Labelled Diagram of the Eye

Labelled diagram of the structure of the retina

Dermatochalasis is a word used to refer to excessive (redundant) eyelid skin.

A less technical term is "baggy eyelids".

Causes of dermatochalasis:

Dermatochalasis occurs as part of the normal aging process when the elastic fibres in the tissues underneath the surface of the skin become stretched, while the outer skin becomes thinner. Dermatochalasis is therefore found in many older people, usually from middle-age onwards.

However, dermatochalasis may also be triggered or exaccerbated by certain systemic diseases, such as e.g. thyroid eye disease, renal failure, and others. Genetic factors may also be involved in predisposition to dermatochalasis.

Effects of dermatochalasis:

Dermatochalasis may cause drooping of the upper-eyelid due to the weight of the redundant skin. Drooping of the upper-eyelid is known as blepharoptosis and also (alternative name) as ptosis, and can occur for various other reasons - dermatochalasis being just one of many possible explanations.

Especially when drooping of the upper-eyelid(s) results from dermatochalasis, patients may raise cosmetic concerns, or have functional complaints arising from the upper part of the visual field being partly-obscured by the lower-than-normal upper-eyelids.

One possible surgical treatment for dermatochalasis is blepharoplasty (which is also known as tarsoplasty).

More about Ophthalmology:

This section includes short definitions of many diseases, disorders, and conditions of the eyes and visual system.
For definitions of other terms in this category, choose from the list to the left (but note that this is not a complete/exhaustive list).

Other related pages include

For further information see also our pages of books about ophthalmology.

The following books may also be of interest:

The Aging Eye (Harvard Medical School)
MCQ Companion to the Eye (Textbook)
The Secret of Perfect Vision: How You Can Prevent and Reverse Nearsightedness
What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About(TM) Glaucoma: The Essential Treatments and Advances That Could Save Your Sight

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