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Question of the day: Dark circles under the eyes-

Posted Oct 22 2008 9:30pm 2 Comments

Email Reader Janine C. writes in today:


my 7 month old daughter used to get dark circles under her
eyes when she was tired. now she's waking up with them and
has them all day. rubbing her eyes often, too. it's troubling me.

i asked my pediatrician and her reply was 'could be allergies.' so, what
do i do? how can i receive a better diagnosis? we have 4
indoor/outdoor cats. baby411 states early exposure to animals
can be good. could this be seasonal allergies? could this be
a sign of something more serious? thanks for any feedback and
consideration to add a little more on this in the next

best, janine


Thanks for writing in. Dark circles under a child's
eyes are relatively uncommon in an infant unless it's
a hereditary thing. However, your pediatrician is
correct that "allergic shiners" can occur due to a
response to allergens--in an infant, that is not
seasonal allergies but environmental ones. The tops on
that list are carpet molds and dust mites. These
indoor allergens occur not matter how clean you keep
your home, but obviously can be more prevalent in
homes with wall to wall carpeting than those with tile
or wood floors.

If your baby is rubbing her eyes AND has those
shiners, it may be wroth talking to your doctor about
ways to limit these allergens in your home (or
discussing it with an allergist). Allergy testing,
other than for food allergies, are not really done in
kids under 4-5 years of age. It's probably not the

Dr. Brown
author, BABY 411 * TODDLER 411

Comments (2)
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Hello my name is Shannon,

 I have a 7 year old son I took him to the doctor because he had a eczema flair up and I got his medical cream for him I asked the doctor about the dark circles under his eyes he said with having my son have a skin allergy that it goes with allregies but the darkness is always there sometimes light some times dark but doesn't usually have any other syptoms unless a cold if the cold is really bad he gets puffer, but the blue shiners are always there with no other symptoms.

I have animals and carpet but his eczema isn't always there so could it be a food allergy and if so if he always has them how do you know when he's allergic to a specific thing? or could it be a combination of all of the above?

He doesn't ever complain either about anything wrong except for his break out once in a while. I'm not sure what i should do next because if i get rid of the animals and the carpet and take away certin food to see what he allergic and nothing works i would have gotten rid of the animals for no reason and I really don't want to have to that happen.

What would you recommend, I think i'm leaning more towards the food allergy rather then the animals 

Sorry to hear that Janine its too early for the baby child, Dark circles in children are unusual, but they can be caused by allergies and congestion. Frequent congestion, in particular, can cause visible discoloration in the veins under the eyes.

If your child continues to experience , seek prompt medical care. This may be attributed to a respiratory infection or dehydration.

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