Excess Eyelid Skin

How does this happen?

Our eyes are the first facial feature people observe. Unfortunately, they are also one of the first to show the signs of ageing. Ageing is an unstoppable, irreversible process the rate of which varies from person to person but often with family members having similar, inherited changes in the appearance of the eyelids.

Other factors

External factors which influence these changes include exposure to sunlight, smoking and the stresses of daily life. These factors result in loss of elasticity and stretching of skin.

The effects

This leads to hooding of the upper eyelids which is the combined effect of descent of the eyebrows into the lid area (blepharoptosis) and an increase in the upper eyelid skin due to loss of elasticity and stretching of the skin (dermatochalasis).

Excess Eyelid Skin
Picture illustrating the hooding caused by excess upper eyelid skin combined with a low position of the eyebrows.

Additional causes

In addition to the upper or lower eyelids suffering from an excess of skin, they can also look puffy or swollen. There can be a number of causes of this swelling, either occurring alone or in combination. The tissues beneath the skin, the eyelid muscles and deeper fibrous tissue, can become increasingly lax with age and can allow the deeper fatty pads (which fill the socket) to migrate forward and create a bulgy appearance. These bulges can occur in the inner, middle or outer portion of the eyelids. These fatty bulges can be improved with blepharoplasty surgery, either by sculpting them to reduce them in size or by repositioning them to look less prominent.

Another cause of eyelid puffiness is excessive fluid accumulation about the eyes. This is usually worse on getting up in the mornings and occurs commonly as a result of allergy and also from a high salt diet. Fluid retention improves as the day goes on and can be helped by reducing daily salt intake. Fluid accumulation is not corrected by surgery and if present may lead to a more protracted post-surgery recovery.

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Copyright Chris Mclean 2021