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What Causes Dark Circles

Modern technology has life easier, yet more stressful! A lot of people put in 16 - 20 hour days with work, family and leisure time. And the last four to eight hour is spent in fitful, non-restful sleep. The results of a poor night's sleep can be dark circles under the eyes.

What are dark circles? Dark Circles are deep shadows below the eyes. They can mask the energy and vitality you feel with a haggard and tired look. Dark circles may be accompanied by swelling commonly referred to bags under the eyes.

What makes dark circles? Dark circles may be caused either by stressful or incomplete sleep or a deficiency of some nutrient like vitamin K. Some additional causes are outlined below.

Heredity: Like varicose veins, dark circles under the eyes can be an inherited trait. If you have dark circles, there is a chance that others in your family also have them. The skin under you eye may be very thin. When blood passes through the large veins close to the surface of the skin it can produce a bluish tint. The more transparent the skin you inherited, the darker the circles can appear.

Your skeletal framework: Yet another reason for increased dark circles is prominent cheekbones and deep-set eyes. These create hollow contours below the eyes, the shadow of which give the illusion of darkened skin under the eyes even though they are really not present.

Pigmentation can occur with age, when the tiny capillaries in the skin get weakened and thus leaky. The fluid from these leaky capillaries along with the hemoglobin slowly accumulates below the eyes, thereby forming the look of dark circles.

Hormonal Changes and Allergies: Any condition that causes the eyes to itch can contribute to darker circles due to rubbing or scratching the skin around them. Hay fever sufferers particularly will notice under-eye "smudges" during the height of the allergy season. Some food allergies can also cause the area under the eyes to appear darker.

The combined effect of inflammation, chronic sun damage and the downward pull of gravity on dark circles result in to the puffiness, popularly know as the "bags under the eyes".