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Can Laser Resurfacing Make Under Eye Bags Worse?

Can laser resurfacing make under eye bags worse? I heard the after you tighten the skin the bags can be more prominent and more noticeable. My derm says will help. What is the truth?

Doctor Answers 11

Laser resurfacing does not remove eye bags

Laser resurfacing has minimal impact on lower eyelid bags. It does tighten the skin slightly, but not enough to remove the bag. In order for the bag to be removed, a laser assisted lower blepharoplasty needs to be performed. Laser resurfacing makes the skin overlying the fat appear less wrinkly, sun-damaged and more youthful. It should not worsen the appearance of the bag. I hope you find this useful. Good luck.

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Laser Resurfacing is Great for Eyelids

There are usually 3 things to treat when performing surgery on the lower eyelids: 1) protruding fat or "bags" 2) a loose eyelid that causing drooping of the outer part of the lid 3) loose skin that makes wrinkles or even sagging piles of skin under the eye. Patients can have some or all of these features that cause them to appear more tired, sad or older.

Laser resurfacing works great to treat the loose skin part of the eyelid. The most common procedure I perform on lower eyelids is a blepharoplasty to remove the fat through an incision on the inside of the eyelid followed by CO2 or plasma resurfacing of the eyelid skin to tighten and rejuvenate.

There are always potential problems but they should be extremely rare when treatments are done correctly. For example, a loose eyelid may become worse after resurfacing. This should be identified before and an eyelid tightening procedure should be done to prevent it. Temporary increase in pigmentation or prolonged redness may occur with resurfacing. A very rare possibility is loss of pigment or whitening with CO2 resurfacing. This has not occurred with plasma resurfacing.

When done properly in trained hands, the results should provide a rejuvenated, more youthful and beautiful eyelid.

Good luck, I hope this was helpful.

Edgar Franklin Fincher, MD, PhD
Beverly Hills Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Laser Resurfacing Will Improve Under Eye Bags

I LOVE laser skin resurfacing the lower eyelids!!! As an Ocular Plastic Surgeon I gave up the scalpel blade 15 years ago for the CO2 (carbon dioxide) laser. The laser can be used to gently remove the fullness (fat) in the lower eyelids.

Once the fatty tissue is sculpted the same laser can be used to resurface or smooth the skin. The results are beautiful. The laser causes a gentle tightening and contraction of the skin helping to further diminish the under eye bags and wrinkles.

Mark Berkowitz, MD
Sterling Heights Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 21 reviews

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Laser resurfacing removes eyelid wrinkes, not eye bags

Eyelid wrinkles and loose eyelid skin can camouflage eye bags. Laser resurfacing can remove eyelid wrinkles and tighten eyelid skin, and after laser resurfacing eye bags can be more obvious.

Many non surgeons try to achieve a blepharoplasty by using laser resurfacing, and it is simply impossible to remove eye bags with laser resurfacing.

Combining laser resurfacing with a blepharoplasty can be done, but it is very tricky.

Too aggressive laser resurfacing combined with blepharoplasty can cause scarring and pull the eyelid down into an Ectropion -- a serious complication.

After fifteen years of doing combined laser resurfacing and blepharoplasty I now only use fractional Ablative 2940 Erbium laser resurfacing with blepharoplasty. The fractional ablative 2940 Erbium is very effective but less aggressive than the CO2 laser flat beam or fractional. I believe it is safer.

Laser resurfacing for lower eyelid wrinkles alone can make existing bags appear worse

Laser resurfacing for lower eyelid wrinkles alone can make existing bags appear worse. I will tell you from personal experience and having treated many patients with the CO2 laser for lower eyelid wrinkles, that if you have bags before the procedure underneath your eyes that they will indeed appear worse after you have healed up from the resurfacing, The reason is because when you have both eyelid wrinkles and excess fat of the lower eyelid, the fat is slightly less noticeable due to the wrinkles camouflaging them. If you remove the wrinkles, it is like pulling a curtain tight or lifting the drapes in front of the movie screen, that is, you can now see the screen below the curtains or in the case of eyelids, you see the bags. My advice would be to do both procedures at the same time, that is, a lower eyelid surgery with the CO2 laser if you have both problems and fix both at the same time. We as do many other surgeons often perform lower eyelid fat removal at the same time as we resurface the skin with the laser or some physicians prefer a chemical peel instead of the laser.

Scott Trimas, MD
Jacksonville Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Laser Resurfacing Under Eye

While laser resurfacing will not remove under eye bags, the skin can be somewhat tightened, especially with a correctly performed treatment, and improve the overall appearance of the lid and lid-cheek regions.  It does not take the place of blepharoplasty, but when performed correctly, should definitely not make things look worse.

Jeffrey Ridha, MD
Saratoga Springs Plastic Surgeon
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Laser skin resurfacing for lower eyelids

Laser skin resurfacing for lower eyelids bags or wrinkles can be very effective depending on the laser treatment, the energy level, depth of delivery, and density of application. 

Jose E. Barrera, MD, FACS
San Antonio Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Under eye laser treatment

Under eye bags can be improved by several treatments. Fractionated CO2 can be used for resurfacing. I have had very nice results combining CO2 with radiofrequency using ePrime to stimulate collagen and elastin. This combination leads to great textural change with dramatically improved contours under the eyes.

LASER Resurfacing for Under Eye Bags

LASER resurfacing for under the eye wrinkles is an effective means of improving skin texture.  However, the LASER is not designed to deal with herniated fat from the lower lid and volume issues.  A comprehensive approach to your lower eye and upper cheek transition will provide you the best aesthetic result.

Anil R. Shah, MD
Chicago Facial Plastic Surgeon
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Skin type is important for laser treatment

The comments below are great but be sure to consider skin type as well. Patients with darker skin may have issues with CO2 laser resurfacing.

The laser targets water in your skin and is "an ablative" therapy actually causing superficial destruction of the top layers of your skin. It will not change the fat or any of the other contents below your skin.

Complications can include changes in pigmentation and in very rare cases scarring requiring surgery. Make sure you see a board certified plastic surgeon or facial plastic surgeon and have all of your questions addressed. I hope this helps.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.