Everyone gets dark circles under the eyes from time to time. They can be unsightly, and even embarrassing. And when you have fibromyalgia, it often seems like the problem is much worse.
But while everyone has experienced dark circles under the eyes, not many of us really know much about them. What causes them? Why do they seem worse when you have fibromyalgia? And is there anything you can do to fix them?
What Causes Dark Circles Under The Eyes?
Most people think when they see someone with dark circles under the eyes that they must not have gotten a good night’s sleep. And a lot of the time, that’s true. Fatigue can definitely contribute to the problem. But it’s not always that simple.
Basically, what you’re seeing under the eyes is blood. The skin under the eyes is thin, letting light pass through and bounce off of the veins. Because the skin filters out most of the light, the veins and blood underneath look like a dark blue. If you’re fair-skinned you might notice this happening in other areas of the body where the skin is thin or where the veins are especially close to the surface.
The skin also grows thinner as we get older, which is why older people tend to have dark circles under the eyes more often than younger people. And the thinner the skin is under the eyes, the more often you’ll have noticeable dark circles, which means that genetics plays a big part.
Meanwhile, if you have darker skin, the issue might not be blood at all. Instead, some people have different levels of pigmentation under the eyes, making them seem permanently darker.
Finally, there are a few other conditions that can cause dark spots under the eyes. Allergies can cause fluid to build up under the eyes, which can contribute to the issue, as can condition like dermatitis.
But why do people with fibromyalgia seem to get dark circles more often?
Why Does Fibromyalgia Make Them Worse?
The simple reason that people with fibromyalgia often seem to have dark circles under the eyes is a combination of stress and fatigue. People with fibromyalgia often experience chronic insomnia, which leaves them fatigued. This naturally creates stress for the body. Combine that with the stress of just having a condition like fibromyalgia, and your body is producing much higher amounts of cortisol.
Cortisol can lead to a rise in blood pressure, which means that the blood vessels under the eyes are pressed up against the surface. This makes them more noticeable and leads to dark circles.
Luckily, there are some things you can do to treat them.
How Can You Treat Them?
Dark circles usually aren’t a sign of any sort of serious problem. So if you can stand to live with them, you may not really need to do anything about them at all. But obviously, they can make you self-conscious about your appearance. So if they bother you, you might want to try a few home remedies.
First, swelling can contribute to the problem. Thus, anything that can reduce swelling of the tissue under the eyes can help reduce the appearance of the dark circles. Icing the area can be a good solution. And stacking pillows under your head while you sleep can help keep fluid from pooling under the eyes.
If you can, snatching just a few more hours of sleep a week can make a big difference. Obviously, that’s difficult when you have fibromyalgia, but every little bit helps.
Finally, there are many products out there that promise to reduce the appearance of dark circles. But be aware that some of these products are better than others. And some can even be dangerous.
Many of these products don’t really treat the circles under the eyes. Instead, they bleach the skin, making it seem lighter. In older products, some of the chemicals used to bleach the skin can even be dangerous.
In extreme cases, surgery can reduce the appearance of dark circles. You can discuss your options with a dermatologist if they bother you enough to consider surgery.
You should also consult a dermatologist if the area under the eye seems to be swelling beyond the normal level, or if you experience itching or pain in the area. These can be signs of more serious medical conditions.
So, do you experience dark circles under your eyes? Do you think it’s related to fibromyalgia? What do you do to treat them? Let us know in the comments.