Red Circles Around Eyes
Last reviewed by Dr. Raj MD on January 12th, 2022.
Have you developed embarrassing red circles around your eyes that make you look tired, sleep- deprived and older than you actually are? You may get puffy red circles around eyes due to various reasons- ranging from reasons as simple as crying a lot to grave medical disorders such as inflammatory diseases or sinus infections.
The skin around your eyes is believed to be thinner and more fragile as compared to skin on other parts of your face. It therefore has to bear a major proportion of the brunt of all the stress and strain that your eyes are subjected to. Moreover, your eyes are probably the most attractive feature on your face and any redness or puffiness around it becomes easily noticeable. The intensity of red circles around eyes may vary depending on the skin complexion. Red circles around eyes occur equally amongst men and women as well as adults and children.
Symptoms of Redness around Eyes
The symptoms of red circles around eyes depend on the underlying cause. Redness around eyes may sometimes be accompanied with pain and inflammation. If the dark circles around your eyes are very intense, it is advisable to visit an ophthalmologist to rule out any serious underlying medical condition.
What Causes Red Circles around Eyes?
As previously mentioned in this article, red circles around eyes may be caused due to a number of reasons. Many people assume that red circles around eyes (or as it is commonly called dark circles) are developed due to inadequate amount of sleep or due to excessive drinking/ smoking. This assumption may be correct in majority of the cases. However, in very rare cases, red circles around eyes may be caused due to serious medical conditions such as sinus infection, thyroid or heart disease or some form of systemic infection.
Some of the common causes of red circles around eyes are allergies that cause nasal congestion, stress, topical dermatitis, anaemia, abnormalities in skin pigmentation, overexposure to sun, skin diseases such as eczema and broken capillaries. Red puffy eyes may also occur as a side effect to certain medications. Sometimes, red circles around eyes may be observed after surgery, especially after procedures such as open rhinoplasty.
Other possible reasons for appearance of red circles around eyes are:
Ageing causes further thinning of the skin around your eyes. Therefore, redness around eyes may occur as a part of the natural process of ageing.
Friction on the skin surrounding your eyes
Constantly wiping or rubbing eyes may cause friction on the skin surrounding the eyes, thereby making them look red and swollen. Dryness or dehydration of the eyes may also cause formation of red rings around the eyes.
Some people may have red puffy eyes due to genetic predisposition.
Some women may notice darkness around their eyes during pregnancy or due to hormonal imbalance. The puffy red eyes in such conditions may be due to retention of fluid in the body.
In some cases, redness around eyes may be caused due to an insect bite. In such cases, you should visit a doctor immediately, especially if you have other symptoms such as vomiting, shortness of breath and swelling on other parts of the face.
Red Circles around eyes after Vomiting
You may observe red circles around your eyes after vomiting, which may be due to a condition medically called as petechiae. It is caused due to minor bleeding from a broken capillary of blood vessel or due to excessive pressure on tissues during vomiting. In most cases, redness around eyes after vomiting is harmless and disappears after a few days.
Red Circles around eyes after Swimming
While swimming is an excellent exercise, some people may be allergic to the chlorine that is regularly added to the water in swimming pools. Allergy to chlorine may be presented as dry itchy skin, including the skin surrounding your eyes. It may also cause redness and puffiness on the skin surrounding your eyes as it irritates the respiratory tracts and creates a condition similar to that seen in asthma or nasal allergies.
Red circles around eyes after Exercise
You may notice red or dark discoloration around your eyes after running or other vigorous work out. It may be caused due to minor dilation of the blood vessels due to increase in body temperature after workout. The discoloration will go away once your body cools down to normal temperature. Other probable reason may be due to dehydration. Drinking lots of water after workout may help in this case. Make sure you get enough sleep in the night, especially if you exercise regularly so as to avoid red circles around eyes due to stress.
Toddler with Red circles around eyes
Children, especially toddlers may develop red circles around eyes due to allergies or respiratory diseases. When there is nasal congestion, the blood flow to the eyes become restricted due to blockage of the surrounding capillaries. This may make the skin surrounding your child’s eyes look darker. Redness around eyes in toddlers should not be ignored as it may be caused due to trauma and may also involve some type of haemorrhage. In some cases, surgical procedures such as tonsillectomy may be suggested by the physician.
How to get rid of Red circles around Eyes using simple Home Remedies
In most of the cases, the red discoloration around eyes will go away on its own in a few days. If the redness around your eyes is due to allergy, visit a physician to know the best course of treatment for the allergy. Also, make sure you keep the environment around you free of the allergen that is causing redness around your eyes.
In some cases, redness around eyes may be caused due to genetic factors. In such cases, it is difficult to get rid of the redness. In such cases, you may talk to your doctor to know about cosmetic solutions such as use of eye fillers.
If there is redness around the iris of your eyes, it may be due to the use of contact lenses or due to some bacterial or fungal infection. Visit your ophthalmologist immediately in such cases. Make sure you carry your contact lenses along with you during the visit.
You may wish to try some of these home remedies to get rid of the ugly redness and puffiness around your eyes.
As we already told you, the skin around your eyes is very fragile and you must take all sorts of precautions to protect it. So before you step out of your house, make sure that you apply a generous amount of sunscreen on your face including the skin around your eyes, irrespective of the weather. The sunscreen you are using should be dermatologically proven safe and should have a SPF of 30 or more. To protect your eyes from being exposed to the sun directly, you may use sunglasses or hats.
Drink sufficient water
Water is absolutely essential for proper functioning of the body. Dehydration may subject your body to stress. Moreover, consuming less amount of water may make your skin look dry and less hydrated. This may lead to formation of red circles around your eyes. It is therefore important to drink at least 3 – 4 litres of water in a day.
Exercise and Meditate
Meditation along with breathing exercises ensures proper levels of oxygen in your body. This may make you feel fresh relieved of stress. Simple exercises such as jogging and walking ensures proper blood supply to all parts of the body. This may make the dark circles around your eyes vanish eventually.
Avoid rubbing your eyes
Constantly applying pressure to the skin around your eyes may make the skin around your eyes turn red which may worsen with time. This may hold true even if you are rubbing the skin around your eyes to apply makeup. It is advisable to use a makeup brush or to gently spread the makeup using your index finger so as to avoid creating friction on the skin surrounding your eyes.
Yes, literally! Your body needs good amount of rest. You should get at least 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep every day. This will reduce your physical stress and reduce the redness and puffiness around your eyes. Make sure that you keep your head elevated using a pillow when you sleep. This will prevent retention of fluid around your eyes.
Eat a balanced diet
A balanced diet which includes a lot of green leafy vegetables, whole grains and fruits ensures that your body gets enough quantities of vitamins and other nutrients that will protect your eyes from excessive stress. Also, if you have red circles around your eyes, try to reduce your intake of salt. Excessive intake of salt may cause retention of fluid around your eyes making them look puffy and red.
Use a Concealer to hide the red circles around your eyes
Makeup may be helpful particularly for people who have red puffy eyes due to genetic factors. Use a pigmented concealer which is a shade lighter than your skin tone to mask the redness around your eyes. Make sure that the concealer is dermatologically proven safe so as to avoid any further skin irritation. You may also use some foundation cream along with the concealer to make the skin around your eyes look flawless. You may try applying under eye creams to reduce the intensity of the discoloration. Make sure you do not use under eye creams containing glycolic acid or salicylic acid as these compounds may damage the eye tissues and make the skin around your eyes look more discoloured and puffy.
Remove Makeup before going to bed
Well, we told you how to use makeup to conceal the red circles around your eyes. Albeit, that is not a permanent solution to the red circles. To make sure that the red circles around your eyes vanish away, make sure that you remove all your makeup before going to bed. It is important for you to know and understand that leaving makeup on your skin for a very long period of time may cause irritation and damage to your skin. Clear off the make- up using a mild cleanser. You may wish to apply a gentle moisturizer on your face, especially on the skin around your eyes in order to prevent dryness of the skin.
Alternatives for men
Ok! So, we understand that you men would not be comfortable using a concealer or foundation to get rid of those red bags under your eyes. Do not worry. We have some other alternatives for you, but unfortunately, you may not get immediate results as in case of makeup. You may try putting on slices of cucumber or chilled potato on your eyes to soothe your eyes and to reduce the puffiness and redness around your eyes. The cucumber or potato slices should be kept on your eyes for at least 30 minutes, twice a day, to obtain best results.
You may also try placing chilled green or black tea bags on your eyes to get rid of the red circles around them. Tea is rich in antioxidants and caffeine which helps in shrinking the blood vessels around your eyes and in reducing the fluid retention. The tea bags should be placed on the eyes at least for 10 minutes, twice a day. This procedure should be repeated daily till the redness around your eyes is gone.
You may try applying cold compress or a teaspoon of frozen peas wrapped in a clean cloth on your eyes to reduce the puffiness and redness around them.
Quit alcohol and cigarette
In most of the cases, red bags under your eyes are not really related to any medical condition. Changing your lifestyle may help in reducing the puffiness around your eyes. Alcohol and cigarette are known to be toxic to your liver. Improper functioning of the liver may cause accumulation of fluid in your body. Accumulation of fluid around your eyes makes them look puffy and red. Quitting alcohol and cigarette may help in reducing the redness around your eyes.
Lastly, keep your emotions under control. If you feel that the redness around your eyes has not reduced or is getting worse even after trying these home remedies, you should visit an ophthalmologist immediately to rule out the possibility any medical issues.