Can Illness Cause Dark Circles?

There might come a time when you wake up to see that your eyes look more sunken, and the skin around them has become dark. If you are struggling to look awake, alert, and healthy, you might be worried that your dark under-eye circles are becoming more apparent. This can lead to questions such as: Is there a way to treat dark circles once they form? Can illness cause dark circles, or are they a result of stress?

Can Illness Cause Dark Circles?

Learning about the root cause of your sunken eyes can get you closer to a personalized dark circles treatment in Newport Beach. Below, we will highlight some common causes of dark circles as well as popular treatment options that may work well for you.

Stress and the Eyes

People tend to attribute dark circles under the eyes to a part of the aging experience, noting that the skin goes through many changes in the later years of life. However, while aging can certainly be a factor in the development of dark circles, it is typically not the only contributor to this condition. There may be other health issues at play, especially as the dark circles under your eyes become more pronounced.

The skin around your eyes can tell you a lot about your overall health. It is extremely thin, making it easier to see rushing blood and broken vessels underneath. This can contribute to a darkened look under the eyes. Dark circles mean that your skin is unhealthy, and that is usually due to a lack of sleep and stress. It is important to work with your doctor to identify the cause of your under-eye circles so you can get fast and effective treatment.

Illness and Other Causes of Dark Circles

At OC Oculoplastic, we provide comprehensive treatment options that will remove or significantly reduce the appearance of dark circles under your eyes. In order to guarantee good results, our medical staff will diagnose the original cause of your skin blemishes and determine the best course of action.

Common causes of dark circles include:


Stress is very disruptive, often wreaking havoc on your daily life by obstructing your regular routines. Are you feeling stressed due to work or school? You should consider counseling or an activity that allows you to decompress so you can wake up refreshed the next day. Stress is a silent killer, often exacerbating symptoms of illness even during treatment. For your under-eye circles, this means that the skin can become more swollen over time as stress continues to build.


It can sometimes be difficult to identify fatigue, but it is easy to diagnose it in relation to your other physical symptoms. Stress can cause you to worry too much, which might prevent you from easily falling asleep. If you are not getting as much sleep as you know you should, then you may need a personalized treatment plan. Lack of sleep can have majorly negative effects on your body, including the skin around your eyes, which will only get worse the longer it goes untreated.


Also called atopic dermatitis, eczema is a skin condition that causes flare-ups of red, itchy patches around the body. It can appear anywhere on the skin, causing the area to become dry and cracked. One common symptom of eczema is darkened skin around the eyes, creating a tired or sunken look. An underlying eczema treatment can help to clear up any under-eye circles while also giving your skin the nutrients it needs.

Age and Genetics

Some people are predisposed to dark under-eye circles due to an inherited gene. But that does not mean that treatment is impossible. The skin changes over the years, losing some of its fullness and elasticity as the body starts to age. Whether it is hereditary or just a sign of the times, dark under-eye circles can signify that it is due time for a positive change.

Get Surgical and Non-Surgical Treatments at OC Oculoplastic

During a personal consultation with our medical staff, you can find the underlying cause behind your dark circles, helping you clear up your skin using one of our unique treatment options. Patients with moderate to severe skin damage can benefit from our eyelid surgery techniques, where we delicately remove and reduce the areas of your skin that have been affected. We also provide non-surgical options like dermal fillers, which can volumize the skin in one simple injection. Learn more about under-eye circles, their causes, and your best treatment options when you get in touch with OC Oculoplastic today.