dark circles

Identify the Causes of Dark Circles under the Eyes

Tuesday, August 17, 2010 by: Dianna Dill
Tags: dark circles, eyes, health news

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(NaturalNews) Dark circles under the eyes tend to give you an older, rather haggard or tired appearance. There are many factors that lead to the dark circles.

Why Dark Under Eye Circles Develop
Typically, dark circles develop when the skin under the eyes become relatively thin and more transparent with age, write Dr David J. Goldberg M.D., a New Jersey dermatologist, and Eva M. Herriot in Secrets Of Great Skin: The Definitive Guide To Anti-aging Skin Care.

Allergies and Nasal Congestion
Dark circles under the eyes are also caused by allergies such as asthma and hay fever, which tend to lead to congestion of the fine veins under the eyes. The Mayo Clinic also lists nasal congestion as one of the most common causes of dark circles. In an online article, the Clinic explains that when the nose gets congested, it causes veins that drain from the eyes into the nose to dilate and get darker.

Age and family traits play an important role in the appearance of dark circles. According to Linda Allen Schoen and Paul Lazar, hereditary anatomical factors are often a direct cause of under eye circles. In their book "The look you like: medical answers to 400 questions on skin and hair care," they explain that these circles particularly affect people who have thin, lower eyelid skins because the flow of blood in the veins beneath the surface tends to show through the skin, giving it a bluish-black tint.

Lack of Sleep
Although people usually associate dark circles under the eye with lack of sleep, insomnia is not really a major cause, though it may aggravate the under eye circles. If lack of sleep does not cause dark circles, what is the relationship between them? Why do some people develop the circles when they are fatigued? According to authors Marianne Legato and Carol Colman, the skin below the eyes may lose some moisture and elasticity when one is exhausted, which will change the way light is reflected off the skin.

Dark circles under the eyes may be little more than shadows cast by puffy under-eye bags. In their book "What Women Need to Know," Marianne Legato and Carol Colman state that dark circles may be an optical illusion that results from the way light gets reflected off the skin beneath the eyes.

Hormonal Changes
In some instances, pregnancy and birth control pills may also cause the dark circles to develop. This is as a result of hormonal changes and increased pigmentation under the eyes respectively.

1. "Secrets Of Great Skin: The Definitive Guide To Anti-aging Skin Care," David J. Goldberg, Eva M. Herriot
2. The Mayo Clinic: Dark circles under eyes? Not from fatigue
3. "The look you like: medical answers to 400 questions on skin and hair care," Linda Allen Schoen, Paul Lazar
4. "What Women Need to Know" Marianne Legato, Carol Colman

About the author

The Armchair Herbalist is a copywriter, turned insurance agent, turned freelance writer and published author. She has written numerous health- and business-related articles and eBooks for Demand Studios, Suite101, Bright Hub and LovetoKnow. She also writes for www.TopHomeRemedies.com, an alternative health website.
She is a self-professed armchair herbalist, and authored the book: 101 Herbal Tea Remedies: Healing Infusions and Decoctions from Nature's Own Pharmacy.

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