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Festoons, also known as malar pads, are swollen bags that appear beneath the lower eyelid around the cheek.  


Festoons, also known as malar pads, are swollen bags that appear beneath the lower eyelid around the cheek. They are a common sign of aging, although time alone is not the only reason that they appear. Learn more about festoons and how our board-certified dermatologists Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania in Devon can treat this persistent problem.

What is the difference between festoons and eye bags?

Festoons and eye bags are similar in that they both can appear as swollen areas due to lax skin and protruding fat. The difference is location. Eye bags are located directly under the lower eyelid and festoons are just below eye bags around the upper cheek. Eye bags have a puffier, circular look and are more firm than festoons. Eye bags are more commonly associated with aging, and while festoons can be as well, they may also be a result of environmental damage, including sun exposure and smoking.

Causes of Festoons

Festoons form in the lower eye/upper cheek area because of a structural problem in the skin. The orbicularis muscle that helps close the eyelids gets loose and can become more noticeable with draping of excess skin. There are several leading causes of festoons, including:

  • Heredity – you can inherit structural problems that make festoons more prominent
  • Sun exposure – damage from the sun can cause thinning and loss of elasticity
  • Aging – loss of muscle and structural support as people age causes loose skin and fat
  • Smoking and other lifestyle factors – lifestyle choices can impact dermal support, circulation, and drainage
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How do we treat festoons?

Many patients have both festoons and eye bags, and when treated together, patients see more noticeable results. It is common for patients to have festoons and not realize it impacts their appearance, or they misidentify the problem as eye bags when it is actually festoons that are present. Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania has effective individual and combination treatments for festoons and eye bags.

Our Pennsylvania location effectively treats festoons using Genius Radiofrequency Microneedling. This radiofrequency (RF) microneedling device targets different skin conditions, including festoons. Genius uses a combination of microneedling and radiofrequency energy to stimulate collagen production and repair the skin at a cellular level. Increased collagen levels can help build a healthier dermal structure for younger-looking skin.

    Do treatments hurt?

    The Genius device was approved by the FDA in 2018. The Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania has experienced, board-certified dermatologists that take every precaution to ensure patient comfort and safety with all of our procedures. RF microneedling is a minimally-invasive procedure that is completely safe and relatively comfortable. We will customize your treatment plan to ensure a positive and successful experience for you. 

    How long is the recovery after treatment?

    The Genius procedure requires little to no downtime afterward. Most patients resume daily activities immediately after treatment or the following day. Skin may be red and slightly swollen for a day or two, but these side effects should not be severe enough to keep you from your regular routine.

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    When will I see results?

    Most patients experience noticeable results within several weeks of the initial treatment. The number of treatments varies by patient and depends on factors like the progression of aging and aesthetic goals. Over time, your body naturally produces more collagen and elastin to encourage healthy cell turnover. Improvements tend to be long-lasting once they become apparent.

    Festoons FAQ

    Q: Why do I have festoons?

    A: Lax skin and weak muscles under the eye can contribute to festoons. Factors that impact weakening muscles include:

    • Sun exposure
    • Natural aging process
    • Heredity
    • Smoking

    Q: Can I prevent festoons?

    A: Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done to combat the natural aging process or genetics. You can, however, decrease your chances of developing festoons by living a healthy lifestyle. You can:

    • Wear sun protection daily (hat, sun lotion, sunglasses)
    • Eat a balanced diet
    • Exercise regularly
    • Avoid alcohol and smoking

    Q: Are festoons permanent?

    A: Without professional treatment from an expert dermatologist, festoons are typically permanent. The Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania offers a safe and effective treatment option with the Genius RF Microneedling device.

    Q: How long will my improvements last after treatment?

    A: While noticeable results can appear anywhere from 1-3 months after treatment, results are long-lasting. Several treatment sessions may be necessary depending on the prominence of festoons, progression of aging, and aesthetic goals. Once patients see results, they last many months or even years. Touch-up treatments can be scheduled if the festoons begin to form once again.

    Q: Am I a good candidate for festoon treatment?

    A: Genius is a suitable treatment option for anyone with festoons, regardless of skin type or tone. It is ideal for men and women who have concerns like festoons, early signs of aging, and mild skin laxity.

    Schedule your consultation WITH A DERMATOLOGIST today

    Festoons are a pesky and noticeable problem that can be treated safely and effectively for a more youthful appearance. The Laser & Skin Surgery Center of Pennsylvania in Devon is a state-of-the-art facility dedicated to serving the greater Philadelphia area with exceptional care, innovative techniques, and expert advice.

    Our board-certified dermatologists can help you achieve your aesthetic goals and remove unwanted festoons. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.

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    Our dermatology center in the greater Philadelphia area on the Main Line in Devon, which spans more than 8,000 square feet, is a comprehensive cosmetic and medical dermatology facility. Our board-certified dermatologists are leaders in the industry who have trained under distinguished physicians to provide our patients with cutting-edge care.

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    92 Lancaster Avenue, Suite 120, Devon, PA 19333

    Monday - Friday: 8:00am - 6:00pm

    Limited Saturdays: 8:00am - 12:00pm

    (215) 309-8123



    92 Lancaster Avenue, Suite 120, Devon, PA 19333

    Monday – Friday: 8:00am – 7:30pm

    Saturday & Sunday: September through June by appointment only

    (215) 309-8123



    325 Meeting House Lane, Bldg. 1, Ste. C Southampton, NY 11968

    Monday - Wednesday, Friday: 9am - 4:30pm

    Thursday: 9am - 5pm

    (631) 305-2402

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