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According to the Mayo Clinic, dark circles beneath the eyes are defined as uniform smudges of pigmentation. Both men and women can develop them—no matter what age. Dark circles are often the result of fluid and veins collecting behind the thin skin beneath the eye, resulting in a shadowy appearance. Although a doctor can perform laser or chemical procedures to reduce under eye circles, there are many remedies that can be performed right at home.
Because nasal congestion can sometimes lead to eye discoloration, the Mayo Clinic recommends using a homemade saltwater wash to alleviate dark circles around the eyes. Mix together 2 cups of warmed water and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Rinse out the nasal cavity with a few squirts from a bulb syringe or use a special pot called a “neti pot.”
According to the book, “Almond Eyes, Lotus Feet," pistachios can help alleviate dark circles from under the eyes. Grind a couple of pistachio nuts using a pestle and mortar. Add a teaspoon of chilled milk and apply the mixture gently around the eye area. Leave the paste on for about 30 minutes and then thoroughly wash off. It can take up to two weeks for results to be noticed.
Get enough sleep each night. Lack of sleep can cause you to develop hollow-eyes and pale skin , making dark circles and shadows around the eyes more apparent. According to the National Sleep Foundation, adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep every night. Elevate your head with a couple of pillows to prevent fluid from pooling around the eyes and causing circles and puffiness.
The Go Ask Alice! website recommends applying a cold-water compress to your eyes to remove dark circles. This will temporarily reduce any discoloration and dilation of the blood vessels beneath the eyes. Consider using two chilled spoons, cucumber slices, a gel eye mask or slightly wet tea bags.
Allergies can sometimes cause dark circles or “allergic shiners” to develop around the eyes. This is caused by an increase of blood flow around the sinuses. To reduce allergy symptoms, the Mayo Clinic recommends washing bedding and stuffed toys in hot water often, vacuuming using a high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filter, and replacing carpet with hard wood or tile flooring. When working outdoors, considering wearing a dust mask to keep air born and mold allergies from becoming problematic.
- "Almond Eyes, Lotus Feet"; Sharada Dwivedi and Shalini Devi Holkar; 2007
- Go Ask Alice!: Under-Eye Circles — How Can I Get Rid of Them?
- Mayo Clinic: Allergies
- DrPaul: Allergy Signs in Children
- Mayo Clinic: Dark Circles under the Eyes
- Kati Molin/iStock/Getty Images