Dark Circle Under My 7 Year Old Sons Eyes

Updated on February 15, 2008
K.M. asks from Roy, UT
53 answers

I noticed my son has dark circles under his eyes a few day ago and this morning they looked really dark. I am wondering if anyone knows any causes for this. I have looked all over the web and can't find anything too helpful. I need to know if I should be worried or not? Should I take him to the doctors? Please help!!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

He has never had any allergies or asthma. He does have a history of eczema though.

Thank you so much for everyone's advice!! I called his Pediatrician and talked to a nurse, they said if I am really worried I should bring him in, but with no other symptoms it would be okay to wait a couple days. I made an appointment with his Pediatrician for Monday, and plan to keep a log of everything he eats and how much he sleeps to bring to the appointment.

Thanks again for all the advice! And I will keep you posted on what the Ped says.

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Boise on

My sister always has dark circles under her eyes. She said it had something to do with an iron deficiency or magnesium I can't remember which but if he takes a vitamin of has a well balanved diet and still has circles I would ask a doc.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Great Falls on

I'm not a doctor, but my daughter had the same thing happen a couple years ago. I took her to the dr. and it ended up being allergies. Circles under the eyes are one of the common symptoms for allergies. We started her on zyrtec and they went away within about a week or two. Claratin is over the counter for kids and works well too. It's worth a try anyway.

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Perhaps it is an allergic shiner? Does he have a history of allergy to pets or dust or plants? My doctor told me my sons circles under his eyes were "allergic shiners" from nasal allergies. Another question is, did his hit his head? Does he have a sinus cold?
Good luck! I put my son on Children's Claritin for a couple of weeks and his symptoms cleared right up.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.P.

answers from Denver on

could be allergies...I'd take your son to the doctor.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.W.

answers from Great Falls on

I'm not a doctor, but my daughter had the same thing happen a couple years ago. I took her to the dr. and it ended up being allergies. Circles under the eyes are one of the common symptoms for allergies. We started her on zyrtec and they went away within about a week or two. Claratin is over the counter for kids and works well too. It's worth a try anyway.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.J.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My daughter tends to get sinus infections, and they are often accompanied by dark circles under her eyes. If your son has had any congestion or coughing, that could be a possibility. Hayfever can do the same thing. Good luck! :)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.C.

answers from Great Falls on

Has he ever been tested for allergies? Sometimes, the dark circles can be known as "allergic shiners". I know that seems weird, but it happens with my son, who is almost 2. He ended up being allergic to milk, eggs and peanuts. Just a thought.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I have heard from other friends that this can have something to do with too much sugar. I don't know more than that but do know she takes her daughter to pediatric chiropractor and that is where she got this information. Sorry, not much help but keep looking and good luck.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.R.

answers from Colorado Springs on

take him in. It could be nothing, but it could be something. Anything from being tired, to diet, to anemia, to a more serious problem. Even if it just helps you sleep better, it worth it.
hope that helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Hi K.,
I don't know if your son has asthma, but I suffered with it as a child and always had dark or purple circles under my eyes. It could also be if he suffers from allergies. My doctor always told my mother it was due to a lack of oxygen. It isn't anything to worry about...it is just a symptom of suffering from allergies or asthma, but doesn't cause any other problems. It tends to come and go in severity based on the season. I hope that helps. M.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.B.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Dark circles can be "allergy shiners" and a symptom of an allergic reaction. Your son could have a form of asthma that does not make him wheeze but is causing him to not have enough oxygen. Or he may be eating something that he is allergic to. I would keep a food log on him for a couple of days and rate how dark the circles are (1 = no circles 5 = darkest) and talk to your doctor. If he pooh-poohs it, I'd consider taking him to an allergist.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.J.

answers from Pocatello on

I've heard that could be from dehydration. I would call the doctor if it continues.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.G.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Have you checked for allergies?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.N.

answers from Boise on

My son is three and has constant circles under his eyes. We are relating it to allergies, specifically food allergies. Even if nothing shows up on Allergy testing. I just came across this great book called "Is This Your Child?" I don't have it with me, so I don't know the author, but it is all about finding out food allergies, that are undetected by normal methods. My son's really flare up when he has dairy. The book is GREAT! and may answer lots of your questions. I hope that helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.H.

answers from Colorado Springs on

Ditto on the allergies! Vitamin C is a natural antihistamine so you might try that.

Also, you could try an elimination diet (which our Allergist & other doc said is the only real indicator). Start by eliminating cows milk and anything containing Casein, Whey, caseinate etc. A great deal of prepared foods have this in them.

Also, there are the blood tests, urine test, hair, stool. Less invasive for the kiddos and typically more accurate than a prick test.

Top Ten environmental Allergens:
Dust Mites
Mold
Pollen
Exhaust Fumes
Fragrance/Perfume
Ozone
Cat Dander
Dog Dander
Dust
Seafood

Top 10 food allergies:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Food_allergy#The_Big_Eight

Milk allergy
Egg allergy
Peanut allergy
Tree nut allergy
Seafood allergy
Shellfish allergy
Soy allergy
Wheat allergy
*You can add Corn & Gluten to this. gluten is found in many grains (not just Wheat).

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.N.

answers from Missoula on

Hi K.,

I am a Registered Nurse and there are several different things that could be the cause of the dark circles under his eyes. Allergies, anemia, clogged tear ducts, or a sleep disorder can be a few of the causes. I would take him to his pediatrician. It might be helpful to keep a diary of what he eats or is in contact with a few days before his appointment. This would help the Dr. determine if the problem is due to allergies. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.K.

answers from Denver on

Sometimes these are called "allergy eyes", my daughter had them horribly at the age of two. When I did a lot of looking into it what she was doing is suffering from sleep apnea. I hadn't even realized as I never really heard a lot of noise coming from her when she slept, however, her Pediatrician and the ENT told me you shouldn't be able to hear a child breathing at night, I could hear her over the baby monitor. We got her tonsils and adnoids removed (her adnoids were HUGE) and that took care of it. She was actually sleeping so much better and peacefully. They were right, I still use the monitor and I cannot hear her. I check on my kids and of course they are breathing, but if your son is noisy sleeping you may check to see if he is having issues at night. I know too that they couldn't tell my daughters adnoids were that bad until they actually came out.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.G.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Dear K.,
Just a thought, my son started having allergies this last summer and one of the things they mentioned was his bluish circles under his eyes, which I had just thought were him! Anyway, I would definitely at leas call the advice nurse at your doctor if not go in.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.J.

answers from Colorado Springs on

My daughter gets those when she is having problems with her allergies.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.P.

answers from Grand Junction on

Aside from lack of sleep, this sometimes can be attributed to allergies. Does he have any that you know of?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.N.

answers from Provo on

My daughter has dark circles under her eyes and she has sleep apnea so she doesn't get very good sleep. She is going to get her tonsils and adenoids out. I'm not saying that what it is, but that is a possible cause for the tired look.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.G.

answers from Colorado Springs on

does your child have allergies? my brother allergies would get so bad as a child that the irritation to the sinuses made it looked like he had black eyes.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.B.

answers from Colorado Springs on

K.,

My son also get dark circles under his eyes. His are a result of allergies. Kids get this tell tale sign called racoon eyes with allergies.

Also, he may not be sleeping well.

Hope thats helpful! :0)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.V.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Sometimes a sinus infection can cause dark circles.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.P.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My doctor told me that allergies can make dark circles under their eyes. My son was allergic to grass, pet hair, weeds, and more. Being tired can also cause dark circles. How is he otherwise? Does he seem tired? Check his other symptoms first like the being tired thing.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.P.

answers from Denver on

My boys get this as well. Our pediatrician said it could be either lack of fluids or allergies.

Hope this helps!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Salt Lake City on

My 3 year has the same issue :-) she has a deadly allergy to peanuts and is allergic to many other things. that is the only thing i can think of for your son as well..is allergies...unless after everyone has gone to bed he gets up and plays..which is also what my 3 year old tends to do...you should have him checked by an allergy specialist for sure though. the testing isn't as bad as what everyone makes it out to be, if my 3 year old can handle the testing i'm sure a 7 year old can. Good luck!

about me: 29 SAHM to 3 year :-)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.R.

answers from Cheyenne on

Hey there, I know a lot of people have responded that it may be allergies. My boys have the same thing and their eye doctor said she can see allergy "bumps" inside their eyes. She told me there is a new test for allergies that doesn't require being pricked all over the back. It is a simple blood test that can determine all the allergies. I haven't checked this out myself yet (their eye appt was just last week) but I think this sounds much better than having owies all over their backs

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.F.

answers from Salt Lake City on

In my daycare I have seen several things associated with the dark circles under eyes.

Not enough sleep
Asthma
Allergies
sinus infection (my son got them every time)
I have had one child who just naturally had them.
Unless you child is showing other signs of sickness I would just watch and see if they change or if a health problem develops, runny nose, excessive sneezing etc....

A.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.A.

answers from Boise on

Hi K.,
I have two friends with children that have darker coloring or actual dark circles under their eyes. It turned out that they both had allergy/sinus issues. Of course if he is sleeping normal, etc.. then I would think it would be allergies.
I would take him in for a peace of mind and they may suggest an ENT.
Good Luck!
T- (Working mom with a 7 year old daughter)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Boise on

My sister always has dark circles under her eyes. She said it had something to do with an iron deficiency or magnesium I can't remember which but if he takes a vitamin of has a well balanved diet and still has circles I would ask a doc.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Denver on

Hi K.

Does your son drink milk?

Dairy can cause this. I would suggest eliminating dairy from your sons diet.

I learned this from a nutritional consultant, author & healthy lifestyle educator, Kelly Hayford. Kelly has written a book, If It's Not Food, Don't Eat It", which I highly recommend. If you want to ask Kelly any questions about this you can contact her at ____@____.com or her website, www.KellyHayford.com

Hope you are doing well!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.R.

answers from Denver on

Is he getting enough water? He may be dehydrated. When I haven't had enough water I get dark circles under my eyes.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.H.

answers from Grand Junction on

Hi K.,
My aunt noticed dark circles under my daughters eyes when she was 2. She recommended a chewable vitamin C for it. She said that it was due to a low grade allergy that wasn't manifesting in any other symptoms. I tried it and it worked like a charm.
Good Luck, L.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.M.

answers from Great Falls on

possible causes:
a) not enough sleep
b) too much watching of the screen: TV, computer.
c) some problems with kidneys.
Advice:
1. much more time to sleep for a week, and then see
2. limit the screen activities to minimum, say 1 hour a day.
3. If a week of shanging the scedule as mentioned above won't help then
Doctor: good, they will do tests and check the kidneys and whatever else could cause it

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.R.

answers from Denver on

Dark circles can be tiredness...but they can also be immune system issues. I'd say if they don't go away soon, see a doctor.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.R.

answers from Grand Junction on

Dark circles can be a sign of illness or they can also indicate he's not sleeping well. I'd take him to the doctor, he'll be able to administer an allergy prick test, check for asthma, eczema, and all the other possibilities.

Ally

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.W.

answers from Colorado Springs on

I've heard that this could be an allergic reaction to milk products.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

I have never had this problem with my kids, but I just had Clinique do my make-up and asked the girl working there the cause of these circles under my eyes. She said that when we are tired, stressed, etc. the blood vessels under our skin actually break and that is what makes the circles under our eyes appear. Is it possible that he has not had enough sleep lately? Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.W.

answers from Salt Lake City on

Sometimes children with allergies have darkness under their eyes (my daughter has a lot of allergies and mild excema, and an allergy doctor told me that is why she has a bit of shadow under her eyes a lot... so does her little friend... her friend's mom was relieved when I pointed out the dark under the eyes connection). So if your son has allergies, that might be the answer.

B.T.

answers from Fort Collins on

You've had many good recommendations already: suspect allergies, take him in to the doctor to check for other possible causes, get the book "Is This Your Child?" by Doris Rapp (you can probably find it through your library). After spending years dealing with my son's allergies, I found the most effective treatment by far (combined with eating a high-quality diet) has been BioSET, an allergy-elimination technique. If you're not comfortable with alternative healthcare, you probably won't want to start here but I wish I had started with it--it would have saved me thousands of dollars and years of frustration and worry, not to mention his years of discomfort. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.P.

answers from Provo on

My four year old son gets them too. It usually means he is getting sick. Unless your son has a fever, or other abnormal symptoms, I don't think you have any reason to worry. But, if your dr has a nurse you can talk to, that always makes me feel better.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Pocatello on

My daughter had dark circles under her eyes for a few years. It was because she was sick. She had a history of bladder infections and while they were going on she was pale and had dark circles under her eyes. Once we got rid of the infections the dark circles went away. Keep an eye on your son and make sure that everything is okay. As other people have commented, allergies, asthma, or anything that may be affecting his health no matter how mild can wear him out and give him some dark circles.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.L.

answers from Pocatello on

I know that I have dark circles under my eyes which I've unfortunately passed on to two of my kids. The circles under my kids eyes tend to get quite a bit darker when they are tired, sleep deprived (just about the same thing), just about to come down with some kind of illness, in the winter time (when they usually don't see as much sun), and if they get a bit anemic (which would explain the tired!). There is honestly nothing you can do about it (if it's hereditary) except make sure he gets enough sleep, which will also help with any illness he may be coming down with. It also could be caused by some sort of allergy. I don't know if it's the same thing as with your son, but sometimes the circles look so dark it's almost like they have black eyes! I'd still ask your doctor about it if you're really concerned, but this is something I've had to live with my whole life & boy do I stock up on the concealer! Good luck and hopefully I helped just a little!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.P.

answers from Provo on

My kids get this when they are having a hard time breathing (they have asthma). If your son is having snoring, wheezing, coughing issues, the dark circles can signal they aren't breathing well and getting enough air. It also happens when they are not sleeping well because of their air issues. It can signal sleep apnea (which for my kids is caused by asthma). Obviously, it doesn't have to be asthma, but I think I'd take my child to the pediatrician to be sure the circles are OK.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Chicago on

My son has the same problem. At first I thought it was he wasn't getting enough sleep but, soon came to realize that it is related to allergies or if he is starting to get a cold. Look for signs of a stuffy nose and disacharge I bet this is probably your problem also. Good luck to you. Also do either you or your husband have dark circles under your eyes naturally???? It could be genetic!!!!!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.T.

answers from Cheyenne on

My son, who is also 7, had dark circles under his eyes. I paid no mind to it. Although, I noticed he also had bad breath and sniffled alot. I took him to the doctors and she stated that he had all the tell tale signs of allergies. We put him on singulair and all disappeared. We tried it for a month, as a trial period, and then let him go without for 3 weeks. It is now the end of the 3 weeks and all are back. I have made an appointment with the doctor- I believe he has allergies. I do not know if your son has any of those other signs but it might be worth asking about.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.L.

answers from Pueblo on

Might be not enough sleep or quality sleep. Check nose for stuffiness and throat for enlarged tonsils and andeniods.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Missoula on

Hello.
I found out when my son was 2 that he had asthma, and he has always had the dark circles under his eyes. Sometimes he has even looked like he has had black eyes, from a fight or something of that nature. You may want to ask a doctor about that, or pay attention to what happens depending on what he eats.
I hope this helps.
L. Mosbrucker from Montana

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.S.

answers from Denver on

Allergies! My daughter gets these (shiners), and it's a family thing, her dad, aunt and grandma all get them too. Try washing all his bed linens and putting an air purifier in his room, it's possible dust mites or something else in his room is causing the allergy reaction. Or maybe a new dog or cat?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Denver on

My son has allergies and I was told by our allergist that these "allergy shiners" are because of his allergies. When his allergies are bothering him the most, is when his shiners seem darkest.

K. K

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from Denver on

If you're concerned, always give your doc a call.

He may have allergies - dark circles under the eyes are often present then. You might also look in on him at night to make sure he is sleeping well and that his breathing is normal. He may be having apnea at night. All things to talk to your doc about.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.F.

answers from Provo on

It could be a number of things. Some are not to worry and some are. You do need to take him to the doctor to find out if it is a concern. I would recommend a wholistic doctor they can treat any of the issues with your son with nutrition.

Next question: Daughter Has Dark Circles and Nasaly