Summary: When you see those wrinkles around your eyes you might wonder, where does excess skin around the eyes come from, anyway? Do you have a skin factory somewhere beneath your hairline? The answer is a little more complicated (but you’d, strangely, be on the right track with that particular question). Finding out where that skin comes from is the first step in treating those lines and wrinkles.
Trying to Find Out Where Excess Skin Around the Eyes Comes From
Sometimes it starts early. Sometimes it starts as you age. But eventually, excess skin around the eyes is going to catch up with you. And you’ll find yourself staring into the mirror wondering, where does excess skin around the eyes come from, anyway?
Excess skin seems counter-intuitive. It doesn’t seem to have a logical origin point: how can your skin create, well, more skin? In many ways, that’s not quite as improbable as it may seem. There are several ways your body makes more skin (which we’ll get into below).
But what it really comes down to is this: excess skin around the eyelids is usually a function of age combined with genetics (and some lifestyle factors). But that excess skin and tissue can have some very potent effects:
- Excess skin can limit your ability to emote effectively
- Too much tissue around the eyes can impair your vision (basically, the skin gets in your sight line)
- Lines and wrinkles can form around your eyes, causing you to look significantly older than you feel
So where does all this excess skin around the eyes come from? The short answer is: you.
The Origins of Excess Skin
Your body is a skin making factory. All over. Every cell of your skin. New skin cells are constantly forming towards the bottom of your epidermis (it’s a cool and weird and biological process). The point is this: your body is making new skin all the time.
But that’s normal. That happens your entire life. It’s not necessarily something that happens due to “aging.” No, there are two basic skin related factors that cause the development of excess skin.
- Loss of elasticity: When you’re young, your skin can bounce back easily. Think of it like a rubber band. You stretch it out and it bounces back. As you age, however, this elasticity tends to evaporate. Significant life changes (such as pregnancy or weight loss) can exacerbate these issues across the body (though, usually not around the eyelids). This just happens with age: you lose elasticity.
- Gravity’s Pull: I know it might sound a bit odd, but gravity is constantly pulling on your skin, exerting force. It doesn’t feel like it because, well, that force doesn’t ever really amount to much. It’s just, you know, constant. So every day, your skin is stretched and pulled by a microscopic amount. It’s so slow that you’ll never notice it, but that pulling adds up over time.
The Eyes are Part of the Problem
Ultimately, your eyes are going to be part of the problem—not so much the actual eyeballs themselves, but the nooks and crannies and indentations that make up your face. There are just so many good places for skin to pile up, collect, and overflow. If your face wasn’t so topographically interesting, you might not have to deal with such a large amount of excess skin around your eyes.
Fat Plays a Role
As with just about any other part of your body, fat is going to play a role in how your eyes look. What happens here is that, as you age, the fat deposits around your eyes can begin to move and sag out of alignment. This means you can develop areas of fat around the eyes.
These areas of fat can be difficult to distinguish from typical excess skin. To the laymen, they will often feel quite similar. Typically, you’ll want a highly qualified surgeon to determine the best way to eliminate this excess fat. Though, in many cases, those surgeons will be able to simply reposition the fat—rather than removing it.
Solving the Problem of Excess Skin
Typically, excess skin is removed from around the eyelids using a surgical procedure called Blepharoplasty. Known more colloquially as an eyelid lift, this procedure serves to make the eyes appear much more youthful. According to the website of Newport Beach, CA, eyelid lift surgeon Dr. Tenley Lawton, this procedure is usually performed on an outpatient basis.
Essentially, you can come in, have that excess skin removed, and go home. There is a recovery process that accompanies the procedure, which can last several weeks. But when that recovery process is complete, patients are able to appreciate the results: smoother skin around the eyes, better vision, and more emotive range.
A blepharoplasty is one of the most popular procedures in the United States for good reason: it tends to get excellent results. And after your blepharoplasty, you probably won’t care quite so much where that excess skin around your eyes comes from. You’ll just be happy it’s gone!