Excess Skin on the Eye – Cause, Management, and Treatment

The skin around the eyes is the most delicate and dry part of the body. The care and treatment hence should be different from what is generally used on the rest of the face. The skin does not have many oil glands or sebaceous glands and collagen due to which many people suffer from extreme dryness, drowsiness, and wrinkles around the eyes. On top of that, some people have excess skin around their eyelids. Though some of it can be hereditary, with proper treatment one can take care of the extra skin on the eye. General knowledge on what causes excess skin and when one should consult a specialist is of utmost importance and can help before it is too late for the treatment.

What is excess eyelid skin?

Eyes can become extremely droopy sometimes or heavy to lift. This, generally, is said due to laziness, however, there might be some more serious issues. This is specifically a weakness that is caused by an abundance of skin on the upper and lower eyelid, sometimes referred to as amblyopia. The absence of proper treatment may also lead to total blindness. Therefore, one needs to first know what can cause extra skin on the eye.

What causes excess skin on eyelids?

Extra skin on the eye may become frustrating and cause serious discomfort and vision impairment to a person. The condition can arise because of multiple reasons and some of these have been clinically recognized eye disorders which include-

Ptosis

Ptosis defines the loosening of the upper eyelid. This condition is generally observed in older age. As people age, the college of the skin gradually starts to become weak and broken which leads to the loss of elasticity of the skin. In the case of the eye, the levator muscle which holds up the eyelids starts losing elasticity with age. As a result of this, the upper eyelid starts to droop over the pupil and block it causing vision impairment.

Ptosis can also occur in children mostly due to congenital conditions, serious eye diseases, eye trauma, or as an aftereffect of botox or eye surgery.

Dermatochalasis

Dermatochalasis is what truly depicts the baggy condition of the eyelids which is excess skin on the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelids are normally thin and very prone to fine wrinkles as people age. Moreover, redundant skin in older age is associated with fat herniation and descent of eyebrows. Fat protrusion generally affects the lower portion of eyebrows and lower eyelids. Along with this, puffy eyes can also arise from eyelid edema and black circles or discoloration from venous leakage. Retro-orbicular and suborbicular fat deposition oftentimes are found at a younger age as well due to excessive smoking and actinic exposure. What is more worrisome is that dermatochalasis can also happen with inflammation of eyelids commonly known as blepharitis caused by congestion of oil glands at the base of eyelids.

Ectropion and Entropion

Extra skin on the eye is not necessarily associated with the upper eyelid, people also suffer from puffy and baggy lower eyelid caused by ectropion and entropion.

  • Ectropion- the condition arises when weak lower lid muscles cause the skin of the lower lid to droop inward and come in constant touch with the cornea. Severe irritation and tearing happen as lower eyelashes constantly pick into the cornea.
  • Entropion- This condition arises when the opposite happens which is lower eyelid muscles allow the skin of the lower lid to droop outward. As a result of this, it becomes impossible for upper and lower eyelids to come in contact which causes excessive irritation, and tearing, and as the eye remains open all the time severe dryness also occurs.

When should one contact an opthalmologist?

Excess skin on the eyelid can cause some serious eye issues which include-

  • Brow ache caused by constant effort to lift the eyelids
  • Reduced peripheral vision
  • Blepharitis
  • Eyelid skin resting on eyelashes and obstruction of superior visual fields
  • Dermatitis and wrinkles on the lower lid and lateral canthus.
  • Advanced visual issues and complications.

These syndromes are generally associated with older age, however, if one observes these sudden changes overnight or within a few hours then he/she should consult an eye specialist as early as possible because if untreated this may harm the vision immensely.

Treatment of extra skin on the eyelid

There are multiple non-surgical options are available that can prevent and treat extra skin on the eye at the primary stage. Some of these include-

  • Maintenance of lid hygiene
  • Using topical antibiotics which may cure blepharitis
  • Topical steroids to prevent dermatitis
  • Using topical lubricants or artificial years for patients suffering from excessive dry eyes.

Besides these medical therapies, there are some home remedies. Home remedies work best if the issues are not severe.

Applying cucumber decreases inflammation and tightens up the eyelid skin. The ascorbic and caffeic acid in cucumber also helps to overcome saggy eyelids.

As baggy eyes increase with age, people should intake food that supplements cholesterol breakage. Grapes contain resveratrol which is a natural element that helps to slow down aging. One can also use chamomile tea as a natural anti-inflammatory substance which reduces unwanted irritation and puffiness.

However, when the symptoms are indicative of serious damage to vision, one should opt for surgical options. Blepharoplasty is one of the most used surgical procedures for treating the extra skin on the eye. It removes the excess skin from the upper and lower lid and improves vision in a very effective way in older people. The only condition for this surgical treatment is that the patient should in good health both physically and mentally. Blepharoplasty generally takes around 2 hours to remove the fat from both the eyelid and a patient comes back to the normal condition within a week. The result lasts for 5-7 years which indicates one may need to go through the process again if needed. This is a very cost-effective procedure and most health insurance policies in recent times cover the costs of the surgery.

Conclusion

The eye is the most sensitive part and should be given the utmost care, especially to the skin around the eyes. The complications arising from excess skin on the eyelids can be avoided at a younger age with a healthy lifestyle, more sleep, and protection from sun rays. Moreover, implementing better habits and required changes save one from a lot of unwanted health issues with aging.

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