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Plica palpebronasalis

The Epicanthal fold medically termed and also known as Plica palpebronasalis or epicanthic fold or epicanthus is a normal condition seen among South East Asians, East Asian people, people of Tibetan descent, and North-East Burmese communities. When the skin fold of the upper eyelid covers the inner corner of the human eye, this skin condition is known to be epicanthus. If this condition is observed in Caucasian or races that do not have this genetic characteristic then it may be an indication of a serious disorder.

The web of skin tissue that extends from the nose to the inner side of the eyebrow is not a rare phenomenon among south Asian people; in fact it is one of their distinguishing features. This feature is also noted in some Native Americans, ethnic groups, and Africans. Every human being develops some form of Epicanthal fold although it is not as obvious as it is found in the specific races in Asia and elsewhere. This visually classified characteristic has an inherent physiological reason and the function for its being present in the given individual may differ from person to person.

Epicanthal folds may cause the individual's eyes to seem crossed or squinted, a condition known as pseudostrabismus; especially among people belonging to the Caucasian background and other European races who do not generally have this attribute.

The existence of the Epicanthal fold may also be an indication of fetal alcohol disorder, a condition that affects the child in the womb if the mother is an alcoholic. Other causes for the presence of Epicanthal fold would include Down syndrome or similar such chromosomal abnormalities, the Cri du Chat syndrome, or sometimes it is also seen in children in pre-term birth.

Genetics also plays a major role in the formation of Epicanthal folds. If the both parents have prominent Epicanthal fold or even if just one of them has this condition then the child may have variable grades of Epicanthal folds as a consequence. There is no medical treatment or home therapy for this condition, and if it is a common trait in a particular race it does not bear any kind of disorder.

However to minimize the severity of the folds surgical methods are opted. The process of cutting down or getting rid of the Epicanthal folds is known as epicanthoplasty. In certain parts of the Asian continent a popular form of cosmetic surgery as emerged known as Asian blepharoplasty.