Article updated and reviewed by Michael S. Lehrer, MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Pennsylvania. Editorial review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network on April 18, 2005. Wrinkles are the thin, creased, and sagging skin that is especially noticeable on the face, neck, and hands. Wind, heat and chemicals and the natural effects of aging cause a certain amount of wrinkling in everyone, but it is much worse in people who spend a lot of time in the sun. Years of exposure to the sun cause "photoaging," which includes freckles, yellowing, roughness, visible blood vessels, and dark spots, as well as wrinkling. Years of sun exposure cause the supporting structures of the skin, primarily the collagen and elastin, to weaken and break down. In addition, as a person ages, the sweat and oil glands of the skin become less numerous and smaller in size. This causes the skin to lose moisture and to dry out. Dry skin with weak collagen and elastin will...
Eyelid lift surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is done to repair sagging or drooping upper eyelids ( ptosis ).
Sagging or drooping eyelids occur naturally with increasing age. However, some people are born with droopy eyelids or develop diseases (such as myasthenia gravis ) that cause eyelid drooping.
An eyelid lift is usually done while you are awake. You will be given medicine to relieve anxiety. The surgeon will inject numbing medicine around the eye so you do not feel pain during the surgery.
The surgeon will make tiny cuts into the natural creases or folds of the eyelids, and then remove any loose skin and extra fat tissue. After tightening the eyelid muscles, the surgeon places stitches in the area.
Eyelid repair surgery rarely requires a hospital stay. The surgery is done in a surgeon's office or as outpatient surgery in a medical center.
Why the Procedure Is Performed
Eyelids take up such a small amount of skin surface that most people don’t connect eyelids with skin cancer. Surprisingly, skin cancers on this small space make up about 10 percent of all basal cell carcinomas , squamous cell carcinomas and melanomas according to the Skin Cancer Foundation. The large majority of skin cancer on the eyelid is basal cell carcinoma - about 90 percent - with the second largest type being squamous cell carcinoma. About one percent of eyelid cancer is melanoma.
When putting on sunscreen, eyelids are often ignored. You might try to avoid getting the sunscreen in your eyes or feel that since you wear sunglasses, you don’t need to apply it around the eyes. But because eyelids have thin, delicate skin, they are prone to cancer. Untreated, eyelid cancer can lead to blindness or spread into the nasal and orbital cavities.
Signs and Symptoms
Tumors on the eyelids often grow under the surface of the skin, making it difficult to detect. Some of the si...
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