Dark circles are the appearance of discolorations under the eyes. They don’t cause pain or irritation in any way. We all know how we get dark circles if we are sleep-deprived but dark circles can also occur in children. Hereditary could also be one of the reasons why there are bluish circles under your kid’s eyes. But it could also be due to other reasons.
Allergic Shiners – Causes And Triggers
Allergic shiners refer to circles under your eyes which occur due to allergies (1). When there is a blocked nose, blood won’t be able to flow through the veins. So, the veins around the eyes expand and darken as the blood flow gets restricted.
Nasal allergy could be one of the main reasons for allergic shiners. Many children who have dark circles are also continual mouth breathers (2). The main cause of an allergy could be your body’s immune system reacting to a foreign object, like pollen or dust mites. The immune system thinks of these elements as harmful and reacts this way. Such elements are called allergens (3). Nasal allergies in kids are also linked with eczema and asthma, and could be genetic (4).
We all may know a friend who is allergic to dust or pollen, and they can’t stop themselves from sneezing continuously. There are other allergens as well which you may not be familiar with such as pet dander, mold and fungus, and even cockroach feces. People may also develop allergies to food, dairy, eggs, nuts or wheat. Environmental irritants like air pollution, perfumes and fragrances, and tobacco might make the symptoms worse.
How To Identify What Your Kid Is Allergic To?
Seasonal allergies: Check if the symptoms are developing at a particular time of the year. If your symptoms tend to appear around late spring or summer, it can be because of a grass pollen allergy. And, if your symptoms occur during fall, it could be a reaction to grassweed.
Indoor allergies: It could be anything from pet dander, dust mites, and mold. It could also be the reaction to a fragrance of household products like detergents, soaps, shampoos, and cleaners. If your kid’s allergy is persistent, it could be an indoor allergy.
- Symptoms may include blue or purple tint, which looks like dark shadows (5)
- It can also resemble a bruise
- Your child can also experience itching, sneezing, runny nose, cough, nasal congestion, tiredness
- If your child suffers from allergic conjunctivitis, he/she may experience symptoms other than allergic shiners like swelling, itching, redness, and watering of eyes (6)
You can take allergy blood tests for kids who are 3 years and older. But it’s not very reliable for kids younger than that.
You might have to do some Sherlock Holmes work to figure out the cause of allergic shiners. Does it occur around a specific period? Does it occur when you are away from home or pets? Is it after eating something particular? And to identify if it is a food allergy, try eliminating a few food items one at a time for a couple of days, and see if the symptoms still persist. It’s important to be methodical and seek your doctor’s help instead of jumping to conclusions.
How You Can Help
Never use an over-the-counter drug for allergy without your doctor’s consent. Your doctor might suggest some allergy medicine which can be helpful. You can also do a few things from your side to control the trigger which might be causing allergies in your kid. Let’s take a look at how you can help:
- You can use a dust-mite-proof cover on your kid’s crib or mattress
- Get rid of any soft toys, or you can wash them regularly in hot water. Keeping them in the refrigerator for 24 hours is also a good option to kill the dust mites
- Get rid of any carpets and heavy curtains
- Try using natural cleaners with mild fragrances
- Smoke outside the house as tobacco can worsen nasal allergies (7)
- Avoid sweeping or dusting. Instead, you can use a mop or a wet rag
It might seem like a bumpy road when discovering the cause of dark circles under your kid’s eye, but know that you will get there with some help from your doctor. Even a small step like keeping your house clean can have a positive impact on your child’s condition.