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Say good bye to dark circles

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Dermatologist Dr Lohia speaks of newest treatments to get rid of them

One thing almost all of my patients are looking to improve is their under eye. I have never had anyone walk through my office door saying, “Dr Lohia, I LOVE my under eye!” prior to any treatments. Our under eye takes the brunt of our human emotions and poor lifestyle choices. Whether it be dark circles from stress and lack of sleep, hollows from lack of nutritious foods, or puffiness from crying, our under eye is the true tell all of our wellbeing. Luckily, there are SO MANY treatments to address every under-eye concern.

First, it is worth talking about the two main types of under eye problems: hollows and discoloration. Hollows are an actual depression in the under-eye area. This can be caused by volume loss or just due to your unique facial structure. Volume loss can be caused by loss of fat or loss of collagen that occurs due to ageing. The second under eye concern is discoloration or variation in skin texture.  This is when the under eye has a darker color or different texture than the surrounding skin. It is important to differentiate between under eye hollows and discoloration because the two complaints are corrected through different treatments.


The first and most beneficial treatment I will discuss is use of fillers. Fillers are a type of cosmetic injection used to fill in depressed areas of the skin. While they work great on smoothing wrinkles and acne scars… they are also the best way to fill in an undereye hollow! In my clinic, I use hyaluronic acid fillers. Hyaluronic acid is a sugar molecule that is already present in the human body making the use of fillers completely safe. The first step of the treatment is numbing via topical numbing cream followed by injection of filler by a doctor. The treatment itself takes only 10 minutes and you see results immediately. The best part? The results last one to two years with little to no maintenance required.

Another type of under eye injection to fix dark circles is PRP or platelet-rich-plasma injections. You might have heard cosmetic and beauty queen Kim Kardashian refer to the “vampire facial” she underwent to boost her skin. By vampire facial she was referring to full face PRP. PRP is the process of drawing your own blood, using a special machine to spin it down into your own, natural growth factors, and then using a tiny needle to inject those growth factors underneath the skin. The result is completely-natural rejuvenation.

Luckily, you don’t need to perform these injections on the full face like Kim Kardashian to boost the under eye. Injecting these growth factors only under the eye will both plump hollows and correct discoloration. How? By encouraging collagen under the skin to multiply. This will cause a tightening effect in the outermost layers of the skin as well as even any discoloration. For patients who come to me complaining of hollows and severe discoloration, I sometimes recommend PRP over fillers for their effectiveness on both primary under eye concerns.

If you are scared of injectables, no worries! There are many options to correct dark circles that require no needles. Some of the most effective options involve use of cosmetic lasers. Different lasers use different mechanisms of action to produce different results. Resurfacing lasers, for example, use short but concentrated beams of light energy to peel away layers of skin. As skin repairs itself, it grows back tighter and more even than before. Resurfacing lasers can be especially useful for textural problems under the eye but do require some downtime. If your schedule does not permit downtime, you can use a non-ablative laser like the ClearLift laser. Clearlift works in the deeper layers of the skin to promote collagen formation while leaving the outermost layer of the skin untouched. Since the visible layers of skin remain unaffected, there is no observable downtime associated with ClearLift, making this treatment a good alternative to resurfacing lasers.

If you have extra skin under the eye or bulges that create shadows and dark circles, you may also be a good candidate for radiofrequency tightening treatments. Radiofrequency treatments work by heating internal skin tissues to promote tissue remodeling and, like lasers, collagen formation. Some of the most advanced radiofrequency machines on the market include Ulthera and Thermage. I have a personal bias toward Ulthera because I have seen the miraculous results it can produce. This is why I personally chose to invest in Ulthera for my clinic. Ulthera was made popular by Jennifer Aniston and is commonly called a “non-invasive facelift” although it works wonders when used only on the under the eye as well.

As you can see, there are many advanced options for anyone suffering from under eye problems. However, not all options are suitable for all people. Your best bet is to see a dermatologist to accurately diagnose your specific under eye problem and curate a solution that will work best for you.