Vision Center is funded by our readers. We may earn commissions if you purchase something via one of our links.
In this article
Under-eye fillers are a standard procedure used in dermatology and cosmetic surgery to prevent signs of aging, add volume, and improve skin texture.
Since the tear trough (under the eye area) is sensitive and delicate, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has only approved JUVÉDERM® VOLBELLA® XC for under-the-eye filler treatment.1
However, many licensed healthcare professionals use under-eye filler treatments as an off-label cosmetic procedure to reduce wrinkles, fine lines, and dark circles. It is estimated that 2.6 million people get dermal fillers each year.2
As we age, our skin loses elasticity, volume, and moisture. Dermal fillers help to restore volume loss and youthful appearance.
Under-eye dermal fillers are gel-like substances injected directly into the skin. The fillers contain natural substances already found in soft skin tissue. They work by attracting water and locking in moisture to create volume and provide structural support.
Dermal fillers are temporary because they are reabsorbed by the body, losing their initial effect after a couple of months. The procedure can be repeated when the desired result subsides.
The most common and effective substances found in under-the-eye fillers include:
The FDA has approved hyaluronic acid fillers (JUVÉDERM® VOLBELLA® XC) to be used in the tear trough to improve infraorbital hollows (eye hollows) in adults over the age of 21.1
Under-eye hollows are caused by a loss of volume resulting in dark circles, puffy eyes, and dark shadows. According to studies, tear trough treatments using hyaluronic acid are safe, painless, and have a high patient satisfaction rating.5
In addition to improving eye hollows, dermal fillers are approved to:
Overall, hyaluronic acid fillers are safe to use under the eye. However, like all medical procedures, dermal fillers come with risks and possible complications, including:
The decision to get under-eye fillers is personal and should be discussed with a licensed healthcare professional to review the risks and benefits.
The pros of hyaluronic acid under-eye filler include:
Many people might think of Botox when they hear under eye filler, but they are not the same thing. While dermal fillers increase volume and plumpness, Botox improves the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Botox is not a dermal filler and is only used on areas of the face that have muscle movement (which aids in facial expressions). The FDA refers to Botox as an injectable drug that keeps muscles from tightening, resulting in less visible facial wrinkles.6
Other uses for Botox include improving:
The FDA has not approved using dermal fillers in combination with Botox.6
However, studies have shown that using both onabotulinumtoxin A (Botox) and dermal fillers containing hyaluronic acid and calcium hydroxylapatite had the best facial enhancement results.9
Under-eye filler treatment is a non-surgical procedure typically done in a doctor’s office in about 15 to 30 minutes.
Your first visit will include a consultation with a healthcare professional to discuss expectations, goals, and concerns.
Other topics addressed by the medical professional include:
Right before the procedure, the licensed professional will mark the location of the treatment area and clean it. A topical anesthetic numbing cream will be applied to the treatment area before the injection to minimize pain and discomfort.
The steps of under-eye filler treatment include:
One or more injections may be needed depending on treatment goals.
After the eye filler procedure, you can typically return to normal activities immediately. They may have you ice the treatment area for 15 to 20 minutes before leaving to reduce redness and swelling.
Your provider may recommend the following aftercare instructions:
The most common side-effects of eye fillers typically go away after 7 to 14 days and may include:
To minimize side effects and complications, it is essential to only receive dermal fillers from licensed healthcare professionals trained in proper injection techniques.
These professionals might include:
Results of improved facial rejuvenation are typically noticed immediately after hyaluronic acid eye fillers.
While it depends on the type of eye filler used, results typically last 4 to 12 months. People can come in for repeat injections when volume loss and wrinkles reappear.
Eye fillers are considered a cosmetic procedure and are typically not covered by medical or vision insurance.
While costs can vary depending on the professional and geographical location, injections can range from $684 to $2,508 per syringe. Usually, multiple syringes are needed to achieve desired results.11
Always use a board-certified healthcare professional for dermal fillers to minimize risk and complications.
Dermatologists and cosmetic surgeons commonly use under-eye fillers to add volume, prevent signs of aging, and decrease dark circles. The FDA has approved the hyaluronic acid filler, JUVÉDERM® VOLBELLA® XC, for use in tear troughs (the under-eye area).
The procedure is usually done in a doctor’s office and takes about 15 to 30 minutes. It is considered safe as long as a licensed professional trained in injection technique is doing the procedure.
Mild side effects include swelling, bruising, redness, and tenderness, which typically go away after 7 to 14 days.
In this article
All Vision Center content is medically reviewed and fact-checked by a licensed optometrist to ensure the information is factual and meets industry standards.
We have strict sourcing guidelines and only cite from recent scientific research, scholarly articles, textbooks, government agencies, optometry websites, and medical journals.