As an aesthetic doctor who has helped many patients improve their dark eye circle conditions, I’ve decided to write this article to share important and personal insights. I want to help those who are looking for non-surgical methods to treat this condition.
This guide will explain all you need to know about dark eye circles treatment in Singapore.
A dark eye circle is the ‘darkening’ of the skin just below your eyes. We often hear that not getting enough sleep leads to dark eye circles. However, there’re more than one reason why people suffer from the dark eye circles.
Dark eye circles are different from eyebags. Eyebag refers to the swelling or puffiness under our eyes. It can be caused by the sagging of the fat below our eyes or fluid retention.
There are six main causes of dark eye circles:
The dark circles under your eyes are made worse due to loosening of the skin in the undereye area. The is due to the loss of collagen. Ultherapy uses focused ultrasound energy to stimulate your body into producing collagen.
It’s capable of penetrating deep into the skin. It passes the epidermis, dermis, and fat/connective tissue to stimulate the SMAS layer. The SMAS layer is responsible for producing collagen.
Also read: Understanding Ultherapy in Singapore
Representative image of skin tissue layers.
In the past, the SMAS (subcutaneous musculo-aponeurotic system) is only accessible by plastic surgeons with an incision. With Ultherapy, doctors are now able to use focused ultrasound energy to stimulate collagen production and lift sagging skin without any incisions.
With Ultherapy, I am able to help my patients address two root causes of dark eye circles and reduce the appearance of the dark shadows:
Dermal fillers are often associated with facial sculpting, e.g. a higher nosebridge or a sharper chin. However, it is also commonly used to restore facial contours. They are designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles by adding volume to areas on the face that are sunken in because of ageing.
Unlike Ultherapy, an undereye dermal filler fills up the hollow space and the irregular undulations of the skin between our eyes and cheeks. When that area is volumised, it reduces the appearance of the dark eye circle.
When I combine Ultherapy and dermal fillers, I am able to tighten the skin above and lift the skin below. This is what I call the “Sandwich Effect” that helps my patients achieve a youthful looking undereye skin.
However, it’s important to note that not every brand of dermal filler is suitable for the undereye area. The filler should be soft (and not firm) so as to give a natural result.
To help you with your research before you see a doctor, I have listed some of the suitable brands here.
Lasers are very powerful beams of light that can be tuned to different wavelengths. These different wavelengths address different types of skin problems.
What happens under your skin after a PicoSure laser treatment
Similar to dermal fillers, not all lasers can be used for treating dark eye circles. For under-eye treatment, pigment lasers like PicoSure can be used to target the source of dark circles by fragmenting the pigmentation that darkens the skin. After which, the body’s immune system will rapidly absorb it and eliminate them naturally. It also tightens the loose, saggy skin and generates new collagen to volumise the undereye area.
Fraxel Dual (a type of resurfacing laser) is also suitable but it works in a different way. It replaces skin damaged by photoaging with new skin which has less pigmentation and more collagen.
PicoSure (left) Fraxel Dual (right)
Threadlift of the undereye is actually a misnomer. Unlike conventional threadlift procedures, threads for undereye rejuvenation do not ‘lift’ like threads used for other area and so it is technically not really a “threadlift”. In this instance, threads are inserted under the eye for support and stimulate the production of collagen. This will help reduce the wrinkles, loose skin, and the bulginess of the eye bags.
Most undereye threads are made from Polydixanone (PDO). They are inserted under sterile conditions with a blunt cannula for safety.
Generally, one session of Ultherapy, dermal filler, and threadlift is enough to see results. But a yearly refresh for Ultherapy and threadlift is recommended.
Most dermal fillers last one to two years, however, semi-permanent fillers can last longer.
As for the lasers, it can take anywhere between one to six sessions to see good result depending on the condition and expectations of the patient.
As you can see, the sessions required varies with each type of treatment. It’s best for you to find a trusted doctor and discuss how you would like to go about with your dark eye circles treatment.
Of course, this will depend largely on what the patient wants and the condition of their dark eye circles.
For example, if my patient has an important event coming up and requires quick results, then I usually would recommend dermal filler or a threadlift. For patients who want to erase their fine lines, wrinkles for an overall improvement of their skin texture, then I usually would recommend Ultherapy and laser treatments for them.
I have also prescribed a combination of treatment modalities for some patients because their condition is very severe and they desire a more dramatic result.
This is because different treatments are able to penetrate different depths of the skin. For example, Ultherapy is able to go down 4.5mm below the skin, whereas lasers target mostly your skin surface at 1.0mm. Dermal filler and threadlifts work deeper underneath of the skin.
However, from my experience, combining treatments can actually help to produce more natural results. Reason being, each method that I employ is used to address different underlying causes of dark eye circles. Combining treatments also reduce the reliance on a single treatment method.
Application of numbing cream
After the numbing cream is washed off, here are the different processes for each type of procedure. Each treatment duration is around 30 minutes.
Treatments like Ultherapy, PicoSure, and Fraxel Dual are all approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (US FDA).
However, it’s always good to do your research and find a doctor who have sufficient experience in these treatments.
The treated area will also feel tender to touch, almost like the skin is “aching” for a few weeks after Ultherapy but that is normal. It is an indication that the skin is responding to the treatment. Optimal results are expected in about three months’ time.
Dermal fillers: You might experience some bruising, swelling, redness, tenderness, or slight bleeding at the injection sites. However, these reactions are very rare. They are usually temporary and would most likely resolve within a week.
Lasers: Your skin might be flushed and there might be some swelling right after the treatment but these will disappear within a few hours. The treated area will also feel tender to touch but that is normal. It is an indication that the skin is responding to the treatment.
First and foremost, it would be great if you can speak to more than one doctor so that you can compare which one are you most comfortable with.
When you speak with them, you should take into consideration the following:
By Dr. Terence Tan