How to treat Genetic Dark Eye Circles?

Dr Y.B. Choong | Medical Aesthetics Doctor | Cienna Aesthetics Medical Clinic

Dr Y.B. Choong

Medical Aesthetics Doctor


It’s important to understand that there are several treatment options available in the market which may achieve similar results from the ones listed here. This article is also not meant to suggest that the treatments we offer are the only sole or best options.

Table of Contents

Dark circles under the eyes, those pesky patches of discolouration that often give the appearance of fatigue or premature ageing, have long been a subject of interest. While factors like lack of sleep and allergies have been recognised as contributing culprits, the influence of genetics on this common concern is gaining attention. Are dark eye circles genetic? Let’s delve deeper into the underpinnings of this issue.

So, are dark circles genetic?

The answer is yes, to some extent. Studies have shown that genetics play a role in the development of dark circles under the eyes. Researchers have identified several genes that are associated with this condition.

Genetic Factors That Affect Dark Eye Circles

1. Skin Thickness

The delicate area around the eyes is prone to darkening due to its thinness, making dark circles more likely to occur. Individuals with naturally thinner skin tend to have more prominent dark circles compared to those with thicker skin. The appearance of dark circles can vary from person to person. Some may observe them even after minimal rest, while others may be fortunate enough to never have dark circles, even with insufficient sleep.

2. Eye Color & Ethnicity

Several factors, including eye colour and ethnicity, can influence the intensity of dark circles. People with darker eyes or belonging to ethnic groups where dark circles are prevalent usually experience more pronounced dark circles. This is because darker skin absorbs more light, resulting in darker shadows.

3. Melanin

Genetics can play a role in how much melanin (the pigment responsible for darkening) is produced, causing some people to naturally have higher levels of melanin in the under-eye area. As a result, treating dark circles in these individuals can be more challenging, as they may be resistant to treatments like laser therapy.

One such gene is called TYRP1, also known as tyrosinase-related protein 1. This gene is responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its colour. When this gene is not functioning properly, it can lead to an overproduction of melanin in the under-eye area, resulting in dark circles.

Another gene called HERC2 has also been linked to dark circles under the eyes. This gene plays a role in regulating the production of melanin and when there are variations in this gene, it can lead to an uneven distribution of pigment in the skin, causing dark circles.

But genetics are not the only factor at play. Other causes such as thinning skin, which increases visibility of blood vessels and lack of fat under the eyes, also contribute to the appearance of dark circles. Lifestyle habits like smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can also worsen this issue.

Can you prevent or treat dark circles caused by genetics?

While you cannot change your genetic makeup, there are steps you can take to prevent and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

1. use a moisturiser

Using a moisturiser formulated for sensitive skin can help keep the area hydrated and reduce darkening caused by dehydration. Incorporating a skincare routine with products specifically designed for dark circles can also help minimise their appearance over time by brightening up the under-eye area.

2. drink plenty of water

One more way to reduce the appearance of dark circles is by staying hydrated. Dehydration can cause dry and irritated skin around the eyes, resulting in dark circles. Drinking plenty of water helps keep your skin hydrated and healthy.

3. Apply sunscreen

Applying sunscreen and avoiding direct contact with UV rays is also important as exposure to sunlight can darken dark eye circles.

4. Aesthetic Interventions

Consider aesthetic treatments like chemical peels to address genetic dark circles. Chemical peels can help rejuvenate the skin, promoting a more even skin tone and increasing blood flow to the area.

5. Cold Compresses

Applying cold compresses to the under-eye area can help reduce puffiness and increase blood circulation, diminishing the appearance of dark circles.

Non-surgical Treatments for Genetic Eye Bags

Dermal fillers work by filling up the hollows under the eyes, reducing the appearance of dark circles and eye bags.

Derma spring threads use polydioxanone (PDO) threads to stimulate collagen production, improving skin elasticity and reducing the appearance of dark circles.

This is a procedure that targets the melanin pigment in dark circles, breaking it down and reducing its appearance. This treatment also stimulates collagen production, resulting in firmer and smoother skin.

It is a treatment that uses hyaluronic acid injections to hydrate and nourish the under-eye area, reducing dark circles and increasing skin brightness.

HIFU which stands for High-Intensity Focused Ultrasound is a treatment that stimulates collagen production using ultrasound energy to create firmer and smoother skin and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

This laser targets the underlying causes of dark circles, such as pigmentation and thinning skin. It uses dual-pulsed laser technology to improve skin tone and texture and reduce the appearance of dark circles.

Understanding the genetic aspects of dark circles empowers you to take proactive measures. Combining a tailored skincare regimen, aesthetic interventions, lifestyle adjustments (such as maintaining sufficient sleep), and protective measures against UV exposure can collectively contribute to a brighter, more radiant complexion.

While genetics play a role in the development of dark circles under the eyes, there are various steps you can take to prevent and reduce their appearance. With proper self-care and assistance from aesthetic treatments, you can effectively manage this common cosmetic concern. 

Consult with a dermatologist or an aesthetic doctor for personalised treatment options that cater to your specific needs. Remember, it’s not just about treating the symptoms but addressing the root cause for long-lasting results. So, don’t let genetics hold you back from achieving bright and youthful-looking under-eyes.


There are other possible options available when it comes to some of these aesthetic treatments. The information and advice published on or made available through this website is for informational purposes and not intended to replace the professional advice of a trained health professional.

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Disclaimer: This blog post content was adapted from existing material available in the public domain. No copyright infringement is intended. Credit to original sources has been provided for reference wherever necessary.