Dark Circles Surgery: Is It Right For You?

Brittany Kline
By: Senior LetsTalkBeauty Editor  |  Brittany Kline

Opting for surgical treatments to fix the dark circles under your eyes is rather extreme. There are a plethora of other options for under eye woes that don’t involve going under the knife. If you want more information on those, feel free to check them out in our article here. But if you’re steadfast in your resolution that surgery is your solution, there are some things you should know beforehand. 

In this article:

  1. What surgical options are there for dark circles?
  2. Some of those sound painful. Are they?
  3. Are there any risks associated with dark circle surgery?
  4. Will my results be permanent?
  5. Are there any effective alternatives to surgery for my dark circles?

The process can be costly and may result in serious side effects, many of which can be permanent. If you feel that the dark circles under your eyes require such drastic action, you should research the procedure and know the facts before you go under the knife. Keep reading for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding dark circles surgery.

What surgical options are there for dark circles?

There are numerous procedures used to get rid of dark circles, and they’re all a little bit different. The exact surgery that your dermatologist recommends will depend on what caused your dark circles to appear in the first place. 

The first thing to do when considering surgery for dark circles is to ask your general practitioner to test you for Thyroid disease. It’s as simple as a quick blood draw, and getting the results take less than a day. If you wake up tired and groggy every morning, with dark circles that won’t quit and a blanket of sleepiness that follows you everywhere, it might be more than just skin deep. Medication for Thyroid disease is simple and inexpensive, and covered by most insurances. If that is the source of your dark circles, you could clear them up just by taking a pill with your multivitamin every morning.

If you don’t have Thyroid disease, consult your dermatologist to work together and determine the biggest underlying cause for your dark circles. For instance, if the dark circles under your eyes are caused by hyperpigmentation (simple discoloration of your skin on a cellular level) your doctor may prescribe one of a variety of topical or surgical treatments such as:

  • Topical bleaching cream
  • Chemical peels
  • Laser resurfacing treatment
  • Intense-pulsed light treatment
  • Professional Microdermabrasion
The cost of surgery can be more than just financial.

Some of those sound painful. Are they?

In short, yes. With many of these treatments, there is a good chance you will experience acute pain during the procedure and lingering aches afterwards while your body heals itself. This is especially true for laser resurfacing, chemical peels, and intense-pulsed light treatments. These procedures are designed to remove an entire layer of skin, creating a controlled wound, which forces the dermis below to rejuvenate by making an entirely new skin layer. Our skin can handle this, as it regrows itself all the time, but speeding up the process can be painful. Depending on your tolerance, it can range from mild discomfort to severe.  In some cases, your doctor will need to prescribe prescription-strength painkillers to help you cope with the brunt of the after-effects. On the other hand, certain bleaching creams might not give you any pain at all if they are made with a gentle formula and natural ingredients.

Surgery can be multifaceted and complicated so it’s smart to know the risks beforehand.

Are there any risks associated with dark circle surgery?

As with any surgery, there are risks. The most common risk associated with dark circle surgery is a discoloration of the skin either in the form of hyperpigmentation or hypopigmentation. In laymen’s terms, this means that the skin is made too dark or too light, and, in rare cases, the resulting discoloration may be permanent. Less common side effects of dark circle surgery can include bleeding, blistering, bruising, scarring, or serious infection.

None of these are desirable, but they are unavoidable. Surgery is a bespoke treatment; it is custom-tailored to every patient, as no two people are the same. The results and side effects one person has may be entirely different than another person, even within the same family.  There is no completely sure way to avoid the potential risks and side effects of surgery, other than to just not have surgery in the first place.

Even after surgery, you might not want to throw out that concealer. 

Will my results be permanent?

This depends on several different factors, the most important of which are your post-surgery habits. If your dark circles were originally caused by excessive sun exposure or certain medications, your dark under-eye circles may return – and be even darker than before – if you do not take measures to limit your exposure to ultraviolet light or discontinue the medication that caused the problem in the first place. Additionally, you may have to continue to apply bleaching cream as time goes on to keep your dark circles from returning.

If the cause is an underlying disease, like Thyroid disease, you may continue to go untreated and feel the other symptoms (such as grogginess, weakness, malaise) and be none the wiser with your dark circles gone. 

Or, the results could be perfect, and you could go about your normal daily life no longer plagued by darkened under eyes. There is no way to say with absolute certainty how any one body will react to surgery until it is done.

Even after surgery, you might not want to throw out that concealer. 

Are there any effective alternatives to surgery for my dark circles?

Fortunately, yes! There are a ton of alternative solutions to dark circles that don’t involve surgery. Many of them are even natural and organic. There are habits you can change or adopt, extracts or vitamins to take, creams and patches to apply. As many causes as there are for dark circles, there are ways to fight them.

You definitely want to look into other ways to manage your dark circles before deciding on an expensive and painful surgical procedure. Many products are designed to be gentle on your skin and are crafted specifically for use on the delicate skin beneath your eyes. The longer you use these products, the more permanent your results will be. To learn more about other alternatives to surgery, check out our list here.

Brittany Kline
Senior LetsTalkBeauty Editor
We sent Brittany to venture across the world in search of discovering basically the world's best products and then bringing those back to you. She has documented all her research so you can receive the most vital information and latest innovations in beauty.

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