Chemical Peel Best for Under Eye Circles?

Will chemical peels help improve dark circles under eyes? If so, what type of chemical peel is best for the area? Will chemical peels for home use be also effective?

Doctor Answers 9

Lower eyelid circles: Correction of lower eyelid circles with chemical peels

Lower eyelid circles arise from a variety of conditions, including:

  • Hyperpigmentation
  • Hemosiderin deposition
  • Thin skin
  • Subcutaneous veins
  • Loss of subcutaneous and periorbital fat

Chemical peels will reduce the pigmentation and improve the quality of the skin in terms of overall collagen content. It should be used as a combination approach to the management of under eye circles.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 57 reviews

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Best to try a concealer first

Most chemical peels will not correct the very dark circles under the eyes. Some of the conditions that lead to dark circles are the thinness of the skin coupled with multiple blood vessels below the skin. Also if there are bags of the lower eyelids this casts a shadow and will accentuate the deepness and the darkness of the area. In my experience chemical peeling is not of much benefit and can also cause a darkening of the skin. Try to use products that conceal the darkness. One such product is Teamine Eye Complex. I hope that this helps.

Jeffrey Zwiren, MD
Atlanta Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 11 reviews

TCA and Glycolic are great for under eyes

TCA and Glycolic chemical peels are great for under your eyes. It really depends on your skin type and your expectations. I hope this is helpful.

David Shafer, MD
New York Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 61 reviews

Different options exist

Chemical peels act by removing the superficial layers of the skin. Different types are available e.g. Glycolic, TCA, etc...The deeper the peel the more effect you get but also the more risk of having hyperpigmentation or Hypopigmentation.

The eye lid skin is very thin and a lesser concentration is always advised. Different skin types react in different ways to peels. Skin types are divided from 1-6 depending on the degree of pigmentation(one is very fair,six is very dark)

A consultation with a licensed plastic surgeon or dermatologist will give you the best and safest way to proceed.

I hope that helps.

Hisham Seify, MD, PhD, FACS
Orange County Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

It depends on your skin type

This would really depend on your skin type and the cause of the discoloration.

TCA peels are commonly used but it would be best to seek a qualified physician who can guide you in the correct choice of peel or other treatments.

Sometimes medications such as those used for the mask of pregnancy may be a better way of treating your condition.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 54 reviews

Ultherapy Can Be Helpful

I believe dark circles are the single most disappointing cosmetic issue we treat as dermatologists and plastic surgeons. There are chemical peels of all kinds (trichloraceitic acid, glycolic acid, Jesners, phenol, etc.), but never have I looked at a set of peel before/after shots and thought, “wow, that looks amazing”. Instead, my strategy is to add subcutaneous layers of hyaluronic acid to thicken tissue in the area and improve shadowing. Moreover, I find use of ultherapy can be super helpful here to bring under eye circles out from the shadows.

Bobby Buka, MD
New York Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Dark undereye circles

Chemical peels in general are not a good option for this problem, especially the take-home peels. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done for pigment deposits in this area, especially for the genetic kind. Seek the opinion of an experienced facial plastic surgeon, dermatologist, or a plastic surgeon.

Stella Desyatnikova, MD
Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 19 reviews

It depends on what is causing the appearance of dark circles.

Dark circles of the lower eyelid area can be due to a number of factors including excess pigmentation (hereditary or melasma), allergies, loss of soft tissue resulting in a shadowing effect. If sun-related or melasma-type pigmentation is the problem, consider a Jessners or salicylic acid peel as these peels tend to be safer for ethnic skin.

Bryan K. Chen, MD
San Diego Dermatologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 reviews

Chemical peels and dark circles under eyes

If the dark circles are sun damage then any ablative laser or even a TCA medium depth peel may help.  SOme skin care regimens can do it more slowly as well.  If it is long standing dark circles from thin skin, then a filler may help.

Steven Wallach, MD
Manhattan Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 18 reviews

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.