19 answers

Dark Circles - Santa Cruz,CA

Lately I've noticed that my one year old has dark circles under her eyes. At times her eyes look a little red too (the skin around it, not the eyeball itself). I asked my doctor about it and she said it could be allergies, but she would be a little young. I noticed today that she had a bit of a runny nose, but no other symptoms of a cold. Just curious about this. My daughter is pretty fair skinned, but the dark circles are completely new. I think she's sleeping enough (I actually plan to ask if she is sleeping too much on a separate post; 14.5 or so hours/day) so I don't think this is the issue. Any thoughts?

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Dark circles can sometimes be a sign of food allergies. Try eliminating dairy, corn, and wheat to start and see if that makes a difference. There are also doctors and tests that can be tried.

two things, dark circles can indicate a sinus infection.
Also, the allergies can come at any time. I did not get them until my first pregnancy. My son has had them since he was 4 months old. They caused his asthma at that age.
We finally got him allergy tested at the age of 3 to see what meds would work for him.
W. M

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Hi L.,

There is a Children's Wellness Expo in Alameda, Ca. on Saturday Sept 12th at Encinal High School cafeteria from 10-1. There will be a panel of doctors educating how to keep our children and family healthy. One of the doctors is coming from Santa Cruz.

If you are interested in attending let me know and I will put you on the guest list.

Prevention is our medicine.

Have a great day.

N. Marie

1 mom found this helpful

My friend's daughter had the same issue. She switched to soy milk and it went away. I dont know if its just a coincidence but it couldnt hurt to try.

Your doctor is probably correct assuming that it is allergies. My first child suffered with allergies from a very young age. Please have your child checked and treated for the allergies so that it does not get worse. My son ended up with allergy asthma and the only thing that finally got him off of the nebulizer and inhalers was allergy immunotherapy shots that built his body's immunity to and tolerance for the many, many things for which he has allergic reactions. Good luck!

It's possible. I had someone tell me when my boy was about that age that his same eye symptoms mean't he was going to have allergies.

He is the only one of my children that does have allergies. One year was really bad- alot of rain that spring and a lot of tree pollen. (he's 8 now).

I've read that giving LOCAL bee-honey helps with allergies- I havent tried it yet. You can find local honey at farmer's mkts, the fair, sometimes wineries, ect...

Hi L.. I disagree with your dr. From what I've seen, 1 isn't too young to have allergies! My daughter gets circles when she's tired and also it runs in my hubby's side of the family. Hope this helps a little. Good luck.

Dark circles under the eyes are often genetic and doesn't indicate that anything is wrong. However, your baby is not too young for allergies. If you or husband have them, it is entirely possible. You might want to see another ped. Maybe this is too big an assumption based on too little info, but I can't help wondering if your ped is one of those who doesn't take children's pain or discomfort seriously. I hope I am being unfair.

About sleep, you are doing just fine. That is just about the right amount. Babies need tons of sleep. I highly recommend checking out Dr M Weissbluth's healthy sleep habits happy child.

Dear Lilia,

Had the same problem with my 1 yr old (now 3 1/2) I cut out our morning milk and did watered down apple juice. The circles and throat clearing and runny nose were gone in two days!!! He too was getting enough sleep and showed now signs of allergies. Our ped said that sometimes milk causes congestion and that causes the bruises around the sinuses causing dark circles. Try it, it can't hurt and if it doesn't change anything cut out all dairy. It is easier than giving her stuff. Good luck!!

My son also has dark circles under his eyes. He is now 2.5 but at about a year he had been diagnosed with allergies. His pediatrician recommended that I give him 1/2 teaspoon of zyrtec in the AM and PM, each day. I found this excessive and decided to only give it to him during the times when his allergies were bad. The good news is, it looks as though he has now outgrown them, for the most part.

Allergy testing would tell you for sure what exactly she may be reacting to, though at her young age it might or might not work out that well yet (they have to lie on tummy - our allergy testing doc has a little portable DVD player so they can watch a video while the test areas "develop"). What I wanted to say was that FOOD allergies/sensitivities can also cause reactions with skin, circles under eyes etc. Dairy, corn, wheat are big culprits for many people - but there are TONS of foods that can be eaten without these items if you need to eliminate one or all of them. However, if you use many packaged foods or like to eat out, that would have to change - corn especially is pervasive in all kinds of products, both food and non-food.

GOOD LUCK in dealing with it!

S. M.

Yes, absolutely sounds like allergies. I have 3 girls 12, 11 & 7 and unfortunately we all have year-round allergies. My oldest daughter gets dark circles under her eyes. It is the classic allergy symptom. You also mentioned that her nose was a bit runny which made it even more apparent it's allergies. Have you heard of the Netty Pot? You can buy this at Whole Foods or any drug store most likely holistic. It looks like a little tea pot, you add warm water and fine sea salt. Tilt your head over the sink and insert the spout in one nostril and water drains through the other side clearing and cleaning your nasal passage. Since she is one you may just use a product called little noses. It is saline pump for their nose. Not sleeping too much for sure. This is the right amount for a one year old. Hope this helps.

Dark circles can sometimes be a sign of food allergies. Try eliminating dairy, corn, and wheat to start and see if that makes a difference. There are also doctors and tests that can be tried.

I had same type of issue when I was a baby...turned out to be a dairy allergy. Just something to consider. Good luck!!

Hi! Babies should not have dark circles under the eyes. I had them from very young and everyone said it's genetics. Guess what? Nobody else in my family has them. Now, 40 years later, I discover that I have a whole long list of foods I'm allergic (sensitive) to. And, yes, food sensitivities can cause dark circles as undigested food protein accumulate in the capillaries and are visible beneath the thin skin under the eyes. The way I discovered my food sensitivities was when I got really ill with autoimmune symptoms this year. After I eliminated all my problem foods, the dark circles (and back pain and autoimmune symptoms) finally disappeared.

My 3 year old son had dark circles too and of course everyone said it's genetics from me. Well, the dark circles were symptoms. What he had inherited from me were some of my food sensitivities: egg, diary & sugar. When I watch his diet, his dark circles go away.

By the way, food allergies can also make a child really tired, although I don't think your daughter is sleeping too much.

I would suggest you get your daughter tested for IgG (delayed food allergy) or find a NAET doctor. You can read more about both if you google.

Good luck and please feel free to contact me if you need more information.

It's allergies. My ds had hayfever at 6 weeks old, I kid you not! I had to give him benadryl in a dropper or he would sneeze himself silly. He is 16 now so this was some time ago and I didn't have the option of Claratin but he has been on some kind of allergy meds for his ENTIRE life. Try some children's Claratin and Benadryl at night.


Hi L.
I don't know if this helps, but my little sister had dark circles for a long time. It was just that she was very small (the fattest baby, but then got slender) and had thin skin. She also had a puffy bag like thing going on, but she actually grew out of it.
My suggestion is to just make sure she is getting enough rest and fluids and vegetables and fruit- to support her immune system naturally. You can also get a water spray for dry eyes- that might help her. Lastly, if you are really concerned about her under eyes, take your normal baby lotion and moisturize her daily. If the skin looks unhealthy, then take her back to the doctor and ask for more advice.
Hope this helps!
-E. M

I have a 6 year old son, who went through alot with colds & allergies..etc. Now, if he his sick with a cold or flu, he has dark circles and runny nose, etc.

When his allergies are acting up, he only has the runny nose & sometimes cough, no dark circles.

Not sure if my info helps.. hope it does!

two things, dark circles can indicate a sinus infection.
Also, the allergies can come at any time. I did not get them until my first pregnancy. My son has had them since he was 4 months old. They caused his asthma at that age.
We finally got him allergy tested at the age of 3 to see what meds would work for him.
W. M

Sounds like allergies to me, too. She's definitely not too young for them.

she may have allergies even infants can get alleries. they say that it has nothing to with how much she you get. antihistaminesand decongestants may help. you could also get her tested to see what to avoid. dark cicles can also just be inherited. while have a good day S..

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