What Causes Dark Eyelids And How To Get Rid of It? (2023)

Are your dark eyelids making you look tired and sick all the time? This can occur due to a number of factors, including changes in your blood vessels and surrounding skin, as well as hyperpigmentation.

This article will help you find out what exactly causes dark eyelids and what you can do to get rid of it.

What Our Expert Says

“There are a variety of reasons behind dark eyelids. Nutritional inadequacy, lack of sleep, and heredity are a few of them. Skin peeling therapies such as PRP (Platelet-rich plasma), chemical peeling, and fractional CO2 laser, may be recommended. It is often recommended to improve one's lifestyle and hydration of the skin.”

Prajkta Sapre (PG, Cosmetic Technology), Product Development Executive, SkinKraft

What Causes Dark Eyelids And How To Get Rid of It? (1)


  • What Are Dark Eyelids?
  • What Causes Dark Eyelids?
  • How To Get Rid Of Dark Eyelids?
  • How To Prevent Dark Eyelids?

What Are Dark Eyelids?

Dark eyelids occur when the skin around the upper eyelids darkens. Though black eyelids may not pose any significant health dangers and are mostly a cosmetic concern, they can indicate underlying health issues and even lead to low self-esteem. However, there are a number of simple strategies and natural remedies that can help you get rid of this condition and achieve a brighter, more even skin tone.

According to SkinKraft’s Product Development Executive, Prajkta Sapre, “There are a variety of reasons behind dark eyelids. Nutritional inadequacy, lack of sleep, and heredity are a few of them. Skin peeling therapies such as PRP (Platelet-rich plasma), chemical peeling, and fractional CO2 laser may be recommended. It is often recommended to improve one's lifestyle and hydration of the skin.”

What Causes Dark Eyelids?

1. Pregnancy

Most women go through skin changes during their pregnancy.Melasma is a common skin condition that can occur during pregnancy.[1] They may see some changes in their skin tone as well. Often, pregnant women complain about brown or grey hyperpigmented patches on their skin. When these types of brown or dark patches occur around your eyelids, it looks black in colour. The black spots appearance is associated with excess melanin presence in your skin. Melanin determines your skin tone and when your skin has too much melanin, it tends to turn your skin black.

2. Biology & Genetics

Some studies indicate that your genetics sometimes can contribute to dark patches on the skin such as dark eyelids. For some people, this ailment may impact more in comparison with other members of the same family. According to these studies, people have also reported having black eyelids as youngsters that grew darker as they grew older. Some people also claimed that stress worsened the darkening and taking rest helped a lot to get rid of it.

3. Inflammation-Induced Hyperpigmentation

Irritations on the eye or allergies are considered to be the primary causes of dark eyelids. In case, you are suffering from some allergic reaction, your skin tends to go hyperpigmented. Some people face black eyelids due to the constant habit of rubbing the eye region or using nails to scratch the eyelids. It may inflict wounds as well. Allergies often lead to a build-up of fluid in the eyes and eventually turn your eyelids dark.[2]

4. Melanocytosis Of The Skin

As mentioned, melanin determines your skin tone and melanocytes are responsible for the pigment. [3] A skin condition called Dermal melanocytosis occurs when the melanocytes in the dermis of your skin develop dark pigmentation around your eyelids. People with cutaneous melanocytosis commonly have grey or blue-grey spots around or on the eyes.

A multitude of conditions, both acquired and congenital, can cause dermal melanocytosis. Various factors can cause dermal melanocytosis, including sun exposure during pregnancy hormonal changes and skin conditions like eczema.

5. Enlarged Blood Vessels

Skin thinning or the presence of blood vessels around the eyelids can also cause dark eyelids. During menstruation, women may notice a darkening of the skin around their eyes. One of the most primary triggers of darkening under the eyes is increased vascularity.

By manually stretching the skin around the eyes, doctors can confirm the diagnosis of increased vascularity under the skin. When the doctor stretches the skin, the colour will not fade or blanch if the cause is an increased number of blood vessels.

6. Certain Medications

Some medications can have side effects on your skin. One such medication side effect could be dark eyelids as a side effect. Conditions like latanoprost (Xalatan) and glaucoma are treated with Prostaglandin analogues medication. Long-term use of such medicines can cause dark skin patches including dark eyelids.

7. Result Of Age

Tear troughs are depressions that appear around the eyes and the nose as people age. Tear troughs are caused by the lack of fat in the region as well as skin thinning. As people grow older, they experience these changes. Studies show that the appearance of a hollow rim and shadow under the eyes can appear with age. It might emphasize the dark circles as well.

8. Edema

A multitude of reasons might induce inflammation around the eyes. One such condition is Edema. It causes swelling of the tissues which leads to dark eyelids. [4]

9. Environmental Surroundings & Lifestyle

Although clinical trials have yet to prove this, doctors believe that certain environmental causes either induce or worsen dark eyelids. For example, ultraviolet exposure might worsen dark eyelids.

A lack of sleep can exacerbate the appearance of dark eyelids. Not getting enough sleep can cause your complexion to appear pale, making dark areas appear darker. Also, elements like stress, excessive drinking and smoking can lead to sleep deprivation. This in turn can lead to dark eyelids.

How To Get Rid Of Dark Eyelids?

1. Skin Hydration

Staying hydrated is extremely important for your overall health and the wellness of your skin. It is recommended that you drink at least eight glasses of water per day. Dehydration can lead to a slew of health issues, including dark circles and droopy eyelids.

2. Sleeping Style & Pattern

Elevating your head when sleeping is also a commonly recommended remedy for dark eyelids. This can be accomplished by adding pillows or sitting in a recliner. Elevating your head can aid with blood flow and minimize eye puffiness. Additionally, maintaining a sleep pattern with 7 to 9 hours of sleep every night can help.

3. Over-The-Counter Treatments

Over-the-counter medications can aid in treating dark eyelids. Compounds like retinoid, kojic acid, and hydroquinone, which are potent anti-aging compounds, are found in OTC medicines. Nevertheless, they are quite strong and should not be used on a daily basis. Any over-the-counter treatment should be reviewed first with your dermatologist.

4. Dermatological Procedures

If you want a stronger therapy for dark eyelids than home cures and over-the-counter medications, dermatological treatments are a good option. Among the most popular choices are:

  • Laser resurfacing therapy
  • Fillers
  • Chemical peels
  • PRP
  • Rejuvenation and tightening procedures
  • Fat transplant
  • Eyelifts
  • Blepharoplasty

5. Home Remedies

A. Cold compresses:

This can help with dilated blood vessels and swelling induced by inflammatory diseases. It can also help prevent bruising caused by broken blood vessels. You could buy a cold compress from the drugstore, but a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a clean towel would work. Place it over your eyelids for five to ten minutes each time.

B. Tomato Slices:

Tomatoes are a popular natural therapy that is thought to reduce dark spots and damage when used consistently. This is because it is enriched with skin-lightening bleaching components. Tomato and lime juice can be used together to lighten dark circles. You can directly keep a tomato slice on each eye for 10 minutes. Do this thrice a week for best results.

C. Cucumber Slices:

Cucumber slices are another well-known home remedy for treating dark eyelids as they have skin lightening capabilities. They also have astringent properties that help to remove discoloration around the eyes. Very much like tomato slices, you can keep the cucumber slices on your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes.

D. Tea Bags:

Antioxidants present in green and black teas help to reduce inflammation and discoloration. Freeze two saturated tea bags for two hours and apply them over your eyes for 15 minutes. Rinse your eyes after removing the tea bags. Apply almond oil over your eyelids to keep them nourished.

How To Prevent Dark Eyelids?

1. Avoid direct sun exposure. Use sunscreen or sunscreen-containing moisturizers on your face and eyelids on a daily basis. Despite the fact that certain people are predisposed to developing dark eyelids, lessening sun exposure may assist in reducing the darkening.

2. Identify the cause and take up preventive measures. For example, during allergy season, limit your intake of salty foods and avoid touching the eyes. This may help prevent the development of allergies.

3. Melasma may not be preventable in pregnant women. While the spots may fade or disappear after delivery in some women, others may have spots that remain for years. When spending time outside, dermatologists recommend that pregnant women use sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat to prevent melasma from intensifying.

4. Maintain a good lifestyle. Stay hydrated, consume a balanced diet, reduce intake of alcohol and smoking and get a sufficient amount of sleep every night.

5. Some people may also cover dark eyelids using makeup. However, concealing dark eyelids neither prevents or cures them.

Wrapping Up

Dark eyelids, a common aesthetic problem, that some people are more prone to it. Sleep deprivation, skin allergies, pregnancy, genetics and other causes may be responsible for it. The cause of the dark eyelids' appearance determines the treatment. Your physician may suggest a few lifestyle changes, certain medications and physical therapy such as chemical peels and laser treatment to get rid of it.

Treatments are sometimes required to be administered for a few months to get some before a significant result. Also, obtaining more sleep and daily applying sunscreen will help you reduce the dark patches quickly. Knowing your skin type and consulting a dermatologist for remedies can help.

Begin By Knowing Your Skin

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What Causes Dark Eyelids And How To Get Rid of It? ›

Sleep deprivation, skin allergies, pregnancy, genetics and other causes may be responsible for it. The cause of the dark eyelids' appearance determines the treatment. Your physician may suggest a few lifestyle changes, certain medications and physical therapy such as chemical peels and laser treatment to get rid of it.

Why are my eyelids turning dark? ›

The skin surrounding your upper eye region can darken in color. This can be caused by changes to your blood vessels and surrounding skin, eyelid hyperpigmentation, injury, and congenital conditions. You can have both dark eyelids and under-eye circles at the same time.

What deficiency causes dark eyelids? ›

An iron deficiency indicates that the cells do not get enough oxygen, which can lead to the formation of dark circles around the eye area.

Are dark eyelids reversible? ›

Any eyelid skin darkening is expected to reverse after several weeks to months. Any darkening of the colored part of the eye known as the iris is NOT expected to reverse and is likely permanent.

How can I lighten my dark circles and eyelids? ›

Topical creams and bleaching agents: Topical creams, such as vitamin C, and bleaching agents, such as hydroquinone, can help lighten the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. Chemical peels: Chemical peels use alpha-hydroxy acids to reduce the pigmentation under your eyes.

Are dark eyelids a health warning? ›

Though dark eyelids do not pose any serious health complications and are mostly a cosmetic concern, they could still indicate underlying health issues and even hamper one's self-esteem.

Can iron deficiency cause dark eyelids? ›

Anemia or an iron deficiency can result in dark eye circles as not enough oxygen reaches the body's tissues. Liver problems can also be a cause. Any medications that make blood vessels dilate can cause eye circles to darken as well.

What is the discoloration above my eyelids? ›

Xanthelasma, or xanthelasma palpebrarum (XP), is a harmless, yellow growth that appears on or by the corners of your eyelids next to your nose. Cholesterol deposits build up under your skin to form a xanthelasma. Having xanthelasmas could be a sign of another condition, such as: Diabetes.

What does low iron eyelids look like? ›

If you pull your lower eyelid down while looking in a mirror, the inside layer should be a vibrant red color. If it's a very pale pink or yellow, you may have iron deficiency. In people with darker skin tones, the eyelid may be the only area where this condition is noticeable.

What are the signs around your eyes of B12 deficiency? ›

Disturbed or blurred vision can also occur as a result of a Vitamin B12 deficiency. This happens when the deficiency causes damage to the optic nerve that leads to your eyes. The nervous signal that travels from the eye to the brain is disturbed due to this damage, leading to impaired vision.

What vitamin gets rid of dark eyes? ›

Vitamin K – Vitamin K is one of the most commonly-used vitamins in skincare, especially in eye creams. This vitamin is specifically targeted to treat dark circles. When your body lacks Vitamin K, then capillaries begin to break around the eye area, which can further darken your eye area.

Can I tone my eyelids? ›

Although there is no evidence that exercises for droopy eyelids actually work, some people believe that exercising the muscles of the face can strengthen and tighten them. If droopy eyelids are obscuring vision or having a negative effect on a person, they should consult their doctor.

Do your eyelids change as you age? ›

As we age, the skin naturally loses elastin and collagen. These proteins provide structure and volume to the skin. So when aging diminishes natural levels of elastin and collagen, the skin tends to thin out and droop, including in the eyelids.

How do you treat melasma on your eyelids? ›

The most commonly used treatments for melasma are skin lightening medications that are applied topically. These include medications such as hydroquinone, azelaic acid, kojic acid, niacinamide, cysteamine, rucinol, and tranexamic acid.

How can I make my eyelids look younger? ›

Opt for a lighter eyeshadow rather than a dark, smoky shade on your eyelids and around the eyes, like Jenna Dewan Tatum. "Highlighting the corners makes eyes look brighter and fresh," says Ahnert. "Use a light color shadow in matte or shimmer to inner corner, lower lash line in outer corner, and the inner lid."

How do I tone my upper eyelids? ›

You can work eyelid muscles by raising your eyebrows, placing a finger underneath and holding them up for several seconds at a time while trying to close them. This creates resistance similar to weight lifting. Quick, forcible blinks and eye rolls also work eyelid muscles.

How do celebrities get their eyes so white? ›

Most celebrities either use makeup or eye drops to make the whites of their eyes appear brighter. Do whitening eye drops work? Whitening eye drops can make your eyes appear whiter and reduce redness caused by eye allergies or insufficient sleep.

What vitamin are you lacking if you have dark circles? ›

Vitamin deficiencies, including vitamin B12, E, K and D, have been associated with dark circles.

What drugs cause bags under eyes? ›

Medications that may cause swelling under the eyes include ACE inhibitors, such as benazepril (Lotensin), captopril, enalapril (Vasotec), fosinopril, lisinopril (Prinivil, Zestril), moexipril, perindopril (Aceon), quinapril (Accupril), ramipril (Altace), and trandolapril (Mavik).

Can vitamin C brighten dark circles? ›

Vitamin C is one amazing ingredient that works like a magic for the under-eye dark circles. As a popular skin brightening agent, Vitamin C's properties help reduce the appearance of dark circle and visibly brightens and lightens the area.

Does drinking water help dark circles? ›

Drinking enough water can do wonders for under-eye skin. Cut back on alcohol, caffeine and salt. Alcohol and caffeine cause dehydration, making dark circles more obvious.

Does fatty liver cause dark circles under eyes? ›

The liver is responsible for filtering toxins from the blood, and when it is unable to do so, it can result in a build-up of toxins in the body. This can lead to dark circles under the eyes and other symptoms such as fatigue and weakness.

What color are healthy eyelids? ›

Usually, a normal eye appears pale pink in colour. However, if you're deficient in iron in the body, your inner eyelid may seem more white.

Can you tell anemia by eyelids? ›

A doctor can quickly get an idea of whether someone is anemic by pulling down the person's eyelid and judging its redness, a color indicating the number of red blood cells. But even a doctor's eye isn't precise enough to give a diagnosis without getting a blood sample from the patient.

What are the 3 stages of iron deficiency? ›

This occurs in three stages:
  • First stage: Iron stores are depleted. ...
  • Second stage: When iron stores are low, the normal process of making red blood cells is altered. ...
  • Third stage: Iron-deficiency anemia develops because there isn't enough iron to make hemoglobin for red blood cells.
Apr 21, 2022

What are the five strange symptoms of anemia? ›

If the anemia gets worse, symptoms may include:
  • Blue color to the whites of the eyes.
  • Brittle nails.
  • Desire to eat ice or other non-food things (pica syndrome)
  • Lightheadedness when you stand up.
  • Pale skin color.
  • Shortness of breath with mild activity or even at rest.
  • Sore or inflamed tongue.
  • Mouth ulcers.

What does a calcium deposit on eyelid look like? ›

They appear as small yellow or white deposits that are usually less than 1mm. These deposits arise from epithelial cells, protein, mucin and other debris trapped in the fornix that calcifies over time. Concretions are most commonly located in the inferior palpebral conjunctiva.

What is eyelid xanthelasma? ›

Xanthelasmas are localized accumulation of lipid deposits on the eyelids. Lesions are typically asymptomatic and treatment is often sought for cosmetic purposes.

What is purple eyelids? ›

Answer: The purple line may be the marginal vascular arcade viewed through translucent thin eyelid skin. Best to leave it alone. If you're concerned that something is wrong with your eye, you should be seen by an ophthalmologist for an in-person exam.

Does low iron cause weight gain? ›

You may also find that low iron causes weight gain. There are a couple of reasons for this; firstly, your energy levels are low and so your exercise levels reduce; secondly, iron is essential for thyroid function, and an underactive thyroid will lead to weight gain.

How can I check my iron level at home? ›

How do I use an at-home iron test?
  1. Order a kit online or at a local pharmacy.
  2. Use the provided testing materials to perform a finger prick.
  3. Collect a blood sample.
  4. Send the sample to a laboratory.
  5. Wait for the results.
Jan 27, 2022

How can I raise my iron levels quickly? ›

Heme iron is found in meat, fish and poultry. It is the form of iron that is most readily absorbed by your body. You absorb up to 30 percent of the heme iron that you consume. Eating meat generally boosts your iron levels far more than eating non-heme iron.

What is the fastest way to fix B12 deficiency? ›

Vitamin B12 deficiency anaemia is usually treated with injections of vitamin B12, called hydroxocobalamin. At first, you'll have these injections every other day for 2 weeks or until your symptoms have started improving. Your GP or nurse will give the injections.

What foods should be avoided if you have B12 deficiency? ›

It's harder to get your B12 from food if you're on a strict plant-based diet. That means you don't eat any animal products, including eggs or dairy. Your doctor will likely suggest taking a daily or weekly dietary supplement to keep your levels up.

What are uncommon symptoms of B12 deficiency? ›

Vitamin B12: Unusual signs of vitamin B12 deficiency you might not have heard of (as they seem remotely connected)
  • 01/8Vitamin B12 deficiency can be extremely harmful for the body. ...
  • 02/8Difficulty in walking; having balance problem. ...
  • 03/8Swollen tongue. ...
  • 04/8Depression. ...
  • 05/8Increased heart beats.
Feb 24, 2023

What foods brighten your eyes? ›

Eat 2 to 4 servings of raw fruit or vegetables per day, especially carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, bell peppers, papaya, mangos, oranges and berries. Raw fruits and vegetable retain full antioxidant strength and the brighter the produce the better.

What deficiency causes skin darkening? ›

The hyperpigmentation related to vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in darker-skinned patients. Few other cases of skin hyperpigmentation due to vitamin B12 deficiency have been reported in the literature.

What deficiency causes bags under your eyes? ›

Dark circles under the eyes may be a sign of iron deficiency anemia . In those cases, an iron supplement may be helpful to normalize blood levels.

Should you put anything on your eyelids? ›

If you have dry eyelids, you should definitely be moisturizing them, but be careful — some eye creams are more targeted toward preventing wrinkles than just regular moisturizing, and so could contain ingredients that are fine for normal skin, but which your eyelids can't handle.

Why do my eyelids get darker as I age? ›

Common with age, your skin becomes thinner with the natural loss of collagen and fat. In turn, your skin may look darker.

Why do my eyelids suddenly look different? ›

Asymmetrical Eyes

So if your eyelids aren't the same size or don't look the same, that's normal. But in rare cases, uneven eyelids can be a sign of another health problem, like a thyroid disorder, for example. So if you're concerned, talk with your doctor.

Why do my eyelids look old? ›

As you age, your skin gradually loses its elasticity and begins drooping. This sagging effect is most obvious on your face, especially in the areas around your eyes. In fact, it can often look like you have a droopy eyelid.

Can dark eyelids go away? ›

Sleep deprivation, skin allergies, pregnancy, genetics and other causes may be responsible for it. The cause of the dark eyelids' appearance determines the treatment. Your physician may suggest a few lifestyle changes, certain medications and physical therapy such as chemical peels and laser treatment to get rid of it.

How can I tone my eyelids? ›

You can work eyelid muscles by raising your eyebrows, placing a finger underneath and holding them up for several seconds at a time while trying to close them. This creates resistance similar to weight lifting. Quick, forcible blinks and eye rolls also work eyelid muscles.

How do you get rid of hooded eyelids without surgery? ›

3 Ways to Address the Bags
  1. 1) Apply cucumber slices. Cucumbers contain ascorbic and caffeic acids, both of which reduce saggy eyelids. ...
  2. 2) Eat more grapes. Grapes are full of resveratrol, a natural element that slows cell aging. ...
  3. 3) Use chamomile tea bags.

How do you get rid of hooded eyelids naturally? ›

Blend four tablespoons of plain yogurt, four tablespoons of aloe vera gel, two tablespoons of oatmeal, and five slices of peeled cucumber until it forms a paste. Apply the paste to your eyelids, leave on for 20 minutes, and rinse with cool water when you're done.

What makes eyelids attractive? ›

Upper Eyelids: Having a visible crease in your upper eyelid is perceived as highly attractive. This is because it has the effect of making your eyes look bigger. In many cultures around the world, large eyes are seen as beautiful, in addition to a sign of youthfulness.


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