Dark circles appear as discoloration below the eye. “This can either be due to hyperpigmentation of the skin, or thin skin that allows blood vessels and underlying tissue to show through, ” explains board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Marcus, M. D., FAAD .  

This discoloration is starkly different from eye bags in terms of cause and appearance. Eye bags are consistent outpourings of tissue below the vision that are “usually caused by fat herniation as the cells becomes less firm with age, ” Marcus says.  

Black circles are also different from general attention puffiness . “Puffy eyes usually refers to swelling around the entire eyesight, which may be a result associated with an allergy, dietary factors (salt, alcohol), illness, or even other sources of inflammation, inch Marcus says.   Some of these same aspects can lead to dark circles, too—more on that below.

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