10

votes

Dark under eye circles?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 08, 2011 at 7:54 PM

My mother has always had constant dark under eye circles. I was blessed with them too. I would love to not wear make up but it is just not an option, I have had more than one person ask if I was sick the first time they saw me sans make up. Two weeks ago I was wearing make up and a lady asked if my eyes were bruised in a concerned way.

Has anyone had this and seen an improvement with dietary changes?

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on March 15, 2013
at 03:39 PM

stupid comment .

0b7c3e7fd96005f0b2dfd781e512fc2e

(1237)

on March 15, 2013
at 12:24 PM

could be iron deficiency

194d8e8140425057fe06202e1e5822a7

(3979)

on September 26, 2012
at 12:21 PM

http://paleohacks.com/questions/132280/psilocybin-mushrooms-and-dark-undereye-circles#axzz27Wy8z5lb (VB'll kill me for this, but whatever)

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2012
at 03:26 AM

@Quilt - thank you so much for your thoughtful explanation. Any way to treat that?

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 16, 2012
at 03:07 PM

Thank futureboy, but that looks like a temporary fix...

D811808d3bfa5aebc7a1bd971fb6375b

on September 25, 2011
at 09:50 PM

I wrote a bigass article on that, since I had the same thing. http://www.epicbeautyguide.com/2009/12/dark-circles-gone-for-good/

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 05, 2011
at 04:04 PM

This is just a guess, but as a "yoga person," she probably eats a raw vegan diet, which doesn't help her all that much to begin with. I can attest to the results, especially the chin and neckline exercises I do. The undereye stuff, especially the resistance and isometric holding of the lower lid really do wonders too.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:46 PM

I'd be more convinced if the demonstrator didn't have such large dark circles covered by a ton of makeup.

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:40 AM

Ah ok, good to know!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:04 PM

I still have really low ferritin even though I eat red meat and liver all the time. So, I think my son might have the same deal. I think it might be possible that some people just don't hang onto the iron.

Ffff513ac686cd18c840ee12c79357ed

(1183)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:43 PM

It is if you have some underlying issue that makes it hard to absorb iron...

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Out of curiosity, if you're eating paleo with red meat every day, is it really *possible* to have low iron levels?

D10ca8d11301c2f4993ac2279ce4b930

(5242)

on August 04, 2011
at 08:41 PM

it's largely genetic but can also be a sign of cortisol issues via adrenal/thyroid/pituitary problems. I also get them like hell if I eat gluten. Start looking at other peoples eyes. you notice a lot of folks have them.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 09, 2011
at 11:54 PM

My cortisol levels are fine, and I have this, as does my mother and one of my sons. I'd still be very interested to see references for any of these claims.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 09, 2011
at 03:28 PM

Ok. but for me there was a direct connection. Stopped eating it (and certainly wasn't Paleo or getting more sleep) and the circles got better. Along with many other issues with my body. This is why I don't bother going to doctors anymore...

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 01:04 PM

Gluten issues cause many issues but this is not one of them

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 09, 2011
at 03:13 AM

You disagree on the gluten part Dr. K? Cause eliminating that definitely helped me. Can't cortisol issues cause colon issues?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Laurie its not that simplistic. good D and low CRP levels dont guarrantee your cortisol is OK. If your D is high due to exogenous use your endogenous D could be low do to your pregnenlone steal syndrome......

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 02:28 AM

you dont understand epigenetics then......what your grandmother did might have guarranteed you were bone with a gene array selecting for high cortisol. More over what you are the first six years of your life might really effect you forever. I just posted about that on Dr Deans lastest post. You as an adult now can also epigenetically change your genes......but you may never get to baseline levels. I personally think this is why Jimmy Moore still struggles with his weight. Epigenetics and leptin resistance are tough to beat unless you are consistent in doing so long term.

3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

(2369)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:49 AM

I've had dark circles all my life, even as a child, so I don't think my cortisol levels have always been high. I also sleep well, have good vitamin D levels (vary between 60 and 75) and low CRP. Guess I don't fall within the Pareto distribution. They are however exacerbated by consumption of wheat/gluten.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I see. Thanks for the clarification.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:17 AM

I'm curious, Dr. K: I had these dark circles too and since going off gluten they have dramatically improved. I also got a bit of a tan too. Have my cortisol levels become more balanced as a result of getting rid of the gluten?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:13 AM

There are tons of diseases that can cause it......but the most common one seems most likely. I would not expect this to be Peutz Jaeger Syndrome or Phenol sulfotransferase deficiency.......both zebras but cause this problem too.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:06 AM

it can be associated with low cortisol and increased CRH but that is rather rare. High cortisol levels are extremely common in the US. High cortisol levels thin the skin around the eyes and also cause fat atrophy in the orbits that exacerbate it. The ref to Pareto distribution is simple.....80% of cases are caused in the smaller number of people with the high cortisol levels. Obesity (high insulin and cortisol) is far more common than adrenal insuffiency or adrenal fatigue.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 08, 2011
at 11:28 PM

Actually, K, dark circles are frequently listed as symptoms of low cortisol. Do you have references for any of the above? In what sense does it follow a Pareto distribution? Pareto distributions are usually between a phenomenon and its frequency. Can you explain?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 08, 2011
at 10:34 PM

the story on sleep is very very complicated. And more sleep is not always best. The sleep literature shows the optimal for humans is around seven hours. But optimal for weight loss may actually be higher but can not be continued indefinitely because you die earlier.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 08, 2011
at 10:32 PM

i totally disagree with that advice. Nothing in the literature supports that contention. You should ask for papers on it. Low Vitamin D is supported because of pregnenlone steal from high cortisol levels......but cortisol is very well established as the major cause.

62f354c72aae8bd8f641ada886d583a2

(265)

on May 08, 2011
at 09:52 PM

Being tan does help a little. I am VERY pale skinned and I never really got tan until I lived in FL for two years. Now that I moved out of FL I am back to being as white as this page. I need to get outside more.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 08, 2011
at 09:07 PM

lack of REM sleep leads to loss of the complex learning and allows a longer and more sustained AM cortisol spike......

3aea514b680d01bfd7573d74517946a7

(11996)

on May 08, 2011
at 08:20 PM

I have slightly dark circles under my eyes, but not to the extent you're describing. However, my understanding is that this is mostly due to thin skin under the eyes, and blue veins showing through. It doesn't help if your eyes are deep-set, as mine are. If that's the case, I'm not sure a nutritional intervention will help. Tanning may, though -- mine "disappear" in the summer.

B4ec9ce369e43ea83f06ee645169cee0

on May 08, 2011
at 08:06 PM

I have the same problem, thanks for asking this. I'm hoping that extended time off of gluten will help, but not sure.

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15 Answers

4
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 08, 2011
at 09:04 PM

its associated with high cortisol levels and or poor sleep due to low melatonin levels. This is a generalization but it follows a Pareto distribution. It also is seen in people with very poor activation of their immune systems.......like low vit D and high US CRP

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:06 AM

it can be associated with low cortisol and increased CRH but that is rather rare. High cortisol levels are extremely common in the US. High cortisol levels thin the skin around the eyes and also cause fat atrophy in the orbits that exacerbate it. The ref to Pareto distribution is simple.....80% of cases are caused in the smaller number of people with the high cortisol levels. Obesity (high insulin and cortisol) is far more common than adrenal insuffiency or adrenal fatigue.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 08, 2011
at 11:28 PM

Actually, K, dark circles are frequently listed as symptoms of low cortisol. Do you have references for any of the above? In what sense does it follow a Pareto distribution? Pareto distributions are usually between a phenomenon and its frequency. Can you explain?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 08, 2011
at 09:07 PM

lack of REM sleep leads to loss of the complex learning and allows a longer and more sustained AM cortisol spike......

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 02:31 AM

Laurie its not that simplistic. good D and low CRP levels dont guarrantee your cortisol is OK. If your D is high due to exogenous use your endogenous D could be low do to your pregnenlone steal syndrome......

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 09, 2011
at 11:54 PM

My cortisol levels are fine, and I have this, as does my mother and one of my sons. I'd still be very interested to see references for any of these claims.

100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:34 AM

I see. Thanks for the clarification.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:13 AM

There are tons of diseases that can cause it......but the most common one seems most likely. I would not expect this to be Peutz Jaeger Syndrome or Phenol sulfotransferase deficiency.......both zebras but cause this problem too.

3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

(2369)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:49 AM

I've had dark circles all my life, even as a child, so I don't think my cortisol levels have always been high. I also sleep well, have good vitamin D levels (vary between 60 and 75) and low CRP. Guess I don't fall within the Pareto distribution. They are however exacerbated by consumption of wheat/gluten.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 02:28 AM

you dont understand epigenetics then......what your grandmother did might have guarranteed you were bone with a gene array selecting for high cortisol. More over what you are the first six years of your life might really effect you forever. I just posted about that on Dr Deans lastest post. You as an adult now can also epigenetically change your genes......but you may never get to baseline levels. I personally think this is why Jimmy Moore still struggles with his weight. Epigenetics and leptin resistance are tough to beat unless you are consistent in doing so long term.

F5a0ddffcf9ef5beca864050f090a790

(15515)

on May 15, 2012
at 03:26 AM

@Quilt - thank you so much for your thoughtful explanation. Any way to treat that?

2
7636e1e02ef91a46f20a42e07b565a4b

on August 04, 2011
at 09:36 PM

I've read in many, many places that it is often due to food allergies or intolerances and I have found a correlation empirically as well. When I've eaten a verboten food, one of the first indicators is that I'll have dark circles under my eyes which can even look reddish/purplish when it's quite bad. It's generally accompanied by pinkness and angioedema around the eyes, making me look tired even when well-rested.

"Paleo" diets eliminate a lot of common allergens, such as peanuts, gluten, and sometimes dairy, etc. But plants are full of other toxins and many "paleo"-approved foods are quite allergenic/sensitizing. My dark circles only really go away if I'm eating a strict 5-10 or so foods, such as chicken, tallow, green beans, beef, eggs, cashews, rice. It's quite difficult to stick to so I'm generally somewhat dark-circled. However, the dark circles actually largely disappear when I am truly strict with my diet. Just my two cents.

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:11 PM

I have no idea if this applies to you, but when my son has low iron levels, he gets wicked dark circles under his eyes. A few days of iron supplements and they disappear. Have you had your iron levels checked?

Ffff513ac686cd18c840ee12c79357ed

(1183)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:43 PM

It is if you have some underlying issue that makes it hard to absorb iron...

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:40 AM

Ah ok, good to know!

03f5a69fde4012b827ebdb6d93b71e7a

(2007)

on August 04, 2011
at 09:35 PM

Out of curiosity, if you're eating paleo with red meat every day, is it really *possible* to have low iron levels?

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on August 04, 2011
at 11:04 PM

I still have really low ferritin even though I eat red meat and liver all the time. So, I think my son might have the same deal. I think it might be possible that some people just don't hang onto the iron.

2
46a50abafc820cfab9e91ada8b26148a

(152)

on May 08, 2011
at 08:50 PM

I've had 'em my whole life. I always get people telling me, "oh, you look so tired!" "you need to sleep more" and a few times people have thought i've been in a fight. Really sick of them and I've been on a pretty strict paleo regimen for over 2 years and have had no improvement whatsoever, so i doubt they're diet related at all. As Rose said above, they are definitely less noticeable when I'm more tan.

62f354c72aae8bd8f641ada886d583a2

(265)

on May 08, 2011
at 09:52 PM

Being tan does help a little. I am VERY pale skinned and I never really got tan until I lived in FL for two years. Now that I moved out of FL I am back to being as white as this page. I need to get outside more.

1
Medium avatar

(3024)

on August 05, 2011
at 05:40 AM

I had dark circles since forever. Whenever I put on makeup, conceler was the first thing use.

Now, if I put a little makeup on I don't bother with conceler because I no longer feel like a racoon. Not health related, but one of the best perks of eating a healthier diet.

My dark circles improved during the time I made lots of changes at once, so unfortunately I can't tell you what made the difference.

The interesting point here, is that people all think it is just they way you are. Genetic. But it actually had something to do with diet. There is some control.

1
Medium avatar

on August 04, 2011
at 09:02 PM

I do this just about every day. I also do exercises for my nose, jawline, brows and forehead. I've noticed a HUGE difference. You have to stick to it, but it's definitely worth it. Facial muscles are just like any others, and benefit from rigorous exercise and toning.

Facial exercises - Reduce eye wrinkles/puffiness

I get told almost daily how young I look, and when I tell people that I'm almost 30 they never believe me.

Medium avatar

(5639)

on August 05, 2011
at 04:04 PM

This is just a guess, but as a "yoga person," she probably eats a raw vegan diet, which doesn't help her all that much to begin with. I can attest to the results, especially the chin and neckline exercises I do. The undereye stuff, especially the resistance and isometric holding of the lower lid really do wonders too.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 05, 2011
at 12:46 PM

I'd be more convinced if the demonstrator didn't have such large dark circles covered by a ton of makeup.

685e3c967e63b4eacccf02628fd9a3ac

(1026)

on February 16, 2012
at 03:07 PM

Thank futureboy, but that looks like a temporary fix...

1
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on August 04, 2011
at 08:37 PM

i also had raccoon eyes for about a decade, the paleo diet did lighten them to a degree and then the remaining darkness is due entirely to the now very thin and highly folded skin being unable to refect as much light as smooth skin below the wrinkled skin.if you pull the skin taunt you will see the skin brighten to the same degree or better than the tissue below.

1
D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

on May 08, 2011
at 10:09 PM

My naturopath told me they are related to food intolerances, poor colon health, lack of Vit. D, and of course, sometimes you just inherit them. I have always had them, though I will say they improved once I was off gluten (as did my colon health!). No further improvement since going Paleo. I agree with the tanning statement, and I don't know if it's just a darkening of the skin, or because you've absorbed some Vit. D.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 09, 2011
at 03:28 PM

Ok. but for me there was a direct connection. Stopped eating it (and certainly wasn't Paleo or getting more sleep) and the circles got better. Along with many other issues with my body. This is why I don't bother going to doctors anymore...

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on May 09, 2011
at 12:17 AM

I'm curious, Dr. K: I had these dark circles too and since going off gluten they have dramatically improved. I also got a bit of a tan too. Have my cortisol levels become more balanced as a result of getting rid of the gluten?

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 09, 2011
at 01:04 PM

Gluten issues cause many issues but this is not one of them

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 08, 2011
at 10:32 PM

i totally disagree with that advice. Nothing in the literature supports that contention. You should ask for papers on it. Low Vitamin D is supported because of pregnenlone steal from high cortisol levels......but cortisol is very well established as the major cause.

D83e454e794d761ab524814c0ff8f838

(531)

on May 09, 2011
at 03:13 AM

You disagree on the gluten part Dr. K? Cause eliminating that definitely helped me. Can't cortisol issues cause colon issues?

0
99c4d2a5ff6686132c6f403a3b8e9a80

on April 20, 2013
at 11:55 AM

Here are a few tips to deal with dark circles:

  • Massage Vitamin E or almond oil around the eyes without touching the eyes (massage must strictly be external). This improves blood circulation.

  • As a quick fix during parties, use a makeup concealer to hide the dark circle. But remember this is only a temporary solution.

  • Get a lot of sleep. Sleeplessness is a culprit for most health problems. Have a set routine and have regular sleep timing. Make sure you get at least 8 hours of sleep.

  • Drink lots of water. For anything related to health, water is still the best beverage.

  • Grate raw potato, squeeze the juice and apply the juice under your eyes for 10 minutes. Alternatively, you can also place thin slices of potato on your eyes (with them closed) every night before you retire. This is one of the most popular and time-tested home remedies for dark circles.

  • Include a lot of green leafy veggies in your diet. Also include food rich in Vitamin A and E.

  • Indulge in some kind of exercise like walking, jogging. Yoga, especially pranayama is known to improve skin health.

  • Take two thin slices of cucumber and place them on your eyes. This removes the puffiness and cools the eyes - Dip cotton in rose water and place them on your eyes.

  • Reduce salt intake in your food. Excess salt encourages fluid retention and leads to puffy eyes.

  • The area under your eyes has very sensitive skin, so never use chemical bleach.

  • You can also place used tea bag (cold) on your eyes which helps lessen the darkness - Avoid exposing your skin to harsh rays of the sun. Especially for the eyes, wear sunglasses whenever you step out in the sun

  • Apply any best eye cream for dark circles containing vitamin K and argiline. Dark circles may be caused by a deficiency of vitamin K. Regardless of the cause, however, skin creams containing these two ingredients reduce puffiness and discoloration significantly in many people. Long-term daily use seems to have the greatest effect.

0
Dd61f42b211a69f5899fc1ae1d2460bf

(71)

on March 15, 2013
at 03:01 PM

Giorgio Armani master corrector is an excellent product for dark circles but if it's to $$$ try Bobby Brown corrector. They both are great alone or under foundation.

0
10d2d6f52483013b485b7465dfd132d2

on September 25, 2012
at 07:37 PM

Hey, I have sometimes dark circles around my eyes too, my doctor told me it was because I am low in iron. So if you take an iron pill everyday you won't have that problem anymore. http://www.livestrong.com/article/316446-are-dark-circles-caused-by-lack-of-iron/ Click on this site and it'll teach you more about your dark circles. I take two iron pills when I start to see them and they go away by the next day. Trust me on this.

0
A3ff262a2686d79789e09a26013901b3

on May 08, 2011
at 09:53 PM

I thought i heard somwere that high blood pressure may also contribute. My dark circles are less dark now on paleo and with BP medication. I also am actively trying to get enough sleep as per T.S Wiley and Robb Wolf. Moderate exercise will help also.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25477)

on May 08, 2011
at 10:34 PM

the story on sleep is very very complicated. And more sleep is not always best. The sleep literature shows the optimal for humans is around seven hours. But optimal for weight loss may actually be higher but can not be continued indefinitely because you die earlier.

0
3f5bbb444498a24f1a9720d75fa7c903

on May 08, 2011
at 08:48 PM

I have inherited the dark circle look from my dad. I even have a baby picture of him with the same dark circles. However, they much improved when I removed grains, especially gluten, from my diet. It was one of the things that led me to gluten-free and eventually paleo. If I happen to eat gluten by accident now, besides the telltale migraine and even ulcers in my mouth, the dark circles return with a vengeance (but they never go away totally). It looks like someone gave me two black eyes. I'm not sure if the circles are darker or if the skin below gets puffy and accentuates the circles.

-1
F6422a7b8942c918cd89b2455b38a84c

on March 15, 2013
at 11:47 AM

Dark circles under eyes are caused by Gluten .A Gluten free diet will result in a lightening of the dark circles within days ....

7cf9f5b08a41ecf2a2d2bc0b31ea6fa0

(4176)

on March 15, 2013
at 03:39 PM

stupid comment .

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