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 16

Laser resurfacing does not remove eye bags

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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.

Laser Resurfacing Will Improve Under Eye Bags

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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
4.8 out of 5 stars 66 reviews

Laser Resurfacing is Great for Eyelids

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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

Laser resurfacing removes eyelid wrinkes, not eye bags

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

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 generally gives a good result

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Mild to moderate improvement of the apparently bulging due to excess peri-orbital fat can definitely be achieved with laser resurfacing. In my experience I have never seen a patient who's under-eye bags have been made worse by laser. 

The basic cause of the deformity is a combination of skin and soft tissue laxity, if only the skin is tightened the entire problem is not fully addressed. So while laser offers some improvement, full correction can only be achieved with a surgical approach.

Diane I. Duncan, MD, FACS
Fort Collins Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

Laser Resurfacing for Eye Bags

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

The impact of laser on the eye bags is heavily debated. Patient selection is key. Consult in person with three experienced and expert treating physicians to understand your options.

Kris M. Reddy, MD, FACS
West Palm Beach Plastic Surgeon
4.5 out of 5 stars 56 reviews

Blepharoplasty is best to remove eye bags

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}

Although laser skin resurfacing can be done to tighten the skin below the eyes, potentially reducing the appearance of under-eye bags, blepharoplasty (eyelid surgery) is more effective in significantly reducing or even completely removing bags underneath the eyes. Laser skin resurfacing should not normally make under-eye bags worse. However, as there are several factors involved and the cause of bags varies, you should consult a certified, experienced facial plastic surgeon in person to find the best solution for you.

Cory Torgerson, MD, PhD, FRCSC
Toronto Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 170 reviews

Laser and under eye bags

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
Laser resurfacing should not make the eyelid bags worse. In fact, this really won't have an effect on the fat compartment, as this is below the skin and eyelid muscle. If you need to have the fat worked on, this requires a lower blepharoplasty (surgery). There are many different approaches for this.

Laser Resurfacing Under Eye

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Laser skin resurfacing for lower eyelids

{{ voteCount >= 0 ? '+' + (voteCount + 1) : (voteCount + 1) }}
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
4.9 out of 5 stars 57 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.