A lot can be said about a person simply by looking at their eyes. A person’s eyes will give you a good indication as to their overall health, their mood and, in some cases, their level of intellect. Unfortunately, there are some diseases that can affect the skin and fat around a person’s eyes, giving others a wrong impression of them. One example of a disease of this sort is dermatochalasis.
Dermatochalasis is characterized by excessive lax skin on the eyelids. It’s something that you’re going to see more often in older individuals as opposed to younger people. There are a lot of forces at play that cause older individuals to develop this condition.
As a person ages, their skin becomes less elastic. As a result, the skin around the eyelids becomes weaker, and their eyelids start to succumb to the effects of gravity. They are left with excessive eyelid tissue. Most people will develop dermatochalasis in their upper eyelids. However, there are many cases of it developing in the lower eyelids.
Diseases That Cause Dermatochalasis
This condition may develop in some patients as a response to certain diseases. Diseases that can lead to dermatochalasis include:
- Renal failure
- Thyroid eye disease
- Eye trauma
- Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
For many patients, dermatochalasis is a functional and cosmetic disease. It is a functional disease because it can minimize the affected person’s field of vision. Additionally, the excess skin and weight of the eyelids may lead to eye irritation. The cosmetic side is that the patient’s eyes look fuller, they have bags around the upper and lower eyelids and they look like they are exhausted all the time.
How the Disease Progresses
Since dermatochalasis is closely related to the normal aging process of the skin, the disease progresses in a way that is similar to the way a person ages. The skin loses elastic fibers, the epidermis becomes thinner and a person starts to develop wrinkles and a redundancy of skin.
Frequency of Occurrence
This condition is seen most often in the United States in elderly individuals. While the severity of the problem varies from one person to another, it is estimated that the majority of adults in the United States will experience some level of dermatochalasis.
The onset of the disease generally begins when a person is in their late forties. However, some have a genetic disposition toward dermatochalasis, so they may develop it as early as their mid to late twenties.
The disease is not fatal, but it can cause patients to lose up to 50 percent of their superior visual field. As far as aesthetics are concerned, it can affect a person’s self-esteem. It can cause a person to shy away from associating with others, and it can change the way that a person feels about themselves.
Cosmetics procedures like eyelid surgery are an excellent way to address dermatochalasis and allow patients to have a better quality of life. Visit the office of Syed Ahmad, MD in Plano to learn more about how your condition can be corrected. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.