Are Under Eye Fillers A Good Idea? Weighing The Pros And Cons

The world of cosmetic treatments has seen remarkable advancements. Dermal fillers stand out as a popular choice. In 2020 alone, millions turned to these treatments for facial enhancement. These fillers offer a non-surgical solution to aging signs like wrinkles and volume loss. They range from Hyaluronic Acid to Poly-L-lactic Acid. 

These dermal fillers have even found their way into under-eye treatments. This provides a refreshed look despite not being FDA-approved for this specific area. They have a range of options and minimal downtime. That’s why they’ve become a go-to for those seeking a youthful appearance. However, like any cosmetic procedure, they come with risks, making professional consultation essential.

What Are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal fillers are gel-like substances that are injected under the skin. Their primary purpose is to give the skin a smoother and fuller appearance. These fillers are widely used in cosmetic treatments to augment facial features by adding volume and reducing lines.

Dermal Filler Treatments

Types of Dermal Fillers

Temporary Fillers: 

  • Hyaluronic Acid: A natural sugar found in the body.
  • Calcium Hydroxylapatite: A mineral and an essential component of bone.
  • Poly-L-lactic Acid (PLLA): A biodegradable, synthetic material.

FDA-Approved Applications Of Dermal Fillers

The following are the approved uses of dermal fillers by the FDA:

1. Smoothing Facial Wrinkles and Folds 

These fillers are used to lessen wrinkles and folds around the nose and mouth area.

2. Enhancing Lip Fullness

They are also employed to augment and enhance the fullness of lips.

3. Improving Cheek Contours

Dermal fillers can increase volume in the cheek region, leading to contours.

4. Treating Acne Scars

They are utilized to fill in and improve the appearance of scars caused by acne.

5. Rejuvenating Aging Hands

Adding volume dermal fillers helps minimize the visibility of veins and tendons in aging hands.

6. Addressing Facial Fat Loss (Facial Lipoatrophy)

Beneficial for individuals with HIV, dermal fillers help combat fat loss. 

What Is An Under-Eye Filler?

Under-eye filler, commonly referred to as dermal or soft tissue filler, is a treatment using hyaluronic acid injections to improve the appearance of sunken or discolored areas under the eyes. Dermatologists widely use it to address issues like dark circles and under-eye bags, even though its original use was for enhancing cheeks, lips, and hands. The effects of under-eye filler are typically visible right after the injection, though there might be some temporary swelling or bruising.

Under-eye fillers, especially those with hyaluronic acid, aren’t specifically approved by the FDA for use under the eyes. They are approved for other parts of the face, like cheeks and lips. However, doctors often use them under the eyes, too. This use is called ‘off-label’ and is common in medicine. It’s seen as safe and effective by doctors. But it’s always good to talk to a healthcare professional. You can also check the latest FDA information for the most up-to-date advice. 

Choosing Under-Eye Filler

You need an expert who knows the eye area well to see if under-eye filler is right for you. Good candidates usually have hollows under their eyes and firm skin. If the skin under your eye is firm, the filler will stay in place better.

But, if you have loose skin or bags under your eyes, filler might need to be fixed. It can make the bags look bigger instead of hiding them. A filler works best when there’s just a hollow area to fill. 

How Dermal Filler Treatments Work?

The dermal filler procedure varies based on the type of filler chosen. Initially, you’ll have a consultation to select the appropriate filler and understand the procedure and recovery. 

The Procedure Steps:

  • The treatment area is marked and cleaned.
  • Numbing cream is applied to minimize discomfort.
  • The filler is injected with a small needle or a blunt-edged cannula.

The process involves one or more injections under each eye. Techniques like linear threading, where the filler is applied as the needle is withdrawn, may be used. In cases of fat transfers, liposuction is done first. 

Most people experience little to no pain, typically feeling only a slight pressure. The proximity of the needle to the eye might be unsettling for some. The whole procedure usually takes between 10 to 20 minutes. 

Risks And Side Effects Of Under-Eye Filler

Every injection, including under-eye fillers, carries some risk. Being aware of these risks is crucial before proceeding with the treatment. Common side effects of under-eye fillers are bruising and swelling. Sometimes, nodules or bumps can form under the eye. 

A rare but serious risk is blindness. This can happen if the filler blocks a blood vessel in the eye. Therefore, choosing a well-trained and experienced injector who can assess whether you’re a suitable candidate for the procedure is vital. 

To bolster the appearance of the area under your eyes, there are options aside from using under-eye fillers. 

What Are Other Treatment Options To improve The Under-eye Area?

1. Creams and Serums

These skincare products often contain ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, and hyaluronic acid to help minimize circles and puffiness.

2. Laser Treatments

Utilizing laser technology, these treatments can target pigmentation issues. Improve the texture of the skin beneath your eyes. 

3. Chemical Peels

Gentle chemical peels can be beneficial in rejuvenating the skin under your eyes by diminishing circles and fine lines.

4. Microneedling

This procedure stimulates collagen production, resulting in skin elasticity and overall appearance.

5. Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)

An option involves removing skin and fat around the eyes to address concerns such as bags, wrinkles, or drooping eyelids.

6. Fat Transfer

In this approach, fat from another part of your body is injected into the area under your eyes to add volume and reduce areas.

7. Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP) Therapy

Utilizing platelets from your blood can effectively rejuvenate the skin, add to the texture, and minimize circles.

8. Lifestyle Adjustments

Getting sleep, maintaining a balanced diet, and being properly hydrated can make a noticeable difference in how your under-eye area looks. 

Dermal fillers have become a key part of cosmetic treatments. They are widely used for a variety of facial enhancements. From reducing wrinkles to improving under-eye areas, they offer a range of solutions.

While effective, it’s important to be aware of the risks. Consider other options like creams, lasers, or lifestyle changes. Whatever your choice, it is essential to get advice from a professional. This will ensure safe and satisfying results. Remember, the right treatment depends on your individual needs and goals.

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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