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Laser Resurfacing for Dark Circles Under Eyes?

I heard that laser resurfacing could help dark circles under eyes. Is this true? What can you do for dark circles under the delicate eye area, without going under the knife to tighten them? They seem to tell me that only a cream might help. I just think there surely is somethig out there that I could do at this spa im at. They offer quite a bit of stuff, but they don't tell me I can do anything for it. Thanks.

Doctor Answers (6)

Treating Dark Circles Can Be Challenging

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Treating dark circles under the eye is still one of the most challenging cosmetic concerns that we see on a regular basis in our office. First and foremost, make sure you are seeing a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who can thoroughly examine the skin and underlying anatomy to make a determination of why you are having these dark circles. If the problem is skin only, a really good skin care routine with an appropriate eye cream, may be helpful. And in 2014, many of the cosmeceutical companies are makinggreat eye creams, like the ones from Neocutis and Skinceuticals, amongst others.

If there are tear troughs present that are causing some of this darkening through shadowing, a filler may be very useful. Products such as Restylane, Juvederm, and Belotero all work here. Sometimes a laser procedure, a fractional non-ablative or fractional ablative procedure will make the skinlook much better, and with skin care, keep it lasting that way for a long time. And if there are bulging fat pads, we would recommend a surgical procedure,especially if all the other procedures and topicals do nothing at all. Again, this can be determined with your board-certified dermatologist.


Nashville Dermatologic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 7 reviews

Dark circles under the eyes have many causes

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There are a number of causes for dark circles under the eyes, therefore treatments should be directed accordingly. From outside in, the skin can have fine wrinkles. These may respond to creams and superficial peels, including lasers that smooth the skin. If the underlying muscle is over-active it can be relaxed with minute amounts of Botox. Eyelid skin is very thin, dark circles can be due, in part, to bluish blood vessels seen through this thin skin. Going deeper, eye-bags or herniated fat will cast a shadow that no concealer or eye cream can fix without surgery to reduce the bags. Lastly, there is pigment that is more common in certain ethnic groups. Response to laser for pigment is variable.

The first thing I do is lie patients back to remove the shadows to check for pigment. So, to answer your question, lasers will help fine lines and even visible blood vessels. See a facial surgery specialist to discuss your best options.

Steven J. Pearlman, MD
New York Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 40 reviews

Treating dark circles under the eyes

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The main causes of dark circles are due to

1. Bulge below the eye- treated by fat removal or repositioning, usually from inside the eyelid

2. Hollow area below the eye bulge. Treated temporarily by fillers, typically Prevelle or Restylane. Treated more permanently by various grafting techniques including fat injection and LiveFill TM, an ultrashort incision cheeklift (i.e. USIC or LUSIC)

3. Loose skin below the eyelid. Minor relief with skin care products, Retin A, More permanent results with laser resurfacing or an ultrashort incision cheeklift. NOT recommended is a conventional blepharoplasty with canthopexy, in my opinion, as this may predispose to an alteration in eye shape.

4. Pigmentation. Temporary relief with make-up or possibly minimal relief with bleaching agents. Also possible to perform laser with pigment-specific lasers (variable success).

5. Prominent globe (forward set eye). Temporary relief with fillers. More permanent relief with autologous fillers (fat injection, LiveFill TM). Augmentation must be conservative in my opinion.

The lower eyelid is a very delicate area and choosing a surgeon with great experience with the midface and an excellent reputation are your best bet for achieving your best result.

Your pictures are a bit difficult to interpret with the shadowing effect and make-up and angle of the photograph.

Brent Moelleken, MD
Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

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Laser Resurfacing for Dark Circles

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Laser resurfacing is probably one of less effective treatments for dark circles. In young people, a combination of color and hollowness plays a role. The darker color is usually not changed with resurfacing; in fact, very little aside from make up does seem to change the color.

The tear trough depression on the other hand can be improved with injectable fillers or fat grafting. Fat-sparing blepharoplasty with using the lid fat to fill in the tear trough is another good option for the right patient.

You may want to talk to a cosmetic surgeon experienced with eyelid rejuvenation to discuss the options right for you.

Frank P. Fechner, MD
Worcester Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 28 reviews

Drak circles under the eyes.

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There are many possible causes for the dark circles that range from anatomy, fat bulges, pigment, thin skin, hollows, etc. Depending on these the treatment can vary from injections/fillers, peels chemical or laser, bleaching creams, etc. Meet with a professional to discuss the best options for you. It is very difficult to tell from the picture what is best suited for your correction.

Otto Joseph Placik, MD
Chicago Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 48 reviews

Dark circles under the eyes

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 Dark circles under the eyes may respond to creams and sometimes lasers.  Most of the time the dark circles are due to the muscle showing through the thin lower eyelid skin. This is very difficult to treat.

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.