Our resident medical specialist, Dr Natasha Berridge explains all there is to know about the under eye filler.

Are you fed up of constantly looking tired? Contrary to popular belief, despite the gallons of water that you have consumed and/or extra hours of sleep, there is no notable difference to those pesky dark circles under the eyes.

It’s all about anatomy rather than your lifestyle choices! Quite simply explained, the most common reason for the appearance of hollow dark circles is associated with volume loss in this area under the eyes, often referred to as ‘tear troughs’. Tear trough volume loss is one of the earliest signs of physiological ageing and becomes deeper and darker in appearance as one gets older.

Tear troughs can be apparent as early as the teenage years however such deformities are genetic i.e. ‘inherited’. Over the years, there has been an exponential rise in the number of woman and men seeking tear trough filler treatment to revitalise their tired-looking eyes. Let’s explore why.

What’s involved?

‘Tear trough filler treatment’ is a non-surgical minimally invasive method to restore lost volume in the regions beneath the eye by carefully deposited filler, most commonly hyaluronic acid. This dissolvable gel-like material attracts water providing the volume effect needed to lift the delicate skin beneath the eyes away from the underlying bone and blood vessels. The results are visibly instant. In selected patients, if tear trough filler is combined with selectively injected Botulinum toxin throughout the periorbital area, the resulting effect creates an obvious rejuvenation, otherwise known as the ‘liquid eye lift’.

Is an Under Eye Filler painful?

The skin beneath the eyes is thin and has very little fat. Therefore, there may be some initial discomfort rather than pain when the doctor inserts the needle to deliver the filler material which is placed deep into the bone. Should the prospect of this be too daunting, then there are numerous local anaesthetic formulations which can be applied to the skin approximately 30 to 40 minutes before the procedure. Their effect is to numb the skin thereby minimising discomfort during the procedure.

How long does it last?

This very much depends on the filler type that is chosen by the doctor and how quickly the individual metabolises the filler material. On average, if a hyaluronic acid filler is used then results may last up to 9 months. Hyaluronic acid is a naturally occurring substance in the body that is broken down slowly over time. In certain circumstances, should there be a need to dissolve the filler any quicker there is the option to use the reversal agent hyaluronidase.

Are there any risks?

Tear trough filler is considered a safe ‘advanced’ injectable procedure, which performed by an appropriately trained and skilled doctor in the procedure, is associated with minimal risks. Bruising and redness are common in the delicate under eye area but spontaneously resolves within a week or two. Over the counter creams such as Arnica may help minimise any bruising if applied after the procedure. Globally, there have been few reported cases of vision loss following inadvertent injection of filler into facial blood vessels but fortunately this is a rare occurrence.

Are there any under eye filler alternative treatments?

Dark circles may also be caused by excess pigmentation or increased vascularity and may exacerbate the appearance of under eye hollows. In such cases, filler treatment alone will not fully solve the problem and alternative therapies should be sought. Retinol and/or Vitamin C eye creams are effective anti-ageing agents that can improve the appearance of dark shadows. Alternatively, Lasers may be the treatment of choice if dark under eye shadows are caused by increased vascularity.

Refreshed & rejuvenated. There is an instantly noticeable improvement in the appearance of the under-eye dark shadows and hollows. Tear trough filler treatment performed by Dr Berridge (@dr_natasha_surgeon).

Dr Natasha Berridge

Dr Natasha Berridge FRCS (OMFS) is the resident Medical Facial Specialist at Salon Prive Magazine. Dr Berridge is a highly trained NHS maxillofacial surgeon, dually qualified in Medicine and Dentistry, specialising in facial aesthetics, reconstructive trauma and skin surgery. She has worked alongside some of the UK’s top Cosmetic Surgeons and is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England and member of the British Association of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons (BAOMS). Dr Berridge has a wealth of knowledge of facial aesthetics and is concluding her MSc in Skin Ageing & Aesthetic Medicine at the University of Manchester. She continues to present at International Conferences and is widely published in peer-reviewed surgical journals. Additionally, Dr Berridge is the co-author of a leading Head & Neck anatomy DVD and is a clinical contributor to the popular published monthly journal, Aesthetics. Dr Berridge is one of few highly skilled, dually qualified female facial surgeons in the UK who also performs a comprehensive range of advanced non-surgical aesthetic treatments.

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