Have you noticed recently that the area beneath your eyes appears hollow or sunken, and/or you have dark circles beneath your eyes that weren’t always there? There are several reasons for these problems, as well as several ways to treat them here at our Houston plastic surgery practice.

Causes of Dark Circles, Hollowness and/or Bags Under the Eyes
Some people have a tendency toward dark circles under their eyes because it runs in the family. Some of us have dark circles due to stress and/or lack of adequate sleep. However, in my experience as a Houston plastic surgeon, most problems with the eyes are caused by aging. As we age, our bones shrink, which can make it appear to you that your eyes are smaller, but they aren’t! Your eyes haven’t changed size or position; the bony “frame” around them has! Further, aging causes tissue loss. You’ll notice that the area beneath your eyes may appear “hollow.” The hollow effect happens because of tissue loss; volume diminishes as we become older. If you also have dark circles, this can be caused because the skin is now thinner and, coupled with less tissue volume, the tiny blood vessels cast a shadow that appears as dark circles.

Two Available Eye Treatments for Hollows, Dark Circles and Eye Bags
Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 10.37.02 AMThe easiest treatment for dark circles and under-eye hollowness is an injection of dermal filler, such as Juvéderm®, in the “tear trough” area of the eyes. Houston patients love how Juvéderm® fills the hollows but even more, over time, it stimulates the production of collagen, which otherwise decreases with age. This helps your body naturally “fill” the hollowed area. Unfortunately, Juvéderm® isn’t a permanent solution, though it will last up to 6-8 months (it varies among patients).

A longer-lasting cosmetic surgery solution for eye bags, dark circles and hollowness beneath the eyes is blepharoplasty, also called an eyelift or eyelid lift here in Texas. A blepharoplasty procedure can be done on just the lower part of the eyes or on both the lower and top lids. A lower eyelid lift tightens loose skin and eliminates the hollow appearance. An upper eyelid lift is perfect to eliminate the excess skin we often get with aging. Most Houston blepharoplasty patients elect to have both upper and lower eyelid lifts performed at the same time. Recovery is rapid and the scars are completely hidden in the upper lid crease and the lower lash line.

Unfortunately, nothing will stop facial aging permanently. Juvéderm® is a wonderful and effective temporary treatment. Blepharoplasty is nearly permanent—while it won’t “stop the clock” from ticking it will give you a new starting point, and eliminate hollowness, dark circles, puffiness, and volume loss.