If you're considering tear-trough fillers to fix those tired eyes (we all know that cream just isn't cutting it) then it's likely you've got a few niggles or need to know just a little bit more info before you make the booking. We spoke to Dr Ahmed El Muntasar, a dab hand at using fillers under the eye, for his top tips on the types of questions you should be asking and the general things you should know before getting tear trough fillers.
Glowday has hundreds of professional, expert, and amazing clinics offering tear trough fillers. See who is near you, here.
1. Ask your injector how many of tear trough filler treatments they have done
According to Dr Ahmed, who is a huge fan of the under-eye filler, “It’s very, very important to carefully select your tear trough filler injector.” And we totally agree. Anyone can claim to be able to perform this treatment - and they do. In the UK, there’s no current regulation around who can perform aesthetic treatments like dermal fillers, so unless you really do your research, you could end up in trouble and you really don't want your tear trough filler to go wrong.
You’ve seen the pictures in the news about fillers gone wrong, and it’s worrying to think this is allowed to continue. But one good way to ensure you’re going to a safe and medically qualified practitioner is to book a tear trough appointment on Glowday. We only list doctors, nurses, dentists and prescribing pharmacists who have all trained in aesthetics too. And they’ve all been verified, so you know you’re in safe hands.
2. Know what technique your injector uses
Dr Ahmed also recommends “checking whether the practitioner you’re planning to see uses a cannula or needle”, and he says, “If it’s a needle, don’t do it! There’s a theoretical risk of blindness with tear trough filler if you use a needle and you inject blindly under the eye. You could actually block a blood vessel. Whereas if you are using a cannula - the tip is blunt, so if it comes across a blood vessel it can go up above it or underneath it.”
Did you hear that?
Now, I know it's a bit awkward asking questions. Have you ever asked a beautician or aesthetics practitioner about their qualifications or techniques? No, it feels rude doesn't it? But it's not rude. It's sensible, it's wise and it's the right thing to do. This is YOUR face, YOU are the customer, the client, the patient, YOU get to ask the questions. And most professionals will actually be happy that you do. It tells them you're making an informed decision, it tells them you're invested in your face, it tells them you're taking it seriously. So listen to Dr Ahmed and interrogate your injector!
A before-and-after of tear trough filler from Dr Ahmed. You can see a reduction in the hollowness under this patient's eyes.
3. Know what product your tear trough filler injector uses
There are tonnes of different types of filler out there, so how do you know which one works well in the under-eye area? Dr Ahmed explains that not all products are the same. He says, “There are a variety of fillers out there, but one of my all time favourites for treating tear troughs is one by Teoxane, which is called Redensity 2. That one has a variety of ingredients, including vitamins, which should, in theory, help with any pigmentation as well, though it’s best for hollowness under the eye. The other filler I love for tear troughs is Volbella by Juvederm. The thin consistency is perfect for that area”.
Okay, so you're not necessarily going to know the product when you ask your practitioner this one, but you can ask them why they use that particular filler for tear-troughs. If something doesn't feel right - even if you can't explain why it doesn't feel right, just don't go through with it!
4. Understand that tear trough filler isn’t not for everyone
When it comes to tear trough filler treatment, Dr Ahmed says, “though it is a great treatment for many, you might not be a suitable candidate. Sometimes, people mix up hollowness and pigmentation because they go hand in hand. Tear trough fillers work well on hollowness but not on pigmentation. If someone doesn’t have hollowness and they get tear trough filler, it’s going to make the pigment look worse because it will make the area bulge. So when the light hits it, it’s going to look bad.”
So, what do you do if your under-eye issue is pigmentation rather than hollowing? Dr Ahmed says, “For pigmentation, the best thing is medical grade skincare. See a doctor who deals in prescription-based skincare brands such as Obagi, pH Formula or Skinbetter Science. All these brands are formulated to deliver an intense dose of skincare from a scientific perspective rather than high street brands. So, using ingredients that will lift the pigment a little bit and hydrate the area is very important. But this needs to be done under the supervision of a medical professional.”
Also, if eye bags - like actual bulgy eye bags are your problem - filler isn't going to fix it. The clue is in the name, it fills. And the last thing you want is more volume. The only real fix for bulging eye bags is surgery, sorry.
If your eyes are hollow (concave, they kinda sink it, like a skeleton) then this is the treatment for you!
5. Swelling and bruising can happen after tear trough fillers
A common side effect after tear trough fillers is swelling and bruising, but Dr Ahmed explains, “Don’t freak out if that happens to you. It can take up to four weeks for everything to heal fully.”
We cover tear trough filler side effects and loads more in our handy treatment guide, so definitely check it out if this is a tweakment you’re considering. As well as swelling and bruising, you may experience redness and tenderness around the injection site and these are all fairly common. However, if you experience a bleb - a lump filled with fluid, where the filler has been injected too close to the surface - you’ll need to get this dissolved. Another rare but very serious side effect is occlusions. This happens when filler is injected into a blood vessel and it can cause tissue loss and even blindness. Again, this is why it’s vital that you see a medically qualified practitioner who has a lot of experience in this type of treatment.