Dark circles under eyes: Is PRP better than Filler?

dark circles under eyes
Dark Circles Under Eyes, improved with PRP

At PRP Medical Aesthetics, we specialize in using autologous platelet rich plasma to help our patients in many areas.  We have found that some of the most dramatic improvements in facial skin tone and texture result from the Vampire Facial with PRP and microneedling.  In addition, we have noticed that PRP seems to work very well for dark circles under eyes.  Let’s look at a quick FAQ and then examine the research behind this popular treatment. As with any treatment, we should consider risks vs benefits, and the available alternatives, which in this case is mainly dermal filler.

FAQ: PRP for Dark Circles Under Eyes

Can PRP help with dark circles under eyes?

PRP under the eyes can lead to a gradual, but very beautiful and natural improvement in under eye dark circles, skin texture, volume loss and improves crepey skin.

How long does PRP last?

Improvement from PRP is very long lasting, one year or longer, as the body is rebuilding the area with your own natural tissue. For best results, three treatments are recommended.

How many PRP Treatments will I need?

For skin and hair, including the under eye area, PRP seems to show the best results when given as a series of treatments, usually 3-4 treatments at 4-6 week intervals. This is a bit different than other PRP treatments, such as the O-Shot or Priapus Shot where the treatments may be spaced farther apart.

How much does PRP under the eye cost?

At PRP Medical Aesthetics, PRP injection treatment under the eye usually costs from 200 to 400 depending on the amount of PRP required, and whether other procedures are being done during the same visit. For example, it is more efficient to prepare PRP for multiple procedures during the same visit, so there are cost savings associated with doing this.

Does PRP injection hurt?

Dr. Yam injects under the eye with a careful, gentle technique so that most patients report no pain at all, or perhaps very minimal discomfort. He developed his injection technique over thousands of procedures, combining expert knowledge, training and experience. In addition, we have various additions to improve comfort if needed such as ice, numbing cream, local vibration devices, and blunt tip cannulas. Usually PRP injections (except for PRP hair treatment, scars, O-Shot, and P-Shot) are very comfortable and no require numbing at all.

What are dark circles under eyes?

One of the most common ares of concern for patients is the dark circles under eyes. This is one of the first areas to start showing age related changes. The skin in this area is very thin, which often leads to the appearance of dark circles and exaggerates volume loss, sometimes called the tear trough area.  According to a recent paper in the Journal of Clinical, Cosmetic and Investigative Dermatology, three factors are thought to contribute to dark circles under eyes, which are:

hyperpigmentation, a tendency for more dilated, thicker or increased number of capillaries and thinner skin in the under-eye area. The combination of these three factors provides a robust indication of the presence of infraorbital dark circles.​1​

How to treat dark circles under eyes?

The infraorbital area is difficult to treat well, however options include creams and serums, resurfacing with lasers and chemical peels, dermal fillers and fat transfer.  In severe cases, surgery may be recommended.​2​ Dermal fillers, consisting of hyaluronic acid (HA) gel may be used in an attempt to improve the appearance but this type of treatment requires a high degree of skill.  Furthermore, the results are not always predictable as HA gels are extremely hydrophilic, meaning they can absorb a lot of water.​3​ In fact, a single molecule of hyaluronic acid can absorb up to 1000 times its weight in water.​4​

Can PRP help with dark circles under eyes?

Let’s look at the research around using PRP for dark circles under eyes.  A paper recently came out of Bonn, Germany, where 20 patients, ranging in age from 21 to 60 were treated with PRP injections under the eyes once monthly for three treatments. These patients reported a high level of satisfaction and researchers were able to measure significantly higher levels of skin firmness and elasticity, with no undesirable side effects or complications.​5​

This is not the only study to show improvement in lower eyelid area with PRP injections. In another small study by Mehryan et al., 90% of the patients assessed their results as either excellent or good.​6​

Banihashemi et al. treated 30 patients with PRP injections in different facial areas with follow-up at 3 and 6 months. The majority of patients reported fair to excellent improvement in terms of dark circles under eyes, periorbital wrinkles, nasolabial fold and skin firmness.​7​ Of note, there were only two PRP treatments performed in this study with three months between treatments. In our experience, better results would be obtained with a series of three treatments at one month intervals, as in some of the other studies.

In another study, Al-Shami et al. treated 50 patients looking specifically at dark circles under eyes. Medical assessment showed fair to significant improvement in 60% of patients, and more than 65% of patients were either satisfied or very satisfied with their results.​8​

There are also other studies which have shown similar rates of improvement and patient satisfaction after having PRP injections under the eyes.​9,10​

Important considerations for treating Dark Circles under eyes with PRP

  • The PRP should be high quality, i.e. double spin, high concentration with consideration given to use an external activating factor such as calcium chloride.
  • Multiple treatments are recommended for best results. We recommend a series of three treatments, the same as used in the Bonn Study.​5​
  • Be patient, as it takes time for your body to rebuild the area. Age-related changes such as dark circles and bags under the eyes take years to develop.
  • Most importantly, make sure your provider is properly trained and licensed to perform PRP injections. PRP injections should be performed only by a licensed medical doctor. In general, periorbital injections are considered high-risk for complications.

Summary: PRP can be an effective treatment for dark circles under eyes

PRP under the eyes leads to a gradual, but very beautiful and natural improvement in under eye dark circles, skin texture, volume loss and improves crepey skin. Improvement is very long lasting, one year or longer, as the body is rebuilding the area with your own natural tissue.

PRP is generally very safe and well tolerated, with very low risk of side effects, since it comes from your own blood.  It can be used in many areas of the body for both cosmetic and functional improvement.  There are several studies which have demonstrated improvement in dark circles under eyes with PRP injections.  Therefore, if you are looking for a way to improve improve dark circles, fine lines, wrinkles, and skin quality under the eye, PRP may be worth considering. 

At PRP Skincare, we specialize in the preparation of high quality, optimal concentration PRP.  If you are interested in discussing how this or any other type of treatment might help you achieve your aesthetic goals, please feel free to contact us or book an appointment for a free consultation today.


  1. 1.
    Mac-Mary S, Zornoza Solinis I, Predine O, et al. <p>Identification Of Three Key Factors Contributing To The Aetiology Of Dark Circles By Clinical And Instrumental Assessments Of The Infraorbital Region</p>. CCID. Published online December 2019:919-929. doi:10.2147/ccid.s217956
  2. 2.
    Nakra T, Vrcek I, Ozgur O. Infraorbital dark circles: A review of the pathogenesis, evaluation and treatment. J Cutan Aesthet Surg. Published online 2016:65. doi:10.4103/0974-2077.184046
  3. 3.
    Goldberg RA, Fiaschetti D. Filling the Periorbital Hollows With Hyaluronic Acid Gel: Initial Experience With 244 Injections. Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery. Published online September 2006:335-341. doi:10.1097/01.iop.0000235820.00633.61
  4. 4.
    Baumann L. Skin ageing and its treatment. J Pathol. Published online January 2007:241-251. doi:10.1002/path.2098
  5. 5.
    Aust M, Pototschnig H, Jamchi S, Busch K-H. Platelet-rich Plasma for Skin Rejuvenation and Treatment of Actinic Elastosis in the Lower Eyelid Area. Cureus. Published online July 18, 2018. doi:10.7759/cureus.2999
  6. 6.
    Mehryan P, Zartab H, Rajabi A, Pazhoohi N, Firooz A. Assessment of efficacy of platelet-rich plasma (PRP) on infraorbital dark circles and crow’s feet wrinkles. J Cosmet Dermatol. Published online March 2014:72-78. doi:10.1111/jocd.12072
  7. 7.
    Banihashemi M, Hamidi Alamdaran D, Nakhaeizadeh S. Effect of Platelets Rich Plasma on Skin Rejuvenation. ijp ; Int J Pediatr. Published online May 2014. doi:10.22038/ijp.2014.2718
  8. 8.
    Hashim Al-Shami S. Treatment of Periorbital Hyperpigmentation Using Platelet-Rich Plasma Injections. JAJDV. 2014;3(5):87-94. doi:10.5923/j.ajdv.20140305.03
  9. 9.
    Infraorbital rejuvenation using PRP (platelet-rich plasma): A prospective, randomized, split-face trial. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. Published online April 2013:AB24. doi:10.1016/j.jaad.2012.12.104
  10. 10.
    Cameli N, Mariano M, Cordone I, Abril E, Masi S, Foddai ML. Autologous Pure Platelet-Rich Plasma Dermal Injections for Facial Skin Rejuvenation: Clinical, Instrumental, and Flow Cytometry Assessment. DS. Published online June 2017:826-835. doi:10.1097/dss.0000000000001083