Dark Circles in Pregnancy: Causes & Natural Treatment

Dark Circles During Pregnancy – Causes and Remedies

Medically Reviewed By
Dr. Sanjana Sainani (Gynecologist/Obstetrician)
View more Gynecologist/Obstetrician Our Panel of Experts

Pregnant women usually get compliments on their glowing skin. But, their bodies undergo numerous changes internally and externally. The occurrence of dark circles is one of them. Dark circles under the eyes is a common occurrence in pregnant women. To explain in brief, dark circles denote sleep deprivation, stress, etc. If you have noticed dark circles during your term, be assured that there are ways to help reduce them as well. Read on to know more.

Can You Get Dark Circles During Pregnancy?

Yes, there are chances that you can get dark circles when you are pregnant. Medically, the condition is also referred to as melasma, which can also be described as the pregnancy mask. Dark circles usually occur when the melanin in the skin starts accumulating around the eyes.

Let’s take a look at what causes dark circles in pregnant women.

What Causes Dark Circles During Pregnancy?

Although pigmentation is one of the prime reasons for dark circles, there are a bunch of other causes too that lead to dark circles.

1. Hormone-Induced Blood Vessel Dilation

A pregnant woman’s body constantly undergoes hormonal changes/fluctuations. These fluctuations could affect the blood vessels, and cause them to dilate to accommodate more blood. The skin under the eyes is very delicate and thinner than the skin on the other parts of the face. The dilated blood vessels under the eyes give a darker undertone which we commonly call dark circles.

2. Lack of Exercise

Exercise help provides enough oxygen to the body. A healthy person’s blood is usually bright red in colour. This is because the blood carries oxygen in substantial quantities. When oxygen synthesis is reduced due to lack of exercise, the colour of the blood becomes bluish-black, which results in dark areas on the skin.

3. Insufficient Sleep

Sleep deprivation or insufficient sleep is a major cause of dark circles since it does not give enough time for the skin to recover and rebuild itself. This leads to stress on the eyes as well and results in dark circles under them.


4. Retention of Fluid

Fluid retention is a common problem observed in many pregnant women. Although it directly may not result in dark circles, this definitely is a precursor for inflammation, which could lead to the accumulation of blood in affected areas. If the area under the eyes is inflammed, it will lead to the appearance of dark circles.

Usually, just rest and a good diet can take care of dark circles. However, serious inflammations may require medical attention. Should you rush to a doctor the second you notice dark circles during pregnancy? Not really. You may try some of these useful tips to take care of those dark circles at home.

Tips to Cure Dark Circles During Pregnancy

A bunch of quick home remedies can be quite effective in curing dark circles in pregnant women. Here are some of them.

  • Avoid drinking aerated drinks during pregnancy.
  • Opt for food that is rich in Vitamin C.
  • Use fresh milk cream and apply under eyes for quick results.
  • Apply raw almond oil under eyes and let it stay overnight.
  • Crush mint leaves, extract its juice and mix it with tomato juice. Apply it all over your face, including under the eye. Wash it after 5 to 6 minutes.
  • Placing cold tea bags under your eyes can be effective, too.
  • Premium quality rose water is known to work wonders. Soak some cotton in rose water, squeeze out the excess water and keep the cotton on your eyes. You may also take a short 10-minute nap till the rose water works its magic.
  • Meditate and practise relaxation exercises to reduce stress and sleep better.
  • Cucumber or raw potato slices can also keep your eyes cool and improve blood circulation around them.

Along with these home remedies, you may also try some of this simple massage to improve blood circulation under your eyes.

Massage to Lighten Dark Circles

As mentioned earlier, dark circles are caused by obstruction of blood flow under the eyes. This simple massage can help you get some oxygen-rich blood flowing to the area around your eyes and lighten the appearance of dark circles. Here’s what you need to do –

  • You may apply an eye cream or a moisturiser before you start the massage.
  • Using your index and middle finger, gently tap the area around your eyes.
  • Begin under the inner corner of the eyes. With both your hands, gently tap as you move your fingers outwards, stopping at the outer corner of the eyes.
  • Repeat this 3 to 5 times.
  • Then, from the top of your eyebrows, tap as you move till the end of your brows.
  • Repeat this step 3 to 5 times.
  • Now, begin tapping again from the top of your eyebrows till the end of the eyebrows. Continue massaging till the inner corner of the eyes, forming a circle.
  • Repeat this for another 3 to 5 times

Remember not to pull the skin under the eyes at any point and massage the area with slow and gentle taps only.

Some of you may find this information too much to handle and may wonder if there are ways to prevent dark circles during pregnancy. Well, there are a few ways to prevent dark circles, but their appearance depends on your tendency to develop them. Nonetheless, you may try some of these tips to prevent them and seek medical attention if required.

How to Prevent Dark Circles During Pregnancy

There are a few ways you could reduce the appearance of dark circles during pregnancy.

  • Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly and keeping your skin moisturised.
  • Use cold towels on the eyes to reduce the stress and relax the nerves.
  • Place slices of frozen cucumber and lemon on your eyes before sleeping.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Do not use cosmetics or creams with harsh chemicals around the eyes.


If after taking precautions, you still end up having dark circles, you may try the remedies provided in the article above. However, some women may develop dark circles due to underlying medical issues. Although your regular check-ups should help you address these issues, delaying a consultation may lead to the condition getting worse. So, when should you consult a doctor? Let’s find out.

When to Consult a Doctor

Dark circles could also be a sign of thyroid problem or anaemia. Get a health check-up done to confirm the same. If the dark circles start getting irritating, the skin gets tender and red and begins to bleed, contact your doctor immediately.

Dark circles under the eyes during pregnancy is not something women want to worry about during pregnancy. Although it might be due to various medical reasons, lifestyle choices could also cause them. Adhering to a proper exercise regime, keeping yourself hydrated and resting well can help those dark circles fade away in no time.


Also Read:

Eye Infections during Pregnancy
Common Pregnancy Problems and Their Solutions
Can You Get a Facial While Pregnant?

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