Under Eye Filler: Things to Know Before Your Appointment

The problem of dark under-eye circles is common - it can be caused by genetics, the natural aging process, and lifestyle factors, such as not drinking enough water or not sleeping enough. When you’re looking for ways to treat dark circles under your eyes, you'll find options that range from at-home solutions like brightening creams to dermatologist fillers like Juvaderm and Restylane. 

Applying an under eye filler may seem like a drastic solution, however, it can signifiacntly change the appearance of your under-eye area. They may be a good option for you if you feel your eyes look tired and drained, even when you're well rested.

Still, there is a lot to consider when deciding if you should undergo this procedure and what is the best under eye filler for your case. These are some of the factors you should consider:

  • Price
  • Specifications of filler
  • Choosing a professional for the procedure
  • Time needed for recovery
  • Possible side effects

There is no doubt that eye fillers work wonders, but they are not a miracle solution. They aren't permanent, and they won't address certain issues, such as crow's feet. The first step towards getting the results you’re hoping for is talking to a doctor.

Everyone deserves to feel confident in how they look and if eye fillers is something you’ve been thinking about quite some time now, we'll help you learn more about the procedure and the results you can expect.

What Are Eye Fillers?

Under eye fillers are used to lighten the under eye area. They enhance the appearance of that face part by making it plumper and brighter. Additionally, reducing shadows under the eyes can make you appear well rested.

Several types of eye fillers are available. Nevertheless, it's important to keep in mind that under-eye fillers are not currently approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Still, some types are commonly used off-label.

Hyaluronic Acid

The body naturally produces hyaluronic acid. Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers are made from a synthetic gel that resembles the body's natural hyaluronic acid. Some of the most popular brand names are:

  • Restylane
  • Belotero
  • Juvederm

The use of hyaluronic acid fillers has been shown to promote the production of collagen in the skin. There are certain types of hyaluronic fillers that contain lidocaine, which is an anesthetic that numbs the area.

Fillers made of hyaluronic acid are the most commonly used for the under-eye area due to their transparency, ease of smoothing, and low likelihood of clumping. When compared to other fillers, hyaluronic acid provides the shortest results, but some practitioners consider it to provide the most natural appearance.

Poly-L-Lactic Acid

Poly-L-lactic acid is a biocompatible, synthetic material that can be administered through linear threading. The presence of this substance significantly increases collagen production. The product is marketed under the name Sculptra Aesthetic.

Calcium Hydroxylapatite

This filler is made from phosphate and calcium and is biocompatible. It stimulates the production of collagen in the skin and supports the connective tissue, providing volume to the area. Compared with hyaluronic acid, calcium hydroxylapatite is thicker. It is usually diluted with an anesthetic prior to injection.

A number of practitioners avoid using this filler due to concerns that the area under the eyes may become excessively white. Other practitioners are worrid that nodules may develop under the eye. In the cosmetic market, calcium hydroxylapatite is sold under the name Radiesse.

Fat Transfer

If you have a deep tear trough between your lower lid and cheek, your healthcare provider may recommend injecting your body's own fat to fill in the area.

Typically, fat is extracted from the following sources:

  • abdomen
  • hips
  • buttocks
  • thighs

Pros and Cons of the Different Types of Under Eye Filler

As shown in the following table, each filler type has its advantages and disadvantages. You should discuss each potential solution with your doctor so that you can determine which one feels most appropriate for you.

Filler Type Pros Cons
Hyaluronic Acid
  • It is transparent and easy for practitioners to smooth out during treatment
  • Looks natural
  • Spreads easily and can be removed if any issues arise
  • Has the shortest results
Poly-L-Lactic Acid
  • Boosts collagen production dramatically
  • The effects dissipate within a few days of injection, but they last longer than hyaluronic acid
  • More dense than hyaluronic acid
  • It may cause lumps under the skin in some cases
Calcium Hydroxylapatite
  • A thicker filler compared to others
  • A less-experienced practitioner may find it difficult to smooth it out
  • Lasts longer than other fillers
  • Nodules may form under the eye in rare cases
  • Some doctors think it gives a too-white appearance
Fat Transfer
  • Lasts the longest out of all fillers
  • Involves liposuction and recovering from surgery
  • As a result of the need for anesthesia, it has more downtime and a greater risk of complications
  • Not recommended for people who are prone to absorbing fat quickly such as elite athletes or cigarette smokers


What’s the Procedure for Injecting Under Eye FIller Like?

Each type of filler has a slightly different procedure. In order to begin treatment, you’ll need to schedule a pretreatment consultation with your doctor. You'll discuss your situation and decide on the best course of action for your specific case. During this time, your doctor will also explain the procedure and recovery proces.

The Procedure

Here's how the process works:

  • The doctor will mark and sterilize the area before administering the injection.
  • They will apply a numbing cream and let it absorb into the skin for a couple of minutes.
  • Your doctor will use a small needle to pierce the skin. Sometimes, they will inject the filler through the needle into the area. In other cases, a blunt-edged cannula containing the filler will be inserted into the needle's hole.
  • Each eye will require at least one injection. If linear threading is done, your doctor will inject a tunnel of filler in the pre-determined areas while slowly withdrawing the needle.
  • After that, your doctor will smooth the filler into place.

If you’re having a fat transfer, you will first need to have liposuction using a general anesthesia. 

In most cases, eye fillers are painless. Some people report feeling a slight prick. As the filler is injected, you'll feel pressure or inflation. Even though the injection needle isn't inserted right next to your eye, it may still feel uncomfortable to feel a needle so close to your eye. In total, the procedure takes between five and twenty minutes.

Recovery Time

Recovery generally consists of the following:

  • To reduce swelling, your doctor will give you an ice pack to apply after the procedure.
  • After the injecting is done, you may see some redness, bruising, or swelling, but this is usually temporary.
  • To determine whether an additional injection of filler is needed, your doctor will recommend a follow-up appointment in a few days.
  • Several injections may need to be administered over the course of several weeks or months.
  • The recovery time after fat grafting is longer than that for synthetic fillers.

How Long Does Under Eye Filler Last

After a while, fillers are absorbed back into your body. Their effects aren't permanent - each filler has a different lifespan:

  • Hyaluronic acid fillers last between nine months and one year;
  • Calcium hydroxylapatite usually lasts from one year to a year and a half;
  • Poly-L-lactic acid lasts for about two years;
  • A fat transfer lasts as long as three years.

Who Is a Good Candidate for Under Eye Filler?

Often, darkening of the tear trough area is genetic, but there can also be other factors involved, such as:

  • Getting older
  • An insufficient amount of sleep
  • Water deficiency
  • An excessive amount of pigment
  • visible blood vessels

People who have hollows under their eyes due to genetics or aging are most likely to benefit from eye fillers.

A person with sunken eyes naturally casts more shadows under the lids. For some people, eye fillers may help alleviate this issue, while for others, surgery may be more suitable.

Sunken eyes and hollow eyes can also come with aging. Fat pockets below the eyes may dissipate or drop as people age, creating a hollowed-out appearance.

Eye fillers aren't suitable for everyone. Your doctor may warn you against getting eye fillers if you smoke or vape. Healing may be hindered by smoking. Furthermore, it may reduce the longevity of results.

Possible Side Effects of Under Eye Fillers

You should inform your doctor about any allergies you have in order to avoid a potential allergy reaction. There are usually few and short-term side effects associated with eye fillers:

  • redness
  • puffiness
  • small red dots on the injection sites
  • bruising

Injecting the filler too close to the skin's surface may cause blue or puffy appearances. This side effect known is known as the Tyndall effect. If this occurs, the filler may need to be dissolved. Using hyaluronidase will dissolve hyaluronic acid fillers quickly.

How to Reduce Side Effects?

Choosing a dermatologist who is experienced and board certified is the most important step for avoiding serious side effects. Practitioners who are less qualified can cause serious side effects, including uneven application of fillers and accidental piercing of veins.

These are some of the serious side effects:

  • A lack of symmetry between each eye can result in uneven results
  • Skin bumps
  • Paralysis of nerves
  • Leaving scars
  • Blindness

There is an official FDA warning regarding certain dermal fillers. It is important to discuss this with your practitioner prior to the procedure.

How Much Do Under Eye FIllers Cost?

Health insurance does not cover eye fillers because they are cosmetic procedure. Prices can vary. The cost per syringe typically ranges between $600 and $1,600, so treating both eyes can cost up to $3,000.

How to Find a Board Certified Dermatologist?

If you were googling the phrase ‘under eye filler near me’, looking for a board-certified practitioner in your area, you can use the ZIP code tool available from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Make a list of questions you would like to ask at your initial consultation. Some of these can be:

  • What is your practice experience?
  • Do you perform this particular procedure on a regular basis?
  • Can you tell me how often you perform this procedure on people in my age group or with my condition?
  • What is your preferred filler type and why?

The Bottom Line

Under eye fillers are a popular solution for eliminating darkness under the eyes. Since filler materials for this use haven't yet been approved by the FDA, they're used off-label. A variety of fillers can be used, including hyaluronic acid, which is the most commonly used. 

Whatever type of filler you decide is right for you, the most important thing is to choose a board-certified dermatologist or plastic surgeon who has extensive experience.