Are Chemical Peels Effective in Curing Hyperpigmentation in the Lower Eyelid Area ?

The area under my eyes is very dark compared to rest of my face.These are not dark circles - its hyperpigmentaion. I also had some hyperpigmentation on my forehead which I was able to lighten gradually by using 2% Hydroquinone for 6 months.However it has no effect on the darker area under my eyes. I also tried Kojic acid but it didnt help either.Would a Chemical peel be effective in treating hyperpigmentaion under my eyes ?

Doctor Answers 2

Can Dark Circles be Eliminated Under the Eyes? Yes if pigment is the problem.

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EYELID PIGMENTATION IS A DIFFICULT PROBLEM.  The best approach that leads to success is a combo approach which i will explain.  To give you a simple answer, NO IT WILL NOT CURE PIGMENTATION to do a chemical peel.  Temporarily the skin will appear clearere and lighter but it will repigment quickly in a monh or tpo and possibly worse.  Remember the melanin cells that produce pigemnt are in the deeper layers of the skin.   A peel only gets the upper epidermis and burns away the pigment that has risen to the surface.  The peel injury stimulates the melania cell to produce ever more pigment.  This is also true of Laser  treatments.  If the chemical peel is very deep it may get the melanin cells but a peel at this depth is dangerous about the eye and about other areas may cause blotchy depigmentation.   So what to do.  Very complicated.  Plan on a two year program with a 4% mix of the h-quinones.  Possible mix them with a little Retin A.  Get a PS or Dermatologist to help.  The Retin A gets the melanocyte supressorr H-Quinione into the area of the melanocytes.  This will in time paralyze melanocyte function permamently and no pigment will be produced. It take 2 year of evangelical enthusiasm.  Occasional.   chemical peel can seem to speed the process or at least make you look temporarily better.  Sun and UV light is your enemy.  This stimulates melanocytes and this is why we get tanned. You must meticulously use sun total or near total block all the time to speed the process along and not reverse it..   Sun is your enemy.  Again evangelical enthusiam is need to win.  But you can and will win if you want to and are committed.  Keep a ittle record book of daily activity.  Think. You and you PS or dermatologist can do it.  Good luck.   Dr Commons

There are many causes of eyelid pigmentation so a chemical peel might not be the answer

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Addressing dark circles under the eyes can be tricky because there are a number of different causes.  If the problem is truly hyperpigmentation, meaning extra melanin in the skin, sometimes bleaching or brightening agents help (don't foreget to use sunscreen).  A peel might help somewhat in that in can help disperse some excess melanin in the skin but as eyelid skin is delicate, one must be careful with chemical peels around the eyes.   For some people the pigment in the skin is not melanin but blood- peels won't work.  Some eyelid circles are caused by a loss of volume either in the cheeks or in the bony orbit around the eyes resulting in shadows or bringing the skin closer to the dark, underlying muscles.  Volume fillers such as Resytlane in the tear trough or volumizing the medial cheeks can help reduce the appearance of these types of dark circles.

Dina D. Strachan, MD
New York Dermatologist

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.