Will IPL Work to Treat my Eye Circles? (photo)

I'm a 32 year old male who has had these circles all my life. I am fit, eat healthy foods, exercise regularly, take no medications, do not smoke, and get plenty of sleep a night. Over the past few years I have tried through the process of elimination to figure out how to make my circles go away, but nothing has helped. I have tried many different eye creams, vitamins, masks, all of which did not help. I am unsure if Restalyne will cure this as it looks more capillary in nature. Will IPL help?

Doctor Answers 4

Dark circles under eyes

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Based on your photos, I would recommend that you see an board certified oculoplastic surgeon for an evaluation and to discuss possible treatments.  

Seattle Facial Plastic Surgeon
4.7 out of 5 stars 231 reviews

Dark circles under the eyes do respond to treatment

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Dark circles under the eyes are due to a combination of factors, brown pigment (often hereditary ), excess red capillaries, visible blue/purple veins,bulging fat pads,or a "tear trough " indentation at the orbital rim or shadowing from either of the last 2 conditions. Each of these causes may have a different treatment. From looking at your photos, it appears that your primary problem is bulging fat pads, which requires surgical correction. There is also some redness which would respond to carefully done IPL but the V-Beam laser would be much safer and more effective. Those 2 procedures ( surgery and V-Beam ) should give you a nice result.

Richard Fitzpatrick, MD (in memoriam)
San Diego Dermatologic Surgeon

Combining Belotero With A Little Radiesse Works Well For Tear Troughs, Hollows and Dark Circles Under the Eyes

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Tear troughs, hollows, and dark circles are common problems of the lower lids. It has become standard practice to treat this region with lighter weight fillers, like Juvederm or Restylane, to lift, straighten, and contour this region.

In my experience, IPL, lasers, and other energy-based devices have shown themselves to be more marketing hype than science--yielding subtle at best results. The mere fact that seemingly every day another new light or radiofrequency device appears on the scene that supposedly eclipses the previous day's supposed miracle devices should be testimony enough to this.

Getting back to more reliable treatments, if fillers are inadvertently placed too superficially, a bluish discoloration related to light scattering (a phenomenon known as the Tyndall effect) can occur, which can actually make the dark circles more prominent. Belotero, a new hyaluronic acid product, has been manufactured to avoid this. However, I have found that the addition of a tiny amount of Radiesse, a whitish-colored filler, to Juvederm UltraXC, to be an excellent way of treating tear troughs and hollows and lightening existing dark circles. However, only an experienced, board certified aesthetic dermatology or plastic surgeon injector should attempt to treat this area in this fashion.

Nelson Lee Novick, MD
New York Dermatologic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 33 reviews

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No - IPL does not work for your eyelid concerns

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We all have about 4 tablespoons of fat behind our eyes. When you have allergies or autoimmune disease like thyroid eye disease, this fat can prolapse forward and cause swelling that pulls even more fluid and redness.


You need to be seen by an eye MD who has fellowship training in eyelids. Medical therapy may be helpful to get your eyelids looking and feeling better.





Kimberly Cockerham, MD, FACS
Stockton Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.4 out of 5 stars 9 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.