Weird Reasons You Have Dark Circles Under Your Eyes

By Isadora Baum

If you wake up with big bags under your eyes, it might mean you're extra sleepy, but it could also come from a few other surprising causes. And, unless you find a way to treat them, those dark circles and puffy skin will only get worse.

dark circles
credit: Pinterest

Of course you can always pick an excellent concealer to hide those deep, dark circles under the eyes, but it's just an easy fix. It's not really getting to the root of the problem, where you could have lighter, tauter skin.

Luckily, Dr. Sonia Batra, MD, dermatologist and co-host of the television show "The Doctors" shared her top five reasons why this happens, as well as a few tips for treatment.

You're Not Sleeping Right

Yes, dark circles will form when you're not getting enough shut-eye, as the blood vessels under the eye begin to dilate, leading to darkness and puffy skin, she says. And, sleep is critical for the body to repair itself, so if you miss out, you also miss out on those healing benefits, she says. (Here are a few ways to sleep better, too.)

But, it's not just sleeping too little, here. Even over-sleeping can lead to darker circles and swollen skin, Batra adds. Why? As you sleep, oxygenated blood pools under your eyes, so if you're sleeping too long, it'll lead to a darker hue and puffy nature. (Here's why a proper balance of sleep is good for your health, though.)

And, sleeping on your stomach can also lead to bags. So, you might want to sleep on your side or back, instead, she says.

You Don't Eat Well

If your diet and lifestyle is out of balance, you can expect those bags and dark circles to follow suit.

Turns out, staying hydrated is step one. So, if you're not drinking enough fluids (or only drinking coffee and alcohol, as these are dehydrating beverages), your skin might look puffier, says Batra.

And, if you're pigging out on cheese fries instead of fresh fruits and veggies, you might notice increased pigmentation, too. Instead, get lots of Vitamin K foods, as these can improve blood flow and circulation and prevent blood clotting, says Batra. Some examples? Leafy greens, eggplant, and grapes.

You Get Allergies

If you get seasonal allergies, you might be wiping your eyes to get rid of those tears and sniffles. But, in the process, you're irritating the sensitive skin under your eyes, which can lead to greater bags and darkness, says Batra.

And, when your sinuses become inflamed and your congestion takes over, it can lead to a blue-ish pigmentation under the skin, she adds. You can always use a humidifier to help fight allergies and add moisture, or take an antihistamine, she says. (Plus, here are a few other ways to improve seasonal allergies.)

You're Sick A Lot

If you get sick, you'll likely get more circles. Here's why: When you're sick you're likely skimping on sleep (your head hurts, you're sniffling, you get bouts of coughing throughout the night, you know the drill), and that lack of sleep will make you tired and puffy come morning, says Batra.

And, when you're sick you're also likely using tissues under the eyes, causing further damage. A way to not get sick so often? Here are a few tips to naturally boost your immune system.