By Caroline Shannon-Karasik
Apr 24, 2019 @ 3:15 pm
Liliya Rodnikova/Stocksy

Google "how to treat dark circles," and you’re going to land on plenty of suggestions (probably an overwhelming amount, to be honest!), ranging from cool cucumbers to metal spoons to creams touted to cure all of your probs. But what about injections for dark circles?

Turns out, the cosmetic procedure may be just the thing that causes you to toss your full-coverage concealer for good. Here’s everything you need to know about how injections help treat dark circles, straight from a dermatologist who is very familiar with the treatment.

How Do Injections for Dark Circles Work?

Dr. Ariel Ostad, a New York City-based cosmetic dermatologist, explains that — in the same way fillers are used to sculpt the face or enhance contours — under-eye injections are a way to add volume and prevent any shadowing that results from dark circles.

RELATED: 6 Eye Creams That'll Give Your Dark Circles a Brighter Future

What Types of Injections Are Used?

Ostad says every patient requires a consultation and customized approach that will help best determine the filler that will work best for their needs. That being said, the main fillers used for dark circles are Restylane, Restylane Refyne, and Belotero.

“They are fine fillers that avoid a pillow puffy effect or lumps and bumps,” Ostad says.“For patients with deep hollowing, we typically use Voluma or Restylane Lyft, which contain hyaluronic acid that gives a great natural look, while truly holding and lifting the skin.”

Are Dark Circles Really a Sign You’re Tired?

It’s not as simple as pegging dark circles to exhaustion, Ostad says.

“Some people experience dark circles due to hollowing under the eye, which naturally occurs as we age and our skin loses collagen and fat,” he says. “In these cases, they could be seeing dark circles under their eyes all the time, no matter how many hours of sleep they get.”

Other reasons for dark circles? Allergies, pigmentation issues, and even dehydration.

VIDEO: What To Eat To Lose Those Under-Eye Circles

What Happens During the Appointment?

Once you’ve chatted with a doctor about your concerns and goals and the two of you have determined a course of treatment, it’s time to give the injections a shot. (See what I did there?)

Ostad says he uses microcannulas — thin, needle-like blunt tip instruments — to insert fillers. These tools are useful for the delicate under-eye area, Ostad says, because they don’t puncture blood vessels and help avoid bruising. It also diminishes the likelihood of certain risks, like vascular occlusion (blockage of a blood vessel), which is a serious complication that can occur when fillers are improperly injected.

“Microcannulas also allow me to really manipulate under the skin,” Ostad explains. “I don’t only inject the actual under-eye area, but the upper cheek area as well for a more natural look.”

Are There Any Side Effects?

It will probably come as no surprise to you that your under-eye area is rather delicate. So, from the get-go, it’s important to know that you might experience some light pain during the procedure. However, Ostad says they do use a numbing cream to alleviate discomfort. After the procedure, you may experience slight bruising, swelling, or redness for up to a week.  

“Patients can prevent bruising by refraining from working out for a few days, icing the under eye area, and sleeping on their back,” Ostad says.

What Is the Maintenance Like?

Ostad says upkeep varies from person to person, and it also depends on the filler that was used. But, on average, the treatment will last for one to two years.

He added: “As fillers are eventually absorbed by your skin, a person’s metabolism system will play a role in how quickly they dissolve.”

Final Word

If you’re interested in fillers for dark circles or other cosmetic concerns, then Ostad says it’s important to seek out a reputable board-certified doctor to avoid infections and achieve your desired results.

“You never want to skimp on the price of a treatment, especially when it comes to the delicate eye region,” he says.

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