If your eyes seem tired all the time — with dark circles or a sunken, empty look — you might be one of the many people who don’t get enough sleep. But if you’re feeling rested and know you’re getting the requisite quality and quantity of good ZZZs, you might not be intrigued by a cosmetic procedure that’ll make you look more rested: a dermal filler injection in the area under the eyes.
Could you be a good candidate? Here’s the info on this procedure, plus insight from a top dermatologist on what issues it can—and can’t—improve.
First off, what are dermal fillers?
Undereye fillers are a type of cosmetic filler. Overall, dermal fillers are very popular: according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 3.4 million procedures were performed using “soft tissue” cosmetic fillers in 2020 (this includes all fillers, not just those affecting the under-eye area) .
Dermal fillers are regulated as medical devices by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the FDA states that studies on dermal fillers (which have been approved by the FDA) show that people are generally happy with the results.
What is under eye filler?
In this type of dermal filler procedure, a hyaluronic acid filler is injected into the area under the eyes, and because it fills the space, fans say it improves the appearance of dark circles and/or dark circles under the eyes. According to the FDA, hyaluronic acid is a polysaccharide (a type of sugar) that occurs naturally in our body tissues. In gel form, it combines with water and swells, creating a smoothing or plumping effect. The American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) says that because hyaluronic acid is a soft, gel-like substance, it is used in areas where that softness is important, such as around the eyes and lips. It is absorbed by the body over time, which is why the dermal filler has a temporary effect.
“Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in our bodies, around our bones, and in our skin from birth,” says dermatologist Mona Gohara, MD, associate clinical professor of dermatology at the Yale School of Medicine. “It’s like a micro-sponge when it absorbs the water in our body – it swells! As you age, you gradually lose hyaluronic acid and your skin loses elasticity and begins to dry out, sag and form wrinkles. Since hyaluronic acid has this ability to absorb water, it stretches the skin as a filler and also smoothes fine lines and wrinkles.
What Are the Benefits of Eye Fillers?
“The biggest thing this procedure fixes is a sunken pit under the eye that casts a shadow under the eyes and causes dark circles,” says Dr. Gohara. “The hole is caused by a lack of collagen and hyaluronic acid, and you effectively replace it with putty. Putty can help add volume to the area, which can help reduce the circles.
As reported in Annals of Dermatology, Dark circles are not a medical problem; They are a cosmetic issue. Hyaluronic acid, delivered through microneedles, can be used to improve dark circles caused by thin skin or tear pits (a fancy name for the natural hollow under the eyes closest to the nose), as well as wrinkles in tight or sagging skin caused. These tear pits can cause dark circles by “casting a dark shadow on the lower eyelid,” according to a 2012 study published in Journal of Skin and Cosmetic Surgery.
When is eye filler not the best option?
“Hyperpigmentation under the eyes can also come from melanin [naturally darker skin under the eyes] or blood vessels just under the skin,” says Dr. Gohara. “In this case, you may not get the results you would get if the dark circles under the eyes are due to the hollow shadow. Treatment is much more effective when the shadow of the hollow is present. But, she continues, “if the doctor is able to separate the skin from the underlying vessels and use the filler to create a small space between them, it can work a little.” However, the best result is achieved when darkness emanates from a sunken or sunken area under the eyes.
What side effects can eye fillers have?
According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, you can expect bruising because the area under the eyes has thinner skin with lots of blood vessels. Swelling is also common. There are other possible side effects: If fillers are not injected properly, the area may end up looking more swollen and discolored. This can be treated by injecting it with an enzyme that breaks down the filler. Infection or nodules are also possible (and treatable) side effects. Then there are much more serious – but rare – complications, including blindness. And that underscores the fact that you really, really need to see a doctor who is well trained in this procedure, ie a board-certified dermatologist who has been trained in cosmetic treatments, or a board-certified plastic surgeon. It is best not to go to a “medical spa” – but stay with a certified doctor. dr Gohara says, “It’s a difficult situation to work in the eye area where things can go wrong. This is not the time to use this Groupon! There’s a reason people went to medical school for this.
They are very different. A neurotoxin, Botox (and other similar neurotoxins) is injected into the facial muscles in small amounts, according to the AAFPRS; This prevents your muscles from tightening, which loosens the skin and makes it appear smoother. “Botox relaxes these muscles,” says Dr. Gohara. “Under eye filler is very different – you add volume. These loads do not affect the muscles.
“It’s important to see the doctor beforehand so they can assess your specific anatomy,” says Dr. Gohara. And loud Journal of Skin and Cosmetic Surgery, certain things should be avoided at least five days before the procedure to reduce the risk of bruising: aspirin and NSAIDs, vitamin E, and gingko biloba. dr Gohara also suggests discontinuing fish oil supplements. “In the days leading up to the procedure, you want to remove anything that might be thinning the blood, which would lead to more bruising. You don’t want to look like you got into a fight at a bar,” she says. “Some dermatologists suggest taking arnica supplements — and I suggest patients eat pineapple the week before because it contains a group of enzymes called bromelain that may help with bruising. It’s anecdotal, but it’s not bad for you and it may even help!
What happens during the procedure:
“Some dermatologists use a topical anesthetic; there is no needle numbness,” says Dr. Gohara. In other cases, the anesthetic is mixed into the product so that there is no prior anesthetic. Then the numbing cream is wiped off and the area cleaned. I have the patient semi-recumbent – I want them to be comfortable, but I also want to see what they look like in normal gravity when I do the procedure. »
Then comes the time of the injection. “The doctor uses a prefilled syringe, sometimes mixed with lidocaine, which constricts and numbs the vessels. The doctor injects it into the skin below the epidermal/dermal area [the top layers]to add volume. The whole thing takes 15 to 30 minutes, from soup to nut. The doctor can apply very little pressure to adjust it, but not a heavy or firm massage.
One benefit of hyaluronic acid, adds Dr. What Gohara adds is that she can disintegrate if something goes wrong. “If someone doesn’t like the results, you want the option to turn them down. »
What does after-sales support include?
“Right after that, the doctor sometimes applies ice to reduce the inflammation,” says Dr. Gohara. “I tell my patients to avoid vigorous exercise that night and they can resume normal activities the next day. This should be easy and low-maintenance for the patient, with a good result.
How long do under eye fillers last?
The hyaluronic acid filler is gradually absorbed by the body. dr Gohara says, “People metabolize things differently — typically, eye fillers last anywhere from 6 months to a year. »
Who Should Avoid Dermal Fillers?
According to the FDA, dermal fillers may not be appropriate for people with bleeding, certain allergies, and certain other medical conditions; The FDA suggests having a conversation with your primary care physician to make sure the procedure is right for you and asking the doctor performing the procedure to clearly explain the potential benefits and risks.
How much does it cost to get under the eye fillers?
The American Society of Plastic Surgeons state that the average cost of hyaluronic acid fillers is €684 per syringe according to their 2020 statistic – however they do point out that there are different costs for a patient based on geographic location, experience and expertise of the patient physician and the complexity of the procedure for each patient.
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