Many a patient has come to me with a desire to rid themselves of areas of swelling over their cheekbones called malar bags. Sometimes these may seem to drop down from the lower eyelids, but taking away lower eyelid fat does not cure them. What are they and how can they be eliminated?
First of all let’s understand what they are. Malar bags, as they are known in medical terminology, are not puffs of fat that can be removed by liposuction. They are zones of fluid collection in one of the fatty compartments of the face. That’s why they may be increased by eating salty foods resulting in fluid retention and decreased by taking a diuretic to eliminate fluid from the body.
How can these malar bags be treated? The person with these cheek puffs plus loose overlying skin can be helped by lifting the skin via a cheek lift or even directly excising the excess skin, leaving a scar that blends into the skin creases. Laser resurfacing of the area may help tighten the skin and the use of infrared or radiofrequency skin tightening may also be of benefit. Some patients who suffer from allergies find that malar bags appear when their allergy symptoms are present. Controlling the allergy with medication helps their malar bags. Decreasing the amount of salt in your diet and cutting back on alcoholic drinks may be a useful strategy. The bags can also be camouflaged by injecting facial fillers such as Juvederm around the puff, smoothing out the skin contours.
Further research is needed, however, if we are to cure the problem of malar bags. In the meantime the measures listed above may help. Please contact my office for further information or to schedule your plastic surgery consultation with Dr. Sanders.