Science / Health

Are Facial Fillers Helping with Dark Under-eye Circles?

Authored by: Dr. Dominique Laatz MSc. MSc. (German Dental & Dermatology Center, Doha, Qatar)

Many people struggle with dark under-eye circles. In our active society, these circles are all too often misinterpreted as a sign of sleep deprivation, stress, malnutrition and premature aging. This has already led to a considerable amount of self-awareness among an ever-growing group of people, both male and female. A whole branch of cosmetic products, dedicated to address this issue, promise instant improvements and people regularly line up in masses to spend a lot of money for short-lasting covering makeup, which don’t even start to address the underlying issue at hand.

Dark under-eye circles – also medically referred to as “tear through abnormality” – stem from a deficiency of fat underneath the eye area. This makes the area appear sunken in, dark and hollow.

The main cause is a genetic anatomical predisposition in regards to the facial structure, but also factors like dehydration, sleep deprivation, malnutrition and excessive sun exposure must be considered. Unfortunately, as we age, facial fat tends to disappear or get redistributed to unwanted locations within our face. So, the issue isn’t solved by sitting it out.

Understandably, people are looking for more permanent or at least semi-permanent solutions to compensate this structural and anatomical problem.

A relatively new approach, based on the injection of hyaluronic acid based dermal fillers, seeks to smoothen the skin depression under the eye by replacing the missing facial fat with a filler. Hyaluronic acid is organic and naturally produced within our body, which explains why patients largely respond very well to the injected volume. It is the ingredient of choice for most dermal filler treatment protocols because of its ability to bolster and plum cheeks, lips and – as explained in this article – also unwanted dark under-eye circles.

As part of the procedure, the medical professional will place a series of injections (typically 3 – 5 per side) in the area under the eyes to fill up the volume deficiency in the sense of a replacement of the missing under-eye fat pads. Afterwards, a soft massage of the treated area is performed to enhance the smoothening effect. It takes around 20 – 30 minutes and is usually priced between 500$-1300$ (depending on the quantity needed to achieve the result). While – as all other filler treatments – not permanent, the results can last up to 9 months and beyond to over one year.

For this specific purpose, most specialists prefer so-called lightweight and soft hyaluronic acid fillers over thicker dermal fillers, which might give too much volume and risk creating an artificial looking outcome.

The procedure can literally be done during a lunchtime and may cause minor bruising or swelling. Afterwards the patient is advised to cool the treated area for the rest of the day and to not to have high-intensity cardio-vascular workouts for 1-2 days. Otherwise, the daily duties shouldn’t be affected considerably.

The procedure, as all other cosmetic injectable procedures like Botox and other filler applications, is usually being performed by specialists of esthetic medicine such as Dermatologists and Plastic Surgeons.( read more about Botox in German dental & Dermatology Centre)

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