Is tear trough treatment a good idea?

Is tear trough treatment a good idea?
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Are your eyes giving away your age? The delicate skin under our eyes can often be the first area to show signs of aging, like hollowness or puffiness. Tear troughs, those grooves between the lower eyelids and the cheekbone, may also deepen, creating shadows that make you look tired even when you’re not.

Is tear trough treatment a good idea?

Tear trough treatments may offer a solution. They can restore volume in the under-eye area for a smoother and brighter appearance. 

But as with any procedure, understanding how these treatments work and whether they’re the right choice for you is crucial before jumping in.

How does a tear trough treatment work?

Tear trough treatments always start with a thorough consultation with a qualified and experienced practitioner. Be wary of anyone who pressures you into the procedure and avoids discussing potential risks and side effects.

Here at ENRICH, we take the time to discuss your medical history and aesthetic goals. This helps determine if tear trough treatments are the right option for you. For instance, if you’re taking blood-thinning medications, we need to discuss how to handle this situation before proceeding.

Once the consultation is complete, your practitioner will prepare the under-eye area. This stage typically involves cleansing the skin and applying a topical anesthetic to minimise discomfort during the process. Sometimes the substance used in the treatment has a combined anesthetic within it. 

Next, the practitioner will use a fine needle or cannula (a blunt-tipped tube) into the targeted areas under your eyes. The type of substance used depends on your facial structure, desired aesthetic outcome, and the severity of volume loss. Some have a firmer consistency for more support and structure; others are softer and gel-like for a smoother, more subtle result.

There might be slight discomfort during the process, but it’s generally well-tolerated. A good doctor will work to ensure your comfort throughout the process.

The treatment restores the lost volume in the tear trough area and stays there for 12 to 18 months. But this result depends on the substance used and how quickly your body metabolises the product. 

What can go wrong with tear-trough treatments?

diagram of the lower eyelid - tear trough treatment

Tear trough treatments should always be performed by a qualified and experienced professional, but like any medical procedure, they do carry some potential side effects, such as:

  • Lumpiness or unevenness at the injection site if the substance is not injected correctly
  • Migration–the substance may move to unintended areas
  • Allergic reactions to the substance
  • Bruising and tenderness around the injection site, although these usually subside within a few days
  • Excessive swelling, which can be caused by your body’s natural inflammatory response, overfilling or incorrect placement
  • Infection if bacteria on the skin find their way into the deeper tissues during injection
  • In the most extreme, vision loss–the substance can inadvertently block blood vessels, potentially leading to vision problems.

A dermatologist or cosmetic doctor with extensive experience in tear trough treatments can significantly reduce the risk of complications and ensure a successful outcome. 

What not to do after tear trough treatment?

Besides having your tear trough treatment only with experienced practitioners, proper aftercare is also crucial for minimising potential side effects. Your doctor will prescribe a personalised aftercare plan for you. Generally, the not-to-do plan includes:

Applying skincare or makeup after the procedure

Hold off applying skincare products and makeup to the under-eye area until your doctor tells you to do so. This allows the injection sites to close entirely and reduces the chance of introducing bacteria from your hands or skincare/makeup applicator.

Some skincare ingredients, especially actives like retinol or AHAs, can also irritate the delicate under-eye area post-treatment. 

Having other skin treatments

Avoid facials, waxing, chemical peels, IPL or laser treatments, and microdermabrasion for at least two weeks after your tear trough treatment. These procedures can disrupt the placement, irritate the sensitive under-eye area, and, in some cases, increase sun sensitivity.

Rubbing or scratching the under-eye area

Resist the urge to touch or rub your eye area for at least 24 hours to minimise the risk of dislodging the substance. Even gentle rubbing can disrupt the placement, leading to unevenness.

Exposing your skin to extreme heat

Avoid saunas, hot tubs, and excessive sun exposure for several days, as heat can increase swelling and discomfort by dilating blood vessels. It can also break down the material, making it less effective and potentially shortening the lifespan of your results. 

Sun exposure can also make the under-eye area more sensitive and potentially lead to hyperpigmentation after the treatment. 

Engaging in strenuous activities

You should avoid strenuous activities after a tear trough treatment for two reasons. First, sweat can irritate the delicate under-eye area and potentially cause inflammation around the injection sites. 

Second, intense exercise can temporarily increase your body’s metabolic rate. While your metabolism doesn’t directly prevent the material from being absorbed, a rapid metabolic rate could lead to it breaking down more quickly before it settles properly within the deeper layers of your skin. This can shorten the lifespan and effectiveness of the treatment.

Drinking alcohol

Alcohol is a vasodilator, meaning it widens blood vessels. This can increase blood flow to the under-eye area, potentially interfering with the healing time.

Having dental treatment

Dental procedures, especially those that involve manipulation of the jaw or gums, can cause inflammation and swelling in the face. This can worsen temporary swelling after the tear trough treatment and potentially disrupt the placement.

If your dental treatment requires antibiotics, wait until you’ve completed the course before getting tear trough treatment. Antibiotics can affect how your body reacts to the material.

Who is not a good candidate for under-eye treatment?

People with very thin skin

If you have very thin or translucent skin under your eyes, the substance may be visible, creating an unnatural appearance.  In these cases, alternative treatments like laser resurfacing or microneedling might be a better option to improve skin texture and reduce the appearance of shadows.

Anyone with dark circles due to lifestyle or genetics

The treatment primarily addresses volume loss, not pigmentation. If your dark circles are caused mainly by factors like fatigue, allergies, or genetics, the treatment won’t lighten them. Go for ones targeting hyperpigmentation, such as chemical peels or laser therapy instead.

Those with extremely deep tear troughs, excess skin or puffy bags

Tear trough treatments are not designed to address deep tear troughs, excess skin, or puffy bags under the eyes; in fact, they can sometimes worsen these concerns. 

If these are your primary concerns, a lower eyelid blepharoplasty, which removes excess skin and fat, might be a more appropriate solution.

People with active skin infections or medical conditions

Any active infection near the under-eye area, such as a stye or conjunctivitis, is a contraindication for tear trough treatments. Any procedure that punctures the skin during an infection can increase the risk of the infection spreading.

Similarly, certain medical conditions can increase the risk of complications with tear trough treatments. These include uncontrolled diabetes, autoimmune diseases, and bleeding disorders.

Contact ENRICH to find out if a tear trough treatment is for you

Not sure if a tear trough treatment is for you? Book a consultation with one of our board-certified dermatologists to explore your options.

Please Note:

*With all surgeries or procedures, there are risks. Consult your physician (GP) before undertaking any surgical or cosmetic procedure. Please read the consent forms carefully and be informed about every aspect of your treatment. Some surgeries have a mandatory seven-day cooling-off period to give patients adequate time to be sure of their surgery choice. Results may also vary from person to person due to many factors, including the individual’s genetics, diet and exercise. Before and after photos are only relevant to the patient in the photo and do not necessarily reflect the results other patients may experience. Ask questions. Our team of dermatologists, doctors and nurses are here to help you with any of your queries. This page is not advice and is intended to be informational only. We endeavour to keep all our information up to date; however, this site is intended as a guide and not a definitive information portal or in any way constitutes medical advice.

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