Halloween is over, but zombie eyes persist!
November 20, 2006 12:20 PM   Subscribe

I suddenly (3 months ago) have "dark circles" under my eyes, what to do? I thought it may be fall allergies but winter has set in and no change.

In August I noticed dark patches below my eyes, not so much lines, but darkness especially at the inward edges. I have pictures from 6 months ago where I do not have this. It's not a morning or night thing, it's basically the same all the time.

I have no allergies that I'm aware of; my parents do not have this trait; I've read it sometimes is a part of aging, although I am 25. I tried taking claritin for a week, no change. Also, I spent a week 3 time zones across the US and no change -- I don't think it's an environment problem.

A few things did change around 3-4 months ago: I moved to a new apartment, I stopped walking 1-2 miles everyday, I started going to the gym every other day.

I don't think I'm dehydrated, I'm constantly going to the bathroom and getting water refills. I take a daily multivitamin.

Any ideas? I'm also a dude, so make-up probably isn't acceptable =P
posted by jacobjacobs to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Any new medications, herbal supplements or stimulants?

Have you been eating differently or getting less sleep? Sleep deprivation can cause dark cirlces, as you are probably aware.

There are some cremes on the market that claim to lessen the appearance of dark circles. I would try getting at least 8 hours a night, and improving your nutrition if it is currently weak, and see if there is a change.
posted by LoriFLA at 12:28 PM on November 20, 2006

A food allergy can do it. I have a sensitivity to eggs and I get those patches when I've had a piece of cake or whatever.

Caffeine and nicotine seem to cause it, too.
posted by frecklefaerie at 12:46 PM on November 20, 2006

Sleep apnea?
posted by doctor_negative at 1:22 PM on November 20, 2006

I started to get the same thing around the age of 24, and I'm 27 now. It doesn't seem to vary at all, and I assumed it was just natural aging. Thinner skin there or something. My mother had it too.

I have nothing really helpful to add to the thread, just commiserating with jacobjacobs and tagging along suddenly wondering if it is avoidable.
posted by voidcontext at 1:30 PM on November 20, 2006

I'm with jacobjacobs and voidcontext. Started getting them a few months ago. I'm 23, male, and I'd like to think I'm getting enough nutrition. The only thing I might not be getting enough of is sleep, so that's what I thought it was, until I had a week or so waking up to my own schedule and found that it hadn't gone away.
posted by Xoder at 1:48 PM on November 20, 2006

I have to have enough potassium and iron to not have the rings. Even if I'm sleeping like crap, if I remember to take my multivitamin 3-5 days in a row they mostly go away.
posted by Lyn Never at 2:01 PM on November 20, 2006

At the risk of sounding extraordinarily metrosexual....

I am 28 & male. I have definitely noticed the skin under my eyes getting a bit darker and wrinkled over the past 6 years. The appearance changes on how rested and hydrated I am. My mother and grandfather have signifcant eye bags, so I suspect genetics are involved. Unless your skin changes are really signifcant, you may just have to chalk it up to aging. An anti-wrinkle or firming night cream may help.
posted by gnutron at 2:04 PM on November 20, 2006

Response by poster: I get a decent amount of sleep, actually more than I did in years past and my week long vacation had 8-10 hours sessions each night/morning. I've only tried one eye product but it has not been any help thus far.

Hmm, my multivitamin is out of date (found current bottle boxed away). I've read that can cause a loss of potency, but I previously thought all that was bs, I may pick up a new bottle.
posted by jacobjacobs at 2:46 PM on November 20, 2006

During my 20's and early 30s, as a cigarette smoker, I had these all the time. Quitting smoking helped. Hydration. Exercise to a heavy sweat at least 5x/week helps too.
posted by Phred182 at 3:09 PM on November 20, 2006

Paula Begoun, who writes about cosmetics, says here that dark circles can be caused by sun damage and sometimes by food allergies. So get a lightweight sunscreen to wear on your face, and put it on after you shower in the morning. Also according to her eye creams don't have anything other than normal moisturizer in them, but they're more expensive. Here are her reviews of skin care products marketed toward men -- if you don't find one that sounds good, you can search other product reviews. A lot of brands like Neutrogena make SPF 15 face moisturizers in gender-neutral packaging (ie, it's white; no pink, no Exxxxtreme Sports Manly Dude-rub).
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:36 PM on November 20, 2006

More sex lately?
posted by jkaczor at 4:15 PM on November 20, 2006

When I'm tired it's worse.

I do the metrosexual jazz and it doesn't help.

Donc, sleep and exercise and smiling helps.
posted by oxford blue at 5:02 PM on November 20, 2006

Go to a doctor. Changes in your skin are definitely a scary indication that something is wrong/missing.
posted by WaterSprite at 5:24 PM on November 20, 2006

I developed these bad boys in a sudden 6 month burst around the time I turned 30.

I like them, they make me look tired, so I can always complain to people that I'm overworked or some shit.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:58 PM on November 20, 2006

A similar question.
posted by lunchbox at 9:01 PM on November 20, 2006

I had always heard that dark circles around the eyes could indicate iron deficiency (repeating what Lyn Never ). It might be worth a doctor's visit.
posted by gt2 at 9:02 PM on November 20, 2006

I thought 'dark circles' was an iron deficiency also, especially if your skin is tending more pale or turning 'more yellow' to boot.

Do a blood test, and if 'low iron' says the doctor, check for reasons why your iron is lower. It could be an indication of something more serious.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 8:19 AM on November 21, 2006

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