Dermal fillers are one of the popular and effective treatments to address the signs of facial aging. It can help correct a variety of skin concerns, from the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines to tear trough hollows and cheek volume loss. But as with any cosmetic procedure, dermal filler treatments may come with some risks. When it’s used for cheek enhancement, one possible complication is the appearance of sunken eyes or worsening under eye hollows.
So is it common to have sunken eyes after cheek fillers? Sunken eyes are a rare side effect of cheek filler injections. They may occur when the filler material is incorrectly placed and increases the projection of the upper cheeks which makes the undereye look more hollow. It may also happen when thicker filler products are used for cheek augmentation.
Cheek augmentation is a procedure that aims to restore volume, improve contour, and lift the midface region. Traditionally, cheek enhancement requires cosmetic surgery but the rise of noninvasive cosmetic treatments, like dermal fillers, has allowed patients to enhance their appearance with minimal risks and downtime.
Nowadays, cheek fillers are one of the top-performed procedures in many med spas and aesthetic clinics. When injected properly by experienced providers or plastic surgeons, the dermal fillers can effectively bring back optimal cheek shape and fullness and provide the appearance of a higher, more defined cheekbone structure.
But on rare occasions, cheek fillers may also produce unwanted results. Based on the facial anatomy, the cheeks are directly adjacent to the tear trough. It’s the deep groove or crease that sits between the lower eyelid and upper cheeks.
Most of the time, treating the cheeks with facial fillers can also help reduce the tear trough hollows and improve the darkening of lower eyelid bags and puffiness. But if your provider doesn’t take into consideration the delicate anatomy of your tear trough and cheeks, it could result in the worsening appearance of your under-eye bags and hollows.
Dermal fillers are generally a safe and low-risk procedure. The occurrence of adverse events and serious complications are also not that common. However, treating both the cheeks and under-eye area can be tricky.
If your provider isn’t knowledgeable about its complex anatomy, they could poorly administer the cheeks and under-eye fillers or use the wrong injection technique. This could result in botched fillers or unwanted cheek augmentation results.
While they’re completely avoidable, bad cheek and tear trough filler results can happen for several reasons. Here are some possible causes why your under-eye hollows look more prominent after facial filler injections:
Cheek augmentation typically entails the use of a deep filler like Juvéderm Voluma XC. This injectable product has a thicker consistency than other choices for cheek filler materials. But sometimes, its viscosity may not be compatible with the patient’s facial anatomy and skin quality.
For example, patients who have thinner and more delicate skin in the cheek and under-eye area may be more likely to notice tear trough hollowing after receiving Juvéderm Voluma XC and other thicker fillers. Their consistency allows for more volume and support to be added in the cheek region, resulting in an increased projection of the upper cheeks below the lower eyelid border. This could highlight your tear trough deformity and make your under-eye area look darker.
Sunken eyes after a cheek or undereye filler treatment may also be a result of poor injection or placement technique. The lower lid and cheek junction is a complex area of soft tissue and other delicate facial structures.
Typically, the dermal filler substance is placed on the midface region for improved cheek fullness and shape. They can also be placed above the cheekbones if you want to achieve more contour and definition or injected laterally if you want to smoothen the transition between the eyelid and upper cheek.
Deep fillers may create more under-eye hollows or shadows if they’re incorrectly placed in the mid-cheek region. They could accentuate the depth of your tear trough area and result in the appearance of sunken eyes.
Placing facial filler injections in the cheeks or tear trough requires advanced technique and skill. It also requires a proper assessment of the treatment areas to make sure that the fillers are delivered to the right injection sites.
For best results, you should only receive your cheek or undereye filler treatment from a board-certified surgeon or certified injector. They can thoroughly assess the severity of your facial concerns and create a treatment plan that effectively addresses your cheek volume deficiencies and tear trough deformities.
While having sunken eyes from cheek fillers can be troubling, the good news is that they aren’t permanent. Your cosmetic provider may recommend several solutions to correct your undereye hollow
The commonly used cheek fillers today, such as Restylane Lyft and Juvéderm Voluma XC, are made of hyaluronic acid. One advantage of using these types of fillers is that they’re easily reversible.
So in the case of sunken eyes from wrongly placed hyaluronic acid fillers, providers can remove them with hyaluronidase solutions. This filler-dissolving treatment is made of an enzyme that can facilitate the breakdown of hyaluronic acid in the injectable material. This can result in the permanent reversal of the cheek fillers and improve the appearance of sunken eyes.
Some cases of sunken eyes after cheek injections may also be corrected by placing additional cosmetic fillers. With the right technique, providers may administer additional fillers directly to the tear trough area to reduce the hollowness and smooth out the transition between the upper cheeks and lower eyelids.
Tear trough filler treatment can be a great standalone cosmetic procedure. Some people only get their undereye area filled to address their dark eye bags and hollowness. However, there are cases when their tear trough region gets overfilled which results in an unnatural-looking appearance.
Instead of dissolving your undereye filler to correct its bad results, you can get cheek injections to add volume and balance the asymmetry and improve the look of your face as a whole. Providers may inject small amounts of fillers to match the volume in the tear trough.
Sunken eyes are one of the uncommon side effects of cheek fillers. They can be avoided as long as the dermal filler procedure is done by experienced practitioners. However, the treatment still carries some risks that may require minimal downtime to help in the healing and filler-settling process.
Here are the common side effects and risks of cheek fillers:
While it’s not as invasive and doesn’t need a long downtime like plastic surgery, cheek fillers still require proper aftercare to get the most out of your treatment and prevent adverse reactions. Here are some of the best self-care practices you should follow after cheek filler injections:
Facial filler injections are a great treatment choice for age-related cheek volume loss and tear trough deformity. They rarely cause serious complications, but in the event that unwanted results like sunken eyes occur, they can be easily treated by dissolving the HA filler material or adding more injectables to smooth the crease between the cheeks and lower eyelid.
Dr. Lanna Aesthetics is a trusted med spa for high-quality and beautiful cheek fillers. We have experienced injectors and practitioners who can administer your cheek filler treatment with minimal side effects. Call us today to book your initial consultation and discuss a treatment plan that can help you reclaim your youthful appearance.