Could Dark Circles Be Caused by Sinus Problems?

I am 42 year old male. I've suffered blocked sinuses since I was about 15. I had surgery when I was 19. I don't know what they've actually done but nothing changed. Since the op, I've had dark circles.

I've just recently been back to ENT; he examined me with the camera. Everything is in pristine condition apart from inflammation. He gave me nasonex. It's not working and I feel awful going back to see him soon. Should I mention my dark circles to him or my GP? Thank you!

Doctor Answers 4

Dark circles under your eyes are likely from chronic nasal allergy.

Chronic nasal allergy and congestion leads to venous congestion, and deposition of dark pigment in the under eye area. Unfortunately, even if you control your nasal-allergic symptoms with medications like Nasonex, the dark circles will not vanish. In fact, I'm not aware of any treatment for dark circles under the eyes other than concealer.

I hope this is helpful for you.

West Orange Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 418 reviews

Hay Fever

Most likely you have a long history of allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. Patients with this problem frequently have darkening of the peri-orbital areas (allergic shiners or raccoon eyes) felt to be secondary to chronic rubbing. 

Arnold R. Oppenheim, MD
Virginia Beach Dermatologist
4.7 out of 5 stars 14 reviews

Consult a dermatologist

Dark circles can be caused by several factors. Sun damage, heredity, allergies (and chronic eye rubbing) and sinus problems are all in play. Many people have more than one factor causing the problem. A good dermatologist can guide you through the diagnosis and possible options for correction.

Mary P. Lupo, MD
New Orleans Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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Dark circles are not caused by sinus disease

Dear Gal

Your sinus disease did not cause your dark circles. The dark circle is caused by the fact the the lower eyelid skin is very thin with essentially no fat between the skin and the underlying muscle. Light penetrating the skin is absorbed by the muscle rendering the skin dark in appearance. Adjacent cheek is much lighter because of the thick layer of fat that is close to the skin. The fat acts to reflect light back toward the skin. Shadowing can also affect appearance of the lower eyelid circle. Your GP will have no clue how to improve this. Filling the circle can help the appearance of the dark circle.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.