around the eyes is known as "bags under the eyes."
  • As you become older, the tissues around your eyes, particularly some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken, which makes them more common.
  • The lower eyelids may then migrate into the fat that supports the eyes, giving them a puffy appearance. Additionally, fluid may collect beneath your eyes.

Causes of dark circles and puffy eyes

There are various reasons why you might have dark circles beneath your eyes. Aging is one of the most common causes of dark circles. 

1. Ageing & dark circles

  • The skin around your eyes starts to thin out and sag with age, making it possible for the blood vessels beneath your skin to be more noticeable. 
  • The area under your eyes may appear darker as a result. 
  • Additionally, tear troughs, which are hollow places, may form. Shadows created by tear troughs accentuate the appearance of swollen eyes.

2. Eye bags

When the muscles and tissue supporting your eyelids deteriorate, bags under your eyes result. 

Fat that often surrounds the eyes may begin to migrate into the area below your eyes, causing the skin to begin to sag. 

Additionally, the area behind your eyes may collect fluid, giving the appearance of swelling or puffiness.

Dark circles and bags under your eyes might also result from:

Hereditary conditions:  According to studies, dark circles beneath the eyes may run in families.

  • Dermatitis: Eczema and contact dermatitis can enlarge and make your skin more visibly transparent, exposing the blood vessels under your eyes.
  • Over rubbing eyes: Scratching and rubbing your eyes can lead to blood vessels breaking and swelling under the eyes.
  • Lack of sleep: Pale skin around your eyes is a sign of poor sleep hygiene. Your skin can clearly show your blood vessels.
  • Hyperpigmentation: Excessive sun exposure causes your body to produce more melanin. The pigment that gives your skin color is called melanin.
  • Dehydration: When you don't drink enough water, your under-eye skin may start to look lifeless.
  • Lifestyle: Stress, binge drinking, and smoking are some of the other factors that might contribute to dark circles beneath your eyes.

Care and treatment of dark circles

home remedies for dark circlesYour grandma might have given you lots of home remedies for your eye care routine and removing dark circles. 

You can use some of those remedies at home to get rid of the under-eye darkness. 

1. Home cures for under-eye care

Get more sleep: Aim for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night to avoid developing shadows around your eyes.

Use additional pillows: To elevate your head and stop fluid from accumulating beneath your eyes at night. This might reduce puffiness.

  • Tea bags: Cold tea bags should be placed beneath your eyes. Tea contains antioxidants and caffeine, which help improve circulation.
  • Messages: Gentle massage of the area around the eyes during facials might promote circulation.
  • Makeup: To disguise your dark circles, blend the tone of your face using an under-eye concealer and foundation.
  • Cold compress: To your eyes, use a spoon to help constrict dilated blood vessels. This can lessen the look of dark circles and swollen eyelids.
  • Cucumbers: Place slices of cucumber over your eyes. Due to their high water and vitamin C content, cucumbers might aid with puffiness.
  • Wash eyes with cold water: Do not be lazy, wash your eyes with cold water daily after you wake up in the morning. This will helps to clean your eyes and reduce puffiness near your eyes.

Call your doctor if you want to get rid of your dark circles quickly and effectively. They can inform you of the possible alternatives for treating your skin disease. 

2. Medical remedies for under-eye circles

Topical creams and bleaching agents: You can reduce the look of dark circles beneath your eyes by using topical creams like vitamin C and bleaching agents like hydroquinone.

tips to tackle puffy eyesTissue fillers: Injectable fillers like hyaluronic acid gel can plump up your skin and improve its texture.

Eyelid surgery: Excess skin and fat around your eyes are removed during a procedure called blepharoplasty.

PRP injections: These injections can strengthen collagen and your skin while also repairing the skin around your eyes and accelerating blood vessel formation.

Chemical peel: Alpha-hydroxy acids are used in chemical peels to lessen under-eye pigmentation.

Laser therapy: Laser treatments can help tighten and resurface your skin. Pulsed dye laser and diode laser are non-invasive laser solutions.

Retinoids: Vitamin A derivatives promote collagen synthesis and reorganization of collagen bundles to improve skin quality. and reduce melanin accumulation. Some of these effects decrease the appearance of dark circles under the eyes.

Stay hydrated: Drink lots of water to stay hydrated and that helps your eyes to be lubricated and fresh.

Topical caffeine: When applied topically, it reduces edema due to leaky vessels and subcutaneous vascularisation.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C induces collagen production to reduce blood stasis, which may cause discoloration. 

3. Eyelid surgery

Depending on the cause of saggy eyes, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is one of the treatment options. 

Eyelid surgery involves removing excess fat through the natural crease of the upper or lower eyelid. 

In addition to eliminating under-eye bags, blepharoplasty can fix:

  • Swollen or sagging upper eyelids
  • Excessive upper eyelid skin that obstructs your vision
  • Lower eyelids that are droopy can make the iris, the colorful area of the eye, appear white.
  • Skin growth on the lower eyelids
  • Common symptoms of bags under the eyes are dark circles, saggy or loose skin, and mild swelling.

Prevention of dark circles and saggy eyes

You must be careful of your eye skin care. Eyelid skin is a very sensitive area that commonly becomes dry, itchy, and irritated. 

You can follow some skin care instructions, and lifestyle changes to prevent the appearance of a dark circle.

  • Get enough sleep: A study found that if you are not getting enough sleep eventually your eyes will get puffy, and sleepy, and gradually produce dark circles. The skin under your eyes gets dry and you look so tired. Go to bed on time, and make sure to get 7 to 8 hours of good night's sleep each night.
  • Reduce stress: Stressing out may affect your physical and mental health. Stress increases the appearance of dark circles and bags under your eyes. Do meditation to calm your mind and reduce stress. 
  • Protect your eyes from sunlight: wear UV protection sunglasses that cover your eyes and apply sunscreen around your eyes to reduce heavy sun exposure to your eyes and prevent dark circles.
  • Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption: Smoking and drinking excessive alcohol can speed up your aging process and increase the risk of wrinkles and dark circles under your eyes.
  • Dietary changes: Eat protein-rich foods, carbohydrate and fat-rich foods, and vitamin-A-containing food items to improve eye skin health.
  • Apply less soap: Use soap without any harmful chemicals or mild soap to reduce irritation and dark circle around sensitive areas of the eyes.
  • Avoid rubbing your eyes: Stop rubbing your eyes to reduce the chances of dark circles and puffy eyes. 

Gently wash your eyes with cold water daily when you wake up. Use ice cubes to relax the veins near the eyes. 

Other approaches include skin-lightening cream

Skin lightening cream is a cosmetic procedure that aims to lighten areas of dark circles. This can be a temporary and expensive solution for dark circles.

  • Apply a small amount, once or twice a day on dark circles.
  • Avoid touching the area under the eyes.

Side effects

A few side effects of skin-lightning creams include:

  • Itchy and dry skin
  • Redness, swelling with Burning sensation
  • Always take the doctor's advice before using any skin-lightening cream to avoid adverse effects.


Dark circles and puffy eyes are common complaints among people of all ages. They are usually caused by aging, stress, genetics, overuse of screens or not getting enough sleep. 

Bags under your eyes is a problem caused by weak tissues around your eyes or fluid retention when you wake up in the morning.

Home remedies and medication may be able to help reduce the appearance of dark circles. In some cases, there might be a need for eyelid surgery. 

Talk to your doctor if your edema is significant or if your dark circles don't go away. They can assist you to decide whether you have a medical condition that requires specialized care. Take care of your eyes.


Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna

Dr. Stefanenko Irina Borisovna Is a medical doctor based out of Ukraine. Dr. Borisovna graduated from the Vinnitsa State Medical University, in 1995. In between 1995-2000, Dr. Borisovna went on to further pursue her post graduation studying scientific activity from the Vinnytsa Medical University in Ukraine.

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