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The health and welfare of a child is every parent’s biggest concern and priority. One of the most commonly missed indicators of something not being right with your child can be the dark circles underneath the eyes of the child.
What Do Dark Circles Under Eyes In Children Mean?
The pigmentation underneath your child’s eye is commonly called a dark circle, commonly known as “racoon eyes”. These spots or discolouration of the skin in the region directly under the child’s eye is not usually painful, uncomfortable or harmful by itself. They are usually signs of illness, fatigue or allergies.
What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes In Children?
They are known to appear in a child or adult when the skin underneath their eyes become thin, exposing the blood vessels in the region and causing irregular discolouration. The causes may include:
- Accidental or Non-Accidental Trauma
- Abnormal Skin Pigmentation
- Nose Congestions
- A Deficiency of Iron
- Contact Dermatitis – This is a skin condition that can be contagious and leads to red, patchy or dry skin, this can be itchy and uncomfortable.
- Excessive Exposure to The Sun
- Hereditary – dark circles can be genetic
They can also be caused by:
- Types of Food That Cause Allergies
- Latex Allergy
- A Reaction to Rubber
- A Response to Elastic
- Allergy to Detergent
- Allergies caused by Dyes
- Reactions to Cosmetics
- Reactions to Copper, Metal Or Wire.
For further causes of dark circles in children and more in-depth information on your child specifically, please contact your nearest medical child specialist.
Child Dark Circles Symptoms
The most common symptom in children is the discoloration or irregular pigmentation right underneath the eyes.
In rare they may turn out to be a type of cancer known as a neuroblastoma. This is a malignant tumor that affects the sympathetic nerves.
Here are a few symptoms to look out for that, if accompanied by dark circles, may require medical attention.
- Itchy eyes with swelling could be a sign of conjunctivitis.
- Coughing may signal an allergy.
- Difficulty breathing could be a sign of an allergy or infection.
- A headache could be a sign of problems with the eyes, allergies or infections.
- A runny nose and dark circles could be a sign of an impending flu.
- Sore throat could mean your child has allergies.
- Nasal congestion can be a sign of either the flu or allergies.
- Nausea and vomiting could be a sign of severe allergies or an infection.
- Diarrhoea could be a sign of the stomach flu.
- Skin irritation could be a sign of eczema or allergies.
- White spots on the throat or tonsils could be a sign of severe allergies and tonsillitis.
- Persistent and prolonged cough could be a sign of life threatening allergic reactions that are called Anaphylaxis
- Blurry eyes could be a sign of impending vision loss.
- Rashes on the back and throat could be a sign of allergies.
- Swollen face or inflammation on the body could be a sign of severe, if not life-threatening, allergies and infections.
Diagnosing dark circles may involve blood tests, sleep studies and urine tests.
Questions Your Health Provider May Ask You
During the examination and diagnosis process the doctors may ask you some routine questions. These Include:
- If there is a cough, how long has there been one? How frequent is it?
- In case of rashes, when did they first manifest?
- Is your child allergic to anything you know of?
- How are their sleep patterns?
- Have you tracked their temperature? If so, has it been at a stable temperature or is it fluctuating? How high is their temperature?
Dark circles if left undiagnosed and untreated could lead to some major complications like:
- The possible infection may spread.
- There may be a loss of vision.
- Chances of Anaphylaxis can lead to fatal outcomes.
- A chance of losing the child’s hearing
- Delays in the child’s development
Dark Circle Treatment
Most allergy related causes for dark circles like a runny nose, headaches, throat irritation, coughs, rashes etc. can be treated through antihistamines.
Rest is recommended to combat fatigue, If exposed to the sun for long periods of time, it is advised to use a sunscreen that has the required SPF for your child. In case of trauma, please consult your nearest physician.
Avoid foods your child may be allergic to. Immuno-therapy is recommended in cases of severe allergic reactions that can’t be avoided. Using eczema creams and lotions help battle eczema.
Do consult your healthcare physician before starting any treatments or implementing any action for your child.
Home Remedies For Dark Circles In Kids
Here are some other treatments that have little to no side-effects and can be prepared at home:
- Using warm tea bags on your child’s eye can help alleviate some strain from the muscles in the region surrounding the eye; this ensures relief from fatigue.
- Cucumber slices on the eyes are a well-known method to relax the muscles in the eye region and help combat dark circles.
- Placing cold spoons on top of your eyes may help relieve fatigue.
- Cotton balls soaked in cold water work well in combating dark circles
- Gently massaging your child’s eye lid when closed can help relieve stress temporarily
- · Iron-rich food like spinach can help increase iron levels in the body and over time fight against dark circles caused by a deficiency of iron.
Tips To Avoid Dark Circles
There are numerous ways to avoid dark circles. Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Maintain a healthy nutritionally balanced diet.
- Ensure your child gets the required sleep.
- Exercise is important.
- Iron supplements and vitamin supplements can aid in ensuring nutritional balance which can help fight and avoid dark circles.
- Moderate screen time.
- Don’t over expose them to sunlight. make sure the correct SPF is used on them when outdoors.
Even the smallest of symptoms can lead to extreme consequences when left untreated, dark circles could be completely harmless, but could also be a sign of more severe conditions, it is highly recommended that if your child has “racoon eyes” you consult your nearest medical care advisor.
Also Read: Squint & Amblyopia In Babies