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Board-certified dermatology

Under Eye Darkness

Under eye darkness can be caused by skin laxity, a shadow effect, underlying vessels, or even a rumpling of the skin. Dr. Rosenbach diagnoses the reasons for the darkness and offers a variety of treatments customized for each patient. These often include a combination of topicals, fillers and lasers designed to overcome what Dr. Rosenbach concludes is the most likely cause or causes of eyelid darkness, which varies for each patient.


Sometimes loss of volume in the face can result in shadows on the skin’s surface, which can contribute to an aged appearance. While a shadow effect can be seen in holllow cheeks and other areas of the face, they are quite common under the eyes, where they can be shaped like a comma. The anatomic term for that particular shadow is “nasojugal groove.” When pronounced, the nasojugal grooves can often be corrected using fillers like Restylane or Juvederm. These injectables can restore the volume that causes the shadow in the first place. The same rationale applies to other areas of the face affected by unwanted shadows, such as hollowed cheeks.

Fractional CO2 Laser

Under eye darkness caused by loss of elasticity in the skin or a rumpled skin texture can often be improved using a fractional CO2 laser. Our Matrix fractional CO2 laser is able to reduce these contributors to undereye darkness by shrinking the eyelid skin. The laser actually removes microscopic columns of skin to effectuate such change. In addition, natural healing mechanisms after laser exposure result in positive changes in both collagen and elastin that thicken the skin. The fractional CO2 laser is recognized by Dr. Rosenbach, alongside many other researchers, to be stronger in effectuating change than microneedling, which is an alternate method of shrinking the skin.

The V-Beam Pulsed Dye Laser

For some patients, under eye darkness is related to large numbers of vessels in the area. The V-Beam laser is employed to reduce such vessels. Like the fractional CO2 lasers, the Pulsed Dye Lasers are quite safe around the eyes. In fact, it is often used to treat infants with vessel abnormalities on the eyelids.

At a Glance

Dr. Alan Rosenbach

  • Board-certified and fellowship-trained dermatologist
  • Clinical associate professor at the Keck School of Medicine of USC
  • Reseacher, published author, lecturer
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