Festoons are a skin condition, known as malar mounds or bags that are not undesired and well understood. It is when the skin on the lower eyelid becomes harshly damaged, most likely from the sun. It leads to damaged skin that result into folds in the lower eyelids as well as swollen mounds on the cheeks. Many who have festoons are not even aware of what causes it and the condition.
Festoons are located on the upper portion of the cheek bone as many confuse this with puffiness under the eyes or eye bags. While eye bags are fluid retention or fat under the eyes, festoons are much lower. Many with festoons seek lower eyelid rejuvenation along with lower lid surgery, if not corrected.
Eye Bags vs Festoons
Puffy eye bags are caused from fluid or fat protruding through the skin in the lower eyelids. Festoons are located on the upper area of the cheek and when paired with eye bags, it can look like one big protrusion. Eye bags look to be as puffy circles that are directly under the eyes. These are usually firm as you can’t really move them.
Festoons are placed high on the cheek as they can also extend to the lower lids. When touched, they feel squish and anything but firm as they can be moved easily.
What causes Festoons?
While eye bags are known to be associated with allergies, fatigue and aging, festoons are results of damage from smoking, poor diet, excessive coffee and alcohol, sun exposure, as well as aging. They can also appear with high blood pressure and circulatory issues. The appearance can also be extended with fulling the underlying facial muscles in the long term. People with fair skin are most at risk for festoons, though dark skin tones are not immune to it.
Festoons may be an indication of serious medical conditions as well as a result of a poor, unhealthy lifestyle. Excessive computer or television time may also increase their size drastically as festoons will become a pinkish color that may expand. Many who carry festoons are concerned about how to be treated, though experts agree that there is no magic method of treatment. Once they begin to appear, they start to become a permanent feature which can either shrink or expand – depending on the reaction of the body.
It is believed that the underlying muscle causes stress in the skin of that area, and with exposure and time damage, the area will cause progressive damage to the elastic fibers and create a gap in the skin layers. In result, this leads to different areas of swelling during various times of the day.
Will surgical methods help?
Many with festoons seek lower eyelid rejuvenation along with lower lid surgery, if not corrected. Surgery has not shown desirable results as there are no known method of full treatment as the condition may make the lower eyelids look worse after surgery. However, festoons can be somewhat controlled by proper diet and healthy living. It is important to be aware of what actually irritated the festoon bags like activities, food, drinks, alcohol, and smoking. Another method is to shrink them with an Eye tuck, of course without 100% guarantees.
Medications and steroid injects are available to temporarily improve the conditions for only a certain time. Advanced laser technology has however been proven to change the quality of the swollen skin and make it smooth and more youthful.
Many people, including doctors do not fully recognize the difference between Festoons and malar mounds. New studies have shown that fat can actually grow in asymmetric ways and may orbit around the eyes along with fat in other facial regions. For some, the fat begins to show at a very young age as a result of genetic development. The primary treatments are oral diuretics, steroid injections, and surgical removed. Though, these procedures often leave temporary or minimal results.
Blepharoplasty lower eyelid surgery helps to rejuvenate the appearance of the eyelids though individuals with festoon cases require additional treatment. With just eyelid surgery, the puffy area becomes more highlighted and obvious than before. With patients looking to achieve a youthful, vibrant look, a new specialized laser resurface process is used to help treat the condition and manage the harsh healing after the procedure.
An added bonus to this treatment is that it can also remove precancerous areas under the surface as well as those already visible on the skin. Although festoons are not cancerous, doctors and surgeons have discovered them to be marks for pre-cancerous conditions of the skin.
It is important to always keep in mind that while some treatments may work for some, will not work for others. With a proper skin care routine, festoons are more likely to shrink rather than to get worse.