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What Causes Dark Circles Under A Child’s Eyes?

In most cases, dark circles in children are not due to serious conditions. However, the doctor should be consulted to find out the exact cause of dark circles. Dark circles under the eyes in children are caused due to increased blood blow in veins due to vasodilation. Vasodilation may be due to various underlying conditions.

Dark Circles In Children

In most conditions, dark circles under a child’s eyes are not of serious concern. They may be due to various reasons including allergies, fatigue, and illness. They do not cause any discomfort to child and are also do not cause pain and harm to overall health. Dark circles under the eyes can be identified through various symptoms. These symptoms include discoloration of the area below the eyes or the area may have irregular pigmentation1.

If you found any sign of dark circles below the eyes of your child, you should book an appointment with the pediatrician to rule out any serious underlying disease as sometimes dark circles may also be caused due to liver or kidney disease or underlying infection.

If the dark circles are not properly addressed, the condition may lead to increased severity of infection, permanent discoloration, anaphylactic reactions and may have vision problems. During the consultation, the doctor would ask you various questions related to allergy, the occurrence of symptoms and about his sleep patterns.

What Causes Dark Circles Under A Child's Eyes?

What Causes Dark Circles Under A Child’s Eyes?

Following are some of the causes of dark circles in children:

Nasal Congestion: Nasal congestion is one of the most common causes of the dark circle in children. Nasal congestion leads to darkening of the veins surrounding eyes leading to dark circles2. The condition may also be caused when the child breath through his mouth. Tonsilitis may also be the reason for dark circles.

Skin Color: Child with fair color have clearly visible veins below the skin. The appearance of dark circles depends on the thickness of the skin. Further, the dark circle is also sometimes linked to hereditary. If the father or mother has dark circles, the child may also have this condition.

Fatigue: Fatigue or tiredness may also be the reason for dark circles. Most people gave fatigue as an explanation of dark circles. Fatigue may occur due to working on a computer or laptop for long hours or due to poor or no sleep.

Excessive Rubbing: The skin below the eyes is thinner as compared to the skin at other places. Excessive rubbing of the skin because of various reasons may lead to ruptures veins or skin redness leading to dark circles.

Allergic Reactions: Allergic reactions may also lead to dark circles. Children’s comparatively to adults are more sensitive towards allergens such as dust or pollens. Allergic reactions in the body lead to inflammatory mediators thus causing vasodilation. Dark circles caused due to allergic reactions are known as allergic shiners3.

Lack Of Sleep: Deprivation of sleep is also the major cause of dark circles in children. Due to reduced sleeping hours, the eyes get bulged leading to dark circle like appearance.

Dehydration: If the child is not drinking the required quantity of water, the skin gets dehydrated. Dehydration imparts wrinkled appearance to the skin leading to dark circle appearance.

Sun Exposure: Long exposure to the sun may take away all the moisture from the skin leading to dry skin. It may lead to dark circles.

Cancer: In very rare cases, neuroblastoma, a tumor affecting the nervous system, may result in dark circles1.

Treatment For Dark Circles In Children

When the dark circles are caused due to nasal congestion or blocked nose, medical interventions are required. Antihistamines can be prescribed in such conditions. Allergens should be identified, and the child is protected against those allergens. Eczema may be treated with steroidal creams4.

Proper rest should be provided to child and sun exposure should be reduced. Allergic foods should be avoided.


Dark circles under eyes in children may be due to allergic reactions, fatigue, and sleep deprivation, excessive rubbing of eyes, and sun exposure.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:November 24, 2021

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