Dark Circles under your Eyes- Is the simple cause sleep deprivation?


I have always had dark circles under my eyes, and put it down to some Northern European heritage, but is that just the simplistic view. Highly allergic people are also suspected of always having dark circles or bags, and  they sure appear when one is sleep-deprived. But could there be other causes for chronic sufferers?

I found a few articles here that suggest alternative causes to explore. Something those of us that look like death warmed up ( on our worst days) might ponder about.

One source stated:

Having dark circles under your eyes can really lower your self-esteem. When people look at you the first thing they see is your face and meeting people while you have dark, puffy bags under your eyes can be quite embarrassing. You want to make a good impression and put your best face forward, so to speak, but the bags around your eyes keep weighing you down. So, what are you to do then?

Well, that all depends on the cause of the dark circles under your eyes. The appearance of dark circles under eyes can be caused by a number of things. Some common causes of dark circles under eyes are not enough sleep, allergies, an hereditary trait, pregnancy, menstruation, exposure to sun, dehydration, poor blood circulation, kidney or liver problems, cold or sinus infections, poor nutrition, certain medications and age. It is best to know what causes the dark circles under your eyes so you and your doctor can treat it effectively.

Still, all these causes do not mean that you have to suffer with the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. In fact, there are many topical creams on the market that will remove or significantly lessen the appearance of dark circles under eyes over time, no matter what the cause of your dark under-eye circles.

Vitamins that help remove dark circles under eyes are Vitamin K, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Iron. Most topical creams are made with these vitamins, so you can apply them under your eyes and watch them keep those bags in check.

Another source in a magazine stated:

  • Kidney Issues: Chinese medicine attributes dark circles under the eyes to any deficiency or challenge in kidney function. Although dark circles under the eyes can’t be used to diagnose kidney issues, dark circles under the eyes often accompany kidney issues.
  • Food and Environmental Allergies: More than one mum has seen that food allergies cause dark circles under the eyes. This effect is known as “allergy shiners.” Seasonal and environmental allergies can also cause dark circles under the eyes. The basic effect is that the allergy causes congestion which creates increased blood flow to the nose. Because the skin under the eyes is somewhat thin, the increased blood flow creates a purple tint created by the increased blood flow. The congestion caused by allergies can also cause enlarged blood vessels around the eyes and cause the dark tint. Many people with allergies sleep poorly and have adrenal fatigue, both of which can also contribute to dark circles under the eyes.
  • Adrenal Fatigue: Dark circles under the eyes are a primary indicator of adrenal fatigue. The adrenal glands are tiny glands located on top of the kidneys that produce a multitude of hormones. The adrenals control the balance of electrolytes in our system, control metabolism, and control the production of many sexual hormones. Having adrenal fatigue can negatively impact every body system. The adrenals are also our “flight or fight” glands and respond to stress by excreting hormones. Because we live in a world that creates constant excess stress, many of us have adrenal glands that have become fatigued. Dark circles under the eyes, fatigue, poor sleep, weight gain and many other symptoms may be indicators of adrenal fatigue. Most mainstream practitioners don’t acknowledge that adrenal fatigue exists, but it is a very real condition that negatively impacts many people’s lives. I find that women have adrenal fatigue more frequently than men

Vitamin K

Now, Vitamin K is the best vitamin that removes dark circles under eyes. Vitamin K removes dark circles under eyes and the puffiness that comes along with it by healing the damaged capillaries and arteries in the skin and helping the blood circulating around the eyes to clot. As the skin under the eye is very thin, when blood passes through the veins next to the skin’s surface it becomes important that the blood clots properly. The thinner the skin near the eye the more visible the dark circles will appear if this is not done. Vitamin K, therefore, helps the blood flowing through the veins of the skin to clot and prevent seepage, which is how dark circles under eyes are formed.

To boost the results of topical creams and prescriptions from your doctor, you can supplement your diet with more food containing Vitamin K. Vitamin K is found in most green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale and is also found in avocados and kiwi fruit. Be sure to talk to your doctor about supplementing your diet with vitamins to make sure you are not overdoing it.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A removes dark circles under eyes by maintaining and repairing skin tissue around the eyes. Vitamin A has many anti-aging benefits for the skin, helping to protect against wrinkles, skin thinning. Vitamin A acts as an antioxidant that fights against harms to the skin such as infections and general wear and tear of the skin. Foods rich in Vitamin A include liver, carrot, pumpkin, spinach, leafy vegetables, apricot, mango, peach, eggs, papaya and cantaloupe.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also potent in removing dark under-eye circles. Vitamin C increases collagen, removes free radicals from the skin and protects the skin against damage from the sun. All these things work to reduce the appearance of dark under-eye circles. It is important to note, however, that topical Vitamin C is unstable. This means that once it is exposed to the air it will oxidize, become ineffective and increase free radicals instead of remove them. Studies done conclude that topical Vitamin C is unstable because of this reason and that buying a topical cream containing Vitamin C in its pure form is risky. However, L-ascorbic acid a form of Vitamin C combined with Vitamin K in a topical cream will work wonders for removing dark circles under eyes. Vitamin C can be found in most fruits and some vegetables.

Vitamin E

Well, Vitamin E helps to remove dark under-eye circles by regulating Vitamin A in the body; Vitamin A is a potent vitamin that is used against dark circles under eyes. Vitamin E not only regulates Vitamin A in the body, but it like Vitamin C also protects the body against free radicals

that destroy the natural glow of the skin; Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the skin against ultra violet light, pollution, drugs and other harm. Vitamin E is found in asparagus, avocado, olives, nuts, kiwi, mango, vegetable oils, wheat germ, corn, sunflower and leafy vegetables.


A lack of mineral iron and poor nutrition are the causes of some cases of dark under-eye circles. During pregnancy and menstruation the body loses iron. This lack of iron causes the skin to look pale and in turn the paleness of the skin will highlight the veins under the eyes. Therefore, during these times for women, there is a tendency for the veins under the eyes to become more visible and dark circles to appear. Supplementing your diet with iron will reduce the appearance of dark circles under eyes and improve your overall health.

You can take iron tablets or add iron rich food such as prunes, raisins, spinach, kidney, kale, leafy vegetables and liver among many others. Be careful though; do not take more than the daily recommended dose of iron as this may lead to iron poisoning.

By supplementing your diet with vitamins you can get rid of dark under-eye circles in no time. This time when people meet you they will be just looking at you and nothing else.


7 thoughts on “Dark Circles under your Eyes- Is the simple cause sleep deprivation?”

  1. I had fillers injected under my eyes to help get rid of dark circles, but they didn’t work. After trying about a half dozen eye creams, I found that flushing my eyes out really well with cold water morning and night really helped.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, that is really interesting. Thanks so much for that input. Do you think then, that your dark circles result from an allergic reaction given that cold water can be helpful in reducing puffiness and removing pollens/dust etc.?


  2. Very interesting article. For me the dark circles must be connected to adrenal fatigue (a major reason for Chronic Fatigue Syndrome). Mine have been getting worse lately – a warning sign that I’d better take it easy as much as possible I think. Thanks for posting all the information on foods that can help.


    1. Glad that the post was relevant and helpful, Suzanne. Take it easy ane enjoy the rockmelon in season atm. I guess a good thing about having the dark circles is they are a window on the health status of your inner body, one might normally not be aware of.


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