Dermatochalasis is the buildup of excess skin around the eyes. It becomes increasingly common with age, and produces the colloquial “bags” under the eyes, as the discolored skin pouches have come to be called. These bags of skin are not particularly desirable, as they are visually unappealing and significant of old age. While many people receive blepharoplasties to remove this excess skin for cosmetic purposes, that is not the only reason that makes having this skin removed worthwhile.
Dermatochalasis and You
First, it may be helpful to understand why these bags form underneath the eyes. Allergies, dehydration, and other like stimuli can cause water-retention beneath the eyes which may create short-term bags. These are not factors that must be accounted for over the long run, but these bags can occur more gradually and permanently as people age. Just as peoples’ bodies get weaker and less firm as they age, so too does the area around their eyes. There are muscles in place which hold up the fat and skin beneath the eyes, and over time those muscles weaken. While one who is starting to feel fatigue or skin amassing on their arms can start lifting weights to strengthen the area up, it is difficult to work out one’s eye in the same fashion. It is not a natural thing to do, not something that you might think to do (before it is too late), and there are fewer available publicized methods to assist in eye-muscle training. Once these bags start to form, sleep-deprivation, eating salty foods, and excessive touching of the sagging areas can further exacerbate the problem by adding more water or bacteria to the troubled skin. The drooping area of the eyes can be treated by blepharoplasty, which can involve anything from replacing skin, removing fat, and/or strengthening the muscles and tendons in the ocular region.
While blepharoplasty is popular as a cosmetic remedy, it also has its practical purposes. As one may imagine, the buildup of fat and water under the eyes can cause irritation for a person. As the eyes are very sensitive, any kind of irritation or disruption can be particularly bothersome. Eyes are also in near-constant use, as humans are very vision-oriented. Any interruption to how they normally feel is registered with alarming detail, as any abnormality in the eyes greatly affects how we typically function. For these reasons, eye bags not only cause people irritation, but they can also impair vision. This can occur from itching, which causes the area around the eyes to become irritated in the process, or the skin around the eyes can literally move in such a way that it begins to block or obscure the eyes’ lines of sight. For these reasons, blepharoplasties do not only help cosmetically, but they also protect your ability to see. If you think you may be suffering from dermatochalasis, whether in an early or developed stage, it is never too soon to reach out to an oculoplastic surgeon to see what actions may be available to you.