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A tear trough is a deep crease between the lower eyelid and upper cheek. It can cast a shadow below your eyes, resulting in a tired appearance. Some people think their tear troughs make them look older.

In certain individuals, tear troughs are an inherited trait. In others, tear troughs become more prominent with age. That’s because facial tissues lose volume as you get older.

The goal of a tear trough filler is to reduce the depth of a tear trough. A trained medical professional injects a dermal filler  into the area, making the skin look fuller and tighter. It’s a nonsurgical method of facial rejuvenation.

However, like other types of facial fillers , tear trough fillers have pros and cons. It’s important to understand the procedure and potential complications before getting the treatment. 

What is a tear trough filler?

A tear trough filler is an injectable treatment that’s used under the eyes. Its purpose is to add volume beneath the eyelids.

The product most often used in this area is one typically made of hyaluronic acid, although other ingredients may be used. Hyaluronic acid is a gel-like substance that naturally exists in your body. When injected into the skin, hyaluronic acid increases fullness and decreases indentations.

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Are tear trough fillers safe?

Tear trough fillers are relatively safe. They’re also less invasive than tear trough surgeries , which include fat grafting and fat repositioning.

The effects of tear trough fillers are temporary, though. They only last about 1 year. You’ll need repeated treatments to maintain long-term results.

Sometimes, tear trough fillers are used with other procedures like:

  • Botox injection
  • Laser Resurfacing
  • fat grafting
  • fat repositioning

Who’s a good candidate for tear trough filler?

You might be an ideal candidate for tear trough filler if you:

  • have mild to moderate sagging under the eyes
  • have healthy, thick skin
  • have realistic expectations
  • understand the treatment is temporary
  • are physically healthy

Alternatively, you may not be a good candidate if:

  • your skin is very thin
  • you have excess skin beneath the eyes
  • your tear troughs are very deep
  • you have fat bulging under your eyes
  • you have an active skin infection in the area
  • you have a medical condition that increases your risk of complications

What’s the procedure like?

Before receiving tear trough fillers, a trained  professional will assess your lower eyelids. They’ll also check the texture and thickness of your skin. Additionally, they’ll determine what type of dermal filler is best for your needs.

Your procedure will take place in a medical office. Here’s what you can expect:

  1. A professional disinfects the skin to prevent infection. A topical anesthetic may be applied to the area to prevent bruising, or they may place an ice pack on your lower eyelids. This numbs the area and decreases the risk of bruising.
  2. Next, they prepare a syringe containing the filler. The syringe is connected to a blunt or sharp needle, depending on their choice. They inject the filler into the skin beneath your lower eyelid.
  3. As they inject the filler, they slowly withdraw the needle. They lightly massage the area to spread the filler. The procedure is repeated beneath the other eyelid

What should I know about aftercare and results?

You can go home once the procedure is done. You’ll likely have some swelling, bruising, and redness. These side effects usually improve after 48 to 72 hours.

The area under your eyelids will look fuller right away. However, it can take 1 to 2 weeks to see the full results, according to anecdotal reports.

Be sure to follow post-treatment instructions, which typically include the following:

  • Avoid intense activity for 24 to 48 hours.
  • Apply ice during the first 48 hours.
  • Avoid sleeping face down.
  • Use your fingers to gently massage any lumpy areas.

What are the potential complications of a tear trough procedure?

Possible complications of tear trough fillers include:
  • headache
  • skin discoloration
  • allergic reactions
  • persistent pain
  • edema (swelling) around the eye
  • filler forming into lumps
  • granuloma
  • infection
  • vascular side effects
  • lack of desired results

Key takeaways

If you have deep creases under your eyes, tear trough fillers may be an option. The procedure typically involves injecting hyaluronic acid beneath your lower eyelids. This makes the area look fuller.

Since the effects are temporary, you’ll need to repeat the treatment every 1 or 2 years. It’s also a cosmetic procedure, so it’s not covered by insurance.

Tear trough fillers are generally considered safe. But you might not be a good candidate if you have very thin skin or underlying medical conditions. A trained medical professional can determine if the treatment is right for you.

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