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Cosmetic Treatment Options for Lower Eyelid Bags and Dark Circles

Lower eyelid bags and dark circles have many cosmetic treatment options, both surgical and non-surgical. Even patients in their 20’s start considering lower eyelid cosmetic surgery, so it’s not just for “older” patients. As a facial plastic surgeon, every week I see patients who can benefit from any of the treatment options below.

The first non-surgical options include basic skin care, tretinoin, and/or chemical peels. Skin creams or ointments than contain agents such as hydroquinone or similar lighteners can help lighten the dark circle for a more even skin tone. Light chemical peels performed in the office will also smooth the skin color and surface. These nonsurgical methods help improve the skin quality, reduce pigmentary changes, and improves overall appearance of the lower eyelid & cheek areas. Many plastic surgeons and dermatologist will start cosmetic patients on a skin regimen, regardless of having more advanced procedures.

A second more advanced option is to add volume to the “valley” of the lower eyelid, commonly referred to the tear trough and infraorbital rim by cosmetic surgeons. An injectable filler or fat injections are often used to plump up the area. Facial fillers are made of material that is slowly removed naturally by the body over time. Hyaluronic acid facial fillers such as Restylane or Belotero have been used to help smooth this area. Facial filler treatment is performed in the office vial local anesthesia and with long-lasting results, while fat injections are more commonly performed via IV sedation.

The last option for lower eyelid bag improvement is eyelid plastic surgery. Cosmetic surgery of the lower eyelid may remove or reposition fat in the eye bag area, and possibly remove some sagging skin and/or tighten eyelid muscle too. Plastic surgeons typically don’t recommend cosmetic eyelid surgery in young patients as the first option. However, each patient is unique and circumstances may vary. Age alone is not a determining factor if a person is a cosmetic surgery candidate.

Only after a comprehensive evaluation can a cosmetic eyelid specialist help determine appropriate options for you. What questions do you have regarding lower eyelid bag or dark circle treatments?

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    Houtan Chaboki, M.D.