Dark circles under the eyes can make you feel self-conscious and tired, and make you look older than you actually are, so it is no wonder that there is a myriad of special gels, lotions, and creams on the market that target this specific problem. Most of the time, however, it is really difficult to get rid of them, and in more severe cases virtually impossible, so the only remaining solution is to turn to professionals in hope that they will be able to solve the problem. Nowadays, laser treatments are nothing new or scary, and a lot of people all over the world turn to them to combat various skin issues, including dark under-eye circles.
There are a lot of benefits laser treatment brings, however, there are also some side effects when it comes to this type of procedure. Knowing what to expect before you actually go and have your dark circles treated can help with the healing process and make you think twice before scheduling an appointment. It is important to know the risks that this type of procedure brings along, and being aware of the possible side effects helps you decide whether or not laser treatment is actually for you.
How Does It Work?
Before taking the side effects, let’s see how the laser treatment for dark under eye circles actually works. The laser therapy is pretty straightforward: the laser is used to target the actual source of dark circles by shooting a burst of light into the skin under the eye area. That light is absorbed by your blood vessels or the pigmented areas of the skin, and results in skin resurfacing and the reduction of wrinkles. This therapy works well for people who are battling lines and wrinkles as well as the dark circles, as the laser will not be as successful on an already smooth skin.
Laser treatment can get quite pricey. According to the condition of your skin and the actual problem you are targeting, the prices can go from $500 (for the treatment of blood vessels) to $5000 if you are looking to resurface the skin.
Now let’s look at some side effects laser treatment may cause. As with any professionally done procedure, laser comes with a set of negative effects that may or may not occur, depending on the individual. While this treatment is a lot less invasive than classic surgery, it can still be quite uncomfortable. A lot of patients report a somewhat uncomfortable tingling sensation during the procedure, which, in some patients is quite mild, while others may experience a lot of discomforts.
Pain is the most common side effect of laser treatment. The post-operative pain is actually a lot milder than the pain patients experience during the treatment, however, it is still quite uncomfortable. You can combat it with topical anesthetics before the procedure, and painkillers after it.
Swelling, itching, and redness are also very common side effects. If your doctor uses the traditional ablative laser which actually physically vaporizes the top layers of your skin, you will see redness and your skin will be tender and raw for several months, until it heals itself naturally. Non-ablative lasers are less intensive, but you can also experience swelling, itching, and redness after the treatment. Luckily, these side effects will usually go away after a few days.
Skin pigmentation changes. Since not every skin type is suitable for laser therapy, changes in the pigmentation of your skin can occur. Generally speaking, cosmetic lasers best work on the patients with lighter skin tones, however, both light and dark skinned people can experience hyperpigmentation (darkening of the skin) or hypopigmentation (lightening of the skin). It is important to note that Asian skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation than other skin tones, especially if high strength lasers were used.
Bruising can also be one of the side effects of laser treatment. It really depends on the type of the laser therapy, but most commonly it occurs when pulsed-dye lasers are used. These lasers can cause purple spots in the skin which basically means that the blood vessels leak under your skin, which then gets that purplish color. The bruising will usually go away on its own.
Sun sensitivity. Laser treatments will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, so it is very important to stay out of the sun after the treatment and always wear sun protection. By protecting yourself from the sun rays at peak hours and wearing sunscreen, you are preventing any photodamage of your already sensitive skin, and preventing any future issues the sun may cause.
Demarcation line is a line which basically shows where the laser was applied and where it was not. It is usually marked by a different color of your skin, and it is very common when it comes to laser treatment of dark under eye circles. Unfortunately, if this happens, there is not really much you can do but to depigment the rest of your skin to make it match the treated area. However, a good way to mask this issue is to simply use makeup to even out the skin.
Infection is not a common side effect, but it still can happen, especially in patients with more sensitive skin and invasive procedures. You will most probably get a prescription for an antibiotic cream or pills to take in the post-operative time to prevent infections. Also, if your skin scabs, resist the urge to pick the scabs, as you will risk infection with this.
Fat loss, especially on the face, is very common with radiofrequency treatments such as Thermage. Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do about this, except for fat grafting surgery.
Scarring is, ironically, one of the side effects of laser therapy which is usually used to treat scars. The size and the occurrence of scarring will depend on the type of your skin, but if you are prone to scarring and keloids, you may want to reconsider the laser therapy.
Breakouts can also happen after laser treatment. Your skin may break out from the excess stimulation by the laser, or from the creams you apply after the treatment. Generally speaking, people who have acne prone skin should steer clear from lasers.