For most people, dark circles under the eyes are merely irritants to be covered up with concealer or to treat casually with home remedies. But for others, the shadows can be so dark and the puffiness so overwhelming that more permanent solutions are necessary. Once you've determined that traditional treatments won't reduce the bags under your eyes it may be time to get them treated surgically.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Cosmetic surgeon
Rule out treatable causes for the dark circles under your eyes. Sometimes the puffy bags are related to allergies, chronic fatigue or vitamin deficiencies. If any of these are responsible for your dark circles, there are other treatments you should try before you have an invasive surgical procedure.
Consult with a cosmetic surgeon about your situation and the various surgical options. Many general surgeons can perform the surgery, but cosmetic surgeons are specially trained to perform delicate facial procedures.
Provide a thorough health history to your surgeon to help him determine the exact cause of your dark circles. The type of surgery you get will depend on what is going on with your skin to create puffy shadows under your eyes.
Schedule intense pulsed light therapy (IPL) if the doctor determines hyperpigmentation to be the problem. In this condition, the melanin in your skin deposits unevenly, making certain patches darker than others. During an IPL procedure, high pulsing light will penetrate your skin, heating and destroying the excess melanin.
Get laser resurfacing treatments to reduce excessive vascularization under your eyes. Sometimes using retinol creams can increase the number of superficial blood vessels in the skin, adding to the appearance of dark circles. Laser surgery removes these vessels and stimulates your body to produce collagen to fill in wrinkles.
Ask your surgeon about fat grafting, or facial fat rejuvenation if your dark circles are a result of thin, aging skin or significant weight loss. Fat grafting is a semi-invasive surgery during which your own fat is harvested and then injected under the skin or into the muscle under your eyes.
Tips and warnings
- You may be asked to use hydroquinone cream to lessen the melanin in the skin under your eyes before undergoing an IPL treatment.
- Injectable fillers, like collagen, can be used as an alternative to fat during facial rejuvenation procedures.
- Always do your research on a surgeon before scheduling surgery. Check his credentials carefully and make sure he doesn't have any complaints filed with the local medical board. When in doubt, get a second opinion.