For most people, getting old is no fun. You go through a lot of physical, mental, and emotional changes that aren’t exactly what you were planning on going through. When it comes to physical changes, one of the first places you’ll notice aging is your eyes.
It’s very common for those of us who are aging to develop a condition known as Dermatochalasis, which causes the appearance of baggy eyes. This condition can be a purely cosmetic problem, causing you to look older and more tired. Or, on occasion, it can also cause problems with your vision.
Whether you’re experiencing dermatochalasis now or you’re preparing for the future, it’s important for you to know about this extremely common condition. Let’s take a deeper look at what exactly dermatochalasis is and how to treat it so that you can look and feel your best for as long as possible.
What is Dermatochalasis?
Technically speaking, dermatochalasis is classified by loose skin and muscle around your eyelid. This is caused by a loss in skin elasticity and weakened connective tissue. In simpler terms, as you age, the skin around your eyelids gets weaker.
If you notice your upper eyelids are heavier or bags and wrinkles have formed in your lower eyelids, you may have dermatochalasis. These are just the cosmetic problems that dermatochalasis can cause. If your dermatochalasis is really bad, a fold of skin in your eyelid may droop down and affect your field of vision.
What Causes Dermatochalasis?
Unfortunately, dermatochalasis is usually caused by forces we can’t control: gravity, weakened connective tissue and loss of skin elasticity. Each of these issues comes with age. If your parents suffer with puffy eyes, we’ve got bad news for you. It’s been found that genes may play a big part in whether you develop dermatochalasis.
Though you can’t prevent baggy eyes from developing, you may be able to delay the full effects. Our best advice is to avoid smoking and protect yourself from the sun. You should also take good care of your skin with a healthy moisturizer and a gentle cleaning routine.
Best Ways to Treat Dermatochalasis
Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Eyelid surgery is by far the most effective and long-lasting way to treat dermatochalasis. It can successfully fix functional and cosmetic problems caused by the condition. During blepharoplasty, a skilled surgeon will remove the excess skin from your eyelids and may take out unnecessary fat that affects your appearance. This will help take years off of your eyes by improving the appearance of your droopy upper eyelids and/or the puffy bags underneath your eyes. The surgeon will also remove any excess skin that is blocking your vision.
Typically, this surgery takes about 1 to 2 hours to complete and patients are given general anesthesia or a combination of local anesthesia and sedation.
If your dermatochalasis condition isn’t severe and you’re not interested in surgery, fillers may be a better option for you. Hyaluronics fillers, like Restylane, Belotero and Voluma can improve the appearance of baggy or puffy lower eyelids. As the tissue around your eyelids weaken, fat can build up, causing a hollow space between the cheek and eyelid. Fillers can temporarily give more volume to this area, making you look younger and healthier.
This option requires much less downtime than blepharoplasty does, and is non-invasive. It is, however, temporary, and is suggested for cosmetic issues only. Botox, Dysport, Xeomin
While many of you may know that Botox is used to treat migraines and excessive sweating, it’s less known that the injectable can help with dermatochalasis, or baggy eyes.
Dr. Steven Dayan and Joel Cohen conducted a study that found that Botox can offer effective treatment for mild to moderate upper eyelid dermatochalasis.
In fact, female patients in the study who had mild to moderate dermatochalasis and received a higher dose of Botox reported a greater degree of improvement, significantly higher ratings for feelings of attractiveness and satisfaction with appearance, and a higher incidence of satisfaction than those who received a lower dosage. Though more research needs to be done about the correlation between Botox and dermatochalasis, this is an exciting discovery.
At my practice, we have successfully treated dermatochalasis with blepharoplasty and fillers for many satisfied patients. If you’re interested in learning more about the best treatment for you, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We would love to help you feel better about your eyes. If you have a question for Dr. Steven Dayan, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Question for Dr. Dayan”