Malar Edema & Fluid Retention Facts & Tips
- What is malar edema?
- Fluid that collects over the malar area of cheek, below the level of the infraorbital rim. Malar edema often varies in severity; it may be more noticeable after a salty meal, first thing in the morning or after alcohol consumption.
- What causes malar edema?
- Malar edema is a physiological condition which develops in response to reduced lymphatic flow from an area. Many factors can contribute to malar edema including allergies, face-down sleeping position, diet (salt/preservatives), genetics and previous Hyaluronic Acid filler injections.
- Can malar edema be treated or cured?
- Malar edema can be treated with a goal of improvement, but there is no cure as this is a physiological condition where the body functions in a preset way. We aim to use lifestyle modifications and in office treatments to improve the appearance of the condition and aid the body in reducing the severity.
Our approach to Malar Edema: Because Malar Edema is a physiologic condition, the severity of the condition varies largely by time, lifestyle, and patient. The degree of improvement has many factors, and we aim to improve the condition to make it as minimal as possible. There is no cure.
We begin with a thorough understanding of what malar edema is, how the obstruction of lymphatic flow affects the outward appearance of the area, what factors make it look worse, and what small changes we can make at home day-to-day to improve the body’s natural tendencies to retain fluid. The patient’s medical history, lifestyle habits, and cosmetic history play a large role here.
In office, our approach is individualized based on the patient’s lifestyle and history, and geared towards reducing the worsening or recurrence of fluid retention. Each individual’s plan is unique, and we may remove old Hyaluronic Acid fillers with dissolving agents, leave old filler in place, and/or utilize radiofrequency technology to promote lymphatic drainage, de-puffing and tightening of the skin. The plan is determined by your provider who is a specialist in this area.
The process takes time, and there is no guarantee as to how much it will improve. We have seen great results with this approach to Malar Edema, but our interventions and efforts will only improve the condition as much as the body is capable of. There is a small percentage of patients who do not respond to therapy.
Suggestions to improve malar edema:
- Reduce sodium intake
- Sleep on your back and/or use a beauty pillow
- Incorporate lymphatic massage
- Use a Gua Sha stone lymphatic massage
- Gua sha stone, you can buy it at Sephora