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Epicanthal folds


Definition:

An epicanthal fold is skin of the upper eyelid that covers the inner corner of the eye.  The fold runs from nose to the inner side of the eyebrow.  

Alternative Names:

Plica palpebronasalis

Considerations:

An epicanthal fold is normal in people of Asian descent.

An epicanthal fold is also common in children with Down syndrome.

Epicanthal folds may be seen in young children of any race before the bridge of the nose begins to rise.

Common Causes:

Epicanthal folds may be normal for people of Asiatic descent and some non-Asian infants. However, it may also be due to certain medical conditions, including:

Home Care:

There is usually no home care needed.

Call your health care provider if:

This trait is usually found before or during the first well-baby exam. Call your health care provider if you notice epicanthal folds on your child's eyes and the reason for their presence is unknown.

What to expect at your health care provider's office:

The doctor or nurse will examine the patient and ask questions about the medical history and symptoms. Questions may include: 

  • Do any family members have Down syndrome or other genetic disorder?
  • Is there a family history of intellectual disability or birth defects?

A child who is not Asian and is born with epicanthal folds may be examined for additional signs of Down syndrome or other genetic disorders.


Review Date: 2/21/2013
Reviewed By: Neil K. Kaneshiro, MD, MHA, Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.

The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. Copyright 2002 A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.

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