Why Kids Have Dark Circles Under the Eyes?

Why Kids Have Dark Circles Under the Eyes

It is alarming to see those dark circles under the eyes of some kids, but why do they have it at a very young age? Circles under the eyes are usually conventional in some adults, but it can also occur in kids. Experts often call this appearance the ‘raccoon eyes.’ Dark circles are the presence of dark spots or discoloration under the eyes. Usually, they are not painful, unpleasant, or associated with other symptoms, but discoloration may lead to the appearance of age, weakness, or disease.

Dark circles in children are typical because of allergies and nasal inflammation, which can thin the skin around the eyes. It exposes the blood vessels, which appears to be dark circles. Congestion is a swelling of the tissues that line the inside of the nose. As a result, it dilates the blood vessels that increase the blood flow in the region. Iron deficiency anemia is a potential cause in infants, but not as common as nasal congestion. 

Dark circles in children are rare, but it happens in some cases. In particular, recurrent nasal and sinus inflammation can cause noticeable discoloration in the veins under the eyes. The skin color resulting from increased blood flow is colored purple or violet rather than a darker skin tone. Find out more reasons why your kids have dark circles under the eyes.

What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes in Children?

Dark circles in children are common causes of allergies and other nasal inflammation. It leads to thinning the skin around the eyes, which leads to exposure of the blood vessels. Allergy is a severe case often caused by congestion. Prevalent childhood allergies include foods such as berries, nuts, shellfish, dairy products, pet dander, pollen or grass pollen, and pollutants. 

Moreover, there are also other more severe causes of congestion like measles, chronic colds, and sinusitis. Dark circles usually occur once the veins under the eyes expand and darken. The skin under the eyes is thin, so it is hard for that area to cover dark circles that appear dark and pigmented. Let’s have a deeper understanding of the causes of dark circles under kids’ eyes.

  1. Nasal Congestion – Prolonged inflammation of the mucous membranes in most cases of sinus infections in the nasal cavities can exert pressure on the veins under the skin. As a result, it limits the flow of blood that leads to dark circles under the eyes. Research indicates that children with dark circles are also frequent to mouth-breathers, which may increase the risk of developing dental abnormalities.
  2. Asthma – Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America said that dark circles under the eyes might be an early indicator of asthma. In addition, prolonged allergic rhinitis is almost the same as asthma. Many common symptoms and signs of asthma include coughing, changes in breathing, tiredness, paleness, and hoarseness of the voice.
  3. Allergic Rhinitis – Dark circles may also be because of chronic allergies like nasal inflammation caused by allergies can. For example, allergic rhinitis may trigger airborne elements such as dust, pollen, pet dander, or molds. 
  4. Genetics – When your child does not display any odd symptoms but still has dark circles, it may because it is in the genes. Research says that dark circles could be hereditary, with some having them slightly and some having them firmly.
  5. Neuroblastoma – The most severe condition that may cause dark circles under the eyes is neuroblastoma. It is a malignant tumor that arises from immature cells of the sympathetic nervous system. In this case, severe medications and regular checkups are essential.

What Are the Potential Complications of Dark Circles Under Eyes in Children?

The presence of dark circles under the eyes is not a severe symptom of itself, but the underlying cause can be critical. If there’s an underlying cause, it is essential to follow the course of treatment that you and your health care professional design specifically for your child. It will help reduce the risk of possible problems like life-threatening allergic reactions, delays in growth, and loss of vision.  

Treatment of dark circles under the eyes depends heavily on the cause. There are several treatment choices for nasal inflammation, from avoiding recognized allergic causes to over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines. If there is a nutritional deficiency that causes the problem, then supplements are a potential remedy. However, don’t give a child an iron supplement without the advice of a pediatrician. On the other hand, blood tests can diagnose some nutritional deficiencies. In non-urgent situations, dietary changes are preferable to supplements.

Dark circles may not pose a risk to your child’s health, but the underlying cause may have complications. It is also essential to recognize and treat the underlying disorder. In case of severe conditions, such as allergic rhinitis and asthma, consult the doctor and follow the recommended treatment plan. Some of the underlying symptoms may be precursors to emergencies such as anaphylactic shock or an asthma attack.

Treatment For Dark Circles Under A Child’s Eyes

Dark circles usually don’t need treatment as they may subside. There are a few steps you might take to avoid dark circles. If your child does not show any of the above abnormal symptoms, but still has dark circles, then monitor their sleep and iron levels as they may contribute to the formation of dark circles around their eyes. In any case, the doctor should search for other signs that may help to determine the cause.

In addition to treating the underlying cause, you might consider trying a few home remedies to soothe the skin around your eyes. Often perform a patch check before using these remedies on younger children, as some of them can cause eye irritation. There is also little evidence to prove the effectiveness of these remedies. Always consult your doctor before you try it out. Home remedies work vaguely and not on the root cause of the dark circles. Therefore, these are only ideal to use following the recommended care for the illness of your child.

  1. Almond Oil – Experts say that almond oil can help improve the complexion and skin tone. Therefore, it may also help to reduce the darkness around the eyes. When you’re trying, make sure that the oil is clean and free of any additives or other dilutions. Place two or three drops of almond oil on a cotton swab and wipe it around your eyes. Let it sit for 15 minutes, then wipe it off. Repeat for six to seven weeks. Always be careful not to apply it too close to the lower eyelids.
  2. Milk Cream – The liquid helps to moisturize the skin and reduces dark circles and lines under the eyes. Apply the milk cream to the eye and leave for 15 minutes before cleaning. Do not apply it too close to the lower eyelid as it can reach the eye and cause discomfort.
  3. Cold Compress – Some studies suggest that cold compress can contribute to minimizing the swelling of the blood vessels under the eye. As a result, it reduces the swelling and darkness under the eyes. Soak a cold water washcloth and put it on your child’s eyes for 20 minutes. You can also wrap a couple of ice cubes in a washcloth and place it on your feet. Don’t make it too cold for the child to tolerate it.
  4. Saffron – Saffron has anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory effects that help reduce allergic reactions as well as dark spots in children. Use one tablespoon of raw milk, mix some saffron, and add it under the eyes. You can also have a small amount of saffron in the milk your child drinks. However, make sure your child is not sensitive to saffron and add a touch of it.
  5. Steam Inhalation – It does not directly affect the dark circles, but it helps in relieving nasal congestion. You can try steam inhalation to clear your child’s stuffy nose. Steam inhalation may make asthma worse, so avoid it if you think it might trigger an allergic reaction. Encourage your child to take steam baths or help them breathe some warm air from a steamer to alleviate nasal congestion.
  6. Cucumber – High content of vitamin K and lignans in gums helps minimize dark circles and inflammation. You can start by crushing the cucumber and then remove the juice. Soak the cotton pads in the water, put them in the eyes of your child, and rest for 15 minutes. As much as possible, do it at least three times a week.
  7. Potato Juice – It may not sound delicious, but it is a rich source of vitamin C and may help to hydrate the skin under the eyes. Crush the potatoes and extract the juice, then apply it under the eyes of your child. Leave if for 5 minutes, wash it. Repeat two or three times a day.


Dark circles under the eyes of kids, just like adults, may not be serious. However, there are some instances where it may be an indication of illness and life-threatening conditions. Therefore, always look out for any abnormalities, signs, and symptoms of any disease. More importantly, always consult with your doctor.

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