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Encyclopedia > Epicanthal fold
A young woman with an epicanthal fold on both eyes
A young woman with an epicanthal fold on both eyes
Eye with epicanthal fold
Eye with epicanthal fold

An epicanthal fold, epicanthic fold, or epicanthus is a skin fold of the upper eyelid (from the nose to the inner side of the eyebrow) covering the inner corner (medial canthus) of the human eye. Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1600x1200, 147 KB) (All user names refer to en. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (1600x1200, 147 KB) (All user names refer to en. ... Image File history File links Epicanthal_fold. ... Image File history File links Epicanthal_fold. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Epidermis (skin). ... An eyelid is a thin fold of skin and muscle that covers and protects an eye. ... Human nose in profile A typical bulbous human nose Anatomically, a nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which admit and expel air for respiration. ... Front of left eye with eyelids separated to show medial canthus. ... Trinomial name Homo sapiens sapiens Linnaeus, 1758 Humans, or human beings, are bipedal primates belonging to the mammalian species Homo sapiens (Latin: wise man or knowing man) under the family Hominidae (the great apes). ... A human eye. ...

The term "epicanthal fold" refers to a visually categorized feature; however the underlying physiological reason and purpose for its presence in any given individual may be entirely different.


In children

All humans initially develop epicanthal folds in the womb. Some children lose them by birth, but epicanthal folds may also be seen in young children of any ethnicity before the bridge of the nose begins to elevate. This article or section should be merged with ethnic group Ethnicity is the cultural characteristics that connect a particular group or groups of people to each other. ... Human nose in profile A typical bulbous human nose Anatomically, a nose is a protuberance in vertebrates that houses the nostrils, or nares, which admit and expel air for respiration. ...


The maintenance of the epicanthic fold into adulthood in many populations is believed to have evolved as a defense against both the extreme cold as well as the extreme light [citation needed] that occurs in the Eurasian arctic and north. It has also been suggested that the fold provides some protection against dust [citation needed] in areas of desert such as that found in the deserts of northern China and Mongolia as well as parts of Africa. A world map showing the continent of Africa. ...

There is a wide distribution of the epicanthic fold across the world. It is found in significant numbers amongst Native Americans, the Khoisan of Southern Africa, many Central Asians and some people of Sami origin, though great majority of Samis does not have it. The presence of epicanthal folds is common in people of many, though not all, groups of East Asian and Southeast Asian descent. It also occurs sometimes on people of South Asian descent, especially Bengalis. Due to classic genetics children of a parent with a pronounced epicanthal fold and one without an epicanthal fold will have varying degrees of epicanthal folds as a result. A Hupa man. ... . ... Central Asia is a region of Asia. ... The Sami people (also Sámi, Saami, Lapps and Laplanders) are the indigenous people of Sápmi, which encompasses parts of northern Sweden, Norway, Finland and the Kola Peninsula of Russia. ... East Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Location of Southeast Asia Southeast Asia is a subregion of Asia. ... Map of South Asia South Asia is a subregion of Asia comprising the modern states of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, . It covers about 4,480,000 km², or 10 percent of the continent, and is also known as the Indian subcontinent. ... For the breed of cat, see Bengal cat; for the tiger, see Bengal Tiger; for the American football franchise , see Cincinnati Bengals Bengal (Banga, Bangla, Bangadesh, or Bangladesh in Bengali) comprises a region in the northeast of the Indian subcontinent, today divided between the independent country of Bangladesh and the... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ...

In Asian ethnicities, the presence of an epicanthal fold is associated with the lack of an upper eyelid crease, commonly termed "single eyelids" as opposed to "double eyelids". The two features are distinct; a person may have both epicanthal fold and upper eyelid crease, one and not the other, or neither.


In persons whose ancestry would make epicanthal folds otherwise unlikely to occur, the presence of the feature can be indicative of chromosomal disorders such as Down syndrome (Trisomy 21) or Cri du Chat syndrome. Cri du chat syndrome (French for Cry or call of the cat), also called deletion 5p syndrome, or 5p minus, is a rare genetic disorder due to a missing portion of chromosome 5. ...

Surgical alteration

The procedure of reducing or removing epicanthal folds is epicanthoplasty. Epicanthoplasty is a type of eye surgery to reduce appearance of epicanthal folds. ...

Colloquial terms

As might be expected of an inherited feature of such appearance there are many associated descriptions used among various groups. In some parts of the English speaking world, the term "slanted eyes" is still in colloquial use. The term is technically incorrect; most individuals possessing epicanthic folds actually have eyes which appear aligned more horizontally than those who do not.[citation needed] The term is also considered offensive [1] and, along with other terms with racially motivated undertones, is declining in usage[citation needed]. Another offensive term is "Slit eyes". This probably originates in relation to individuals who have "single eyelids" as the roundness of the eye is less obvious.

See also

Variation in the physical appearance of humans is believed by anthropologists to be an important factor in the development of personality and social relations in particular physical attractiveness. ...

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Glossary (331 words)
Epicanthal fold: A fold of skin that comes down across the inner angle (canthus) of the eye.
Although some dictionaries state that this eye fold is found in peoples of Asian origin, this is not true.
The normal Asian eyefold is continuous with the lower edge of the upper eyelid and actually appears distinctly different than a true epicanthal fold.
  More results at FactBites »



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