Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The skin around the eyes

The anatomy of the skin around the eyes, also referred to as the adnexa is unique to the face and body. The skin around the eyes is thinner and more sensitive, in fact ten times thinner than skin in other parts of the body, and as we age, it becomes even thinner due to the breakdown of collagen. It also has no sebaceous glands that produce extra oil onto the skin. This means no oil, and dry skin.

It is important to understand not only the anatomy of this area, but also the muscles involved as well as the process of skin cell renewal to completely know how to care for this delicate area.
The Orbicularis Oculi muscles are circular sphincters which surround the eyes and close the eyelids. They relax when sleeping and can be used independently as when winking. The Levator Palpebrae Superioris muscles sit on the eyelids, open the eyelids and work as an antagonist to the Orbicularis Oculi. The Corrugator Supercilii muscles are located in the orbital arch and draw the eyebrows inwards and downwards causing the vertical lines on the forehead when frowning

Eyelid skin is made up of several layers. The subcutaneous layer, the deepest of all, contains a fine layer of fascia, which lies top of the Orbicularis Oculi muscle. Another layer acts as the support layer of the skin, which is the dermis. The dermis is made up of threadlike proteins including elastin and collagen, fibroblasts, nerves and blood vessels. The top layer, the epidermis, is made up of basal cells, melanocytes, Langerhans cells, keratinocytes and on top, the dead cell layer (also known as the stratum corneum) made up of corneocytes. The epidermal layer gives the skin its appearance, colour, suppleness, texture, and health.

Basal cells reproduce new cells every few days. As these cells migrate upward, they become drier and flatter. Once they reach the surface of the skin, they are no longer alive, and are referred to as corneocytes. This process of migration from basal cell to corneocytes is what gives the epidermis the ability to regenerate itself. This skin renewal process is known as desquamation. Desquamation is an ongoing process that takes about two weeks in a young person and about 37 days for individuals over 50. The build up of corneocytes gives skin a callous or dry, aged and thickened look. The skin feels and looks rough and its ability to retain water becomes impaired.

The skin around the eyes is some of the thinnest, most delicate skin of your entire body. The capillaries are much closer to the surface of the skin there. Many people's skin is not only thinner around the eyes, but also more translucent. That is the basis of most of the problems that we experience around the eyes; dark circles, puffiness and fine lines and wrinkles

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you have any question, please ask!

Please Share!