Is There Any Relation Between Dark Circles And Iron Deficiency?

A lot of women are concerned about their general appearance, suffering when they notice dark circles or under-eye bags. Presuming that you did not sleep sufficiently or that you should be drinking more water is not bad; however, your dark circles might be suggestive of an underlying medical problems, such as iron deficiency anemia. In such situations, it is recommended that you solve the anemia problem, as this will make the dark circles go away. In this article, we will talk about the relation between dark circles and iron deficiency, a particular form of anemia.

Iron-deficiency anemia and its signs

When your body does not have sufficient iron, this means that the red blood cells are going to be affected. Moreover, they will not be able to efficiently transport oxygen to the various tissues of the body, skin included. Because of that, dark circles may appear around the eyes. However, you must not take this as the only sign of iron-deficiency anemia. You should look for other associated symptoms, such as the constant tiredness, vertigo and lack of energy. If you suspect that you are suffering from iron deficiency, all you need to do is get yourself tested.
Keep in mind that women present higher risks for such problems, given their restrictive diets (often poor in iron) and also because of the blood loss during the menstruation period.

Relationship between dark circles and iron deficiency

As it was mentioned above, the red blood cells require iron, to transport oxygen to the different tissues. When you suffer from iron deficiency, the proper functioning of hemoglobin is affected and the tissues suffer from the lack of oxygenation. The dark circles that appear around the eyes might be a sign that the skin in the respective area is not oxygenated enough. Apart from that, the entire skin might suffer from paleness, being described as ashy. Pregnant women might present a higher risk for such problems, given the intense demand for iron during the pregnancy.

Iron-rich diet, the best weapon against such problems

Once we have established that there is a powerful connection between dark circles and iron deficiency, it is time to talk about the different solutions available. If you want to escape the dark circles under the eyes and improve the other symptoms of the iron-deficiency anemia, you need to follow an iron-rich diet. The good news is that there are a lot of healthy foods that are rich in iron, such as red meat, chickpeas, lentils, seeds and beans.

You might not be aware of this, but iron is better absorbed at the level of the body (skin included), in the presence of vitamin C. So, if you want to ensure the successful absorption of iron, you need to consume foods that are rich in this vitamin as well. Green leafy veggies, such as kale, spinach or broccoli are definitely recommended; you can also increase the consumption of seaweed and soy for the same reasons.

If the iron-rich diet is not sufficient to solve the iron deficiency, you might need to take iron supplements. These are prescribed by the doctor and they should be accompanied by vitamin C supplements as well (to guarantee the proper absorption).

Iron-deficiency, not the only cause of dark circles

Even though iron deficiency often leads to dark circles around/or under the eyes, it should not be considered as the only cause. On the contrary, there are many more other factors that can cause similar problems. Genetic inheritance has been often named among the most common causes of dark circles, as well as allergies, food intolerances and medication (side-effect). The lack of sleep, inadequate skin care and the excessive exposure to the sun are believed to be causative factors as well. As for specific conditions, there are people who suffer from periorbital hyperpigmentation, where increased quantities of melanin are produced in that specific area.

A correct diagnosis can ensure that you are taking the right measures to
eliminate the dark circles. If the problem is mainly caused by the iron deficiency, you can fight against it with an iron-rich diet and also with the help of iron supplements. You might also need to start taking better care of yourself, sleeping more hours, eating healthy foods and drinking adequate quantities of water. Developing an efficient skin care routine is essential, as you need to protect yourself against aging and other related problems.


When you have noticed that the dark circles have become a common problem, you need to visit the doctor and obtain an adequate diagnosis. Once you have established that you suffer from iron-deficiency anemia, you can take the necessary measures to improve your symptomatology. Also, do not forget about the moisturizing of the skin, as this can make the dark circles less visible.



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