What are Dark Circles around the Eyes? In the simplest sense, dark circles exist because the skin around your eyes is thinner than anywhere else on your body and therefore is able to show the blood vessels and the blood they carry in that region more clearly; says an article published in June 2014 in the Business Insider. The periorbital skin is typically 0.5mm thick, while the rest of the skin in your body is approximately 2mm thick. Some people may have genetically thicker skin around the eyes and are therefore less likely to have dark circles. Now you may ask that if it is blood that is showing through, then why does it appear dark bluish instead of red? This is because the subcutaneous tissues around the eyes only allow the bluish purple wavelength to pass through.
What Affects Preorbital Circles? If it is just blood that is showing through, then why does the circle wane and wax over your face? This is because there are factors that cause your blood vessels to engorge and when they are resolves and the vessels return to their normal size, the dark circles too visibly shrink. The most common reason for engorged blood vessels is the increased levels of cortisol that your body releases to keep you awake when you are tired. The body also releases cortisol in times of anxiety and stress, thereby establishing a connection between one's emotional state and dark circles around the eyes.
What are Some Other Reasons for Dark Circles? In some cases, the preorbital skin suffers from hyperpigmentation caused by allergies, asthma, edema and liver problems. It may also occur as a reaction to strong medication or if you have anemia. In certain chronic cases, this may be because the blood vessels under the eyes are damaged and leaking blood, which is oxidized to form dark and puffy under-eye rims. While this sounds dangerous, it is mostly harmless. Although it might be advisable to check for cardiac congestion in such cases.
Dark circles can have a negative effect on self-esteem due to aesthetic reasons. Fortunately there are effective dermatological treatments that can alleviate the problem.