Causes of Hyperpigmentation Under the Eyes

Dark Circles Around Eyes Cause of HyperpigmentationFor many people, the area under the eyes is one of the first places to show signs of aging. The skin in this area is thinner and more delicate than on other parts of the face, and it is often the first place to show signs of sun damage, dehydration, and other environmental stresses. 

One common sign of aging in this area is hyperpigmentation or darkening of the skin. There are several possible causes of hyperpigmentation under the eyes, including:

  • Sun exposure: UV rays can cause damage to the skin cells that produce pigment, leading to darkening of the skin.
  • Hormonal changes: Increases in certain hormones can trigger the overproduction of pigment in the skin.
  • Aging: As we age, our skin cells become less efficient at producing pigment, leading to a gradual darkening of the skin.
  • Genetics: Some people are simply more prone to hyperpigmentation than others.

Treatment for hyperpigmentation under the eyes will vary depending on the underlying cause. 

How To Tell You Have Dark Circles or Hyperpigmentation

If you have ever woken up with dark circles under your eyes, you know how frustrating it can be to try to conceal them. While several factors can contribute to under-eye circles, including genetics and lack of sleep, one of the most common causes is hyperpigmentation

Hyperpigmentation is the darkening of an area of skin due to an overproduction of melanin. It can occur anywhere on the body, but is most common on the face. In addition to dark circles, hyperpigmentation can also cause age spots and freckles

If you suspect hyperpigmentation, it is important to see a dermatologist for treatment; left untreated, hyperpigmentation can become permanent.

Risk Factors

Causes of dark circles under the eyes include:

  • Lack of proper sleep
  • Allergies
  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Reduced fatty tissues or thinning skin under the eyes
  • Iron deficiency (anemia)
  • Excessive sunlight exposure
  • Aging
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Thyroid disorders
  • Dehydration
  • Dermatitis

The Best Non-Surgical Aesthetic Solutions for Hyperpigmentation

While hyperpigmentation is a complex problem, many aesthetic treatments can help with hyperpigmentation under the eyes to help maintain a youthful appearance. 


In recent years, lasers have become an increasingly popular option for treating hyperpigmentation. Lasers work by targeting and destroying the melanin that causes dark spots. A variety of different laser types can be used for this purpose, and a consultation at Skin Technique will allow us to choose the best option for you based on your skin type and concerns. With the help of laser therapy, you can achieve a more even skin tone and enjoy long-lasting results! 

Some lasers Skin Technique utilizes for pigmentation concerns include Forever Young BBL™ Laser, HALO™ Fractional Resurfacing, and BBL Hero™.


Microneedling is a popular cosmetic treatment that can improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, acne scars, and hyperpigmentation.

During a microneedling session, a device is used to create tiny punctures in the skin. This triggers the production of collagen and elastin, two proteins that help smooth and plump the skin. The punctures also allow for better absorption of topical treatments, such as serums and creams. 

For those with hyperpigmentation, this can lead to a significant lightening of the skin. Microneedling is safe for most skin types and has minimal side effects. It is an ideal treatment for those seeking a non-invasive way to even out their skin tone.

Skincare Ingredients

Many skincare ingredients can help with hyperpigmentation under the eye. We carry an array of products available to help reduce pigmentation online and in our clinic. For example, SkinCeuticals Discoloration Defense is formulated with 3% tranexamic acid, 1% kojic acid, 5% niacinamide, and 5% HEPES; this latest-generation formula improves the appearance of skin discoloration, brightens skin, and evens skin tone in as early as 2 weeks.

How to Prevent Hyperpigmentation

Reduce Stress And Better Rest

For many people, stress can be a major trigger for hyperpigmentation under the eyes. When stressed or overly tired, our bodies produce more cortisol, which can increase inflammation and cause the skin to produce more melanin. As a result, the area under the eyes can become darker and more discoloured. 

Protecting the Eyes From The Sun

The sun can be harsh on the skin, causing premature aging and wrinkles. But did you know that it can also cause hyperpigmentation under the eyes? When the skin is exposed to UV rays, it produces more melanin, the pigment that gives skin its colour. This can result in dark circles or “raccoon eyes.” Protecting your eyes from the sun is essential to help prevent this.

Quit Smoking

One of the many health risks for smokers is hyperpigmentation under the eyes. This is caused by the constriction of blood vessels from the nicotine in cigarettes, which reduces blood flow and oxygen to the skin. As a result, the skin around the eyes becomes discoloured and can develop dark circles. 

Reduce Alcohol Consumption

Alcohol consumption can cause the blood vessels in your skin to dilate, which leads to inflammation and swelling. This can eventually cause the skin to become darker. 


Skin Technique