Xanthelasma (or xanthelasma palpebrarum) is a sharply yellowish deposit of fat underneath the skin, usually around the corners of the eyes or on the eyelids. They are neither harmful or painful as such. But if they are bothering you, there are ways of getting rid of them. These minor growths can be removed. Xanthelasma is usually common in people of Asian origin and those from the Mediterranean region.
They can occur due to hereditary component and may or may not indicate high blood levels of cholesterol. If the family history is devoid of xanthelasma then in most cases they indicate high cholesterol level. These may sometimes get larger and nodular, assuming tumorous proportions. This condition is then termed as xanthoma. Xanthelasma is usually classified as a sub type of xanthoma. Even if they are not painful, they indicate higher risks of heart diseases. Therefore it is advised not to ignore this skin condition and get it checked by a doctor and look into some xanthelasma treatment. It is not always that they occur due to high cholesterol levels, they may occur in people with normal levels of cholesterol as well.
Xanthelasma is found in middle aged or older people. It is usually more common in females than in males. Xanthelasma is more likely to occur in people having any form of cholesterol. Familial hypercholesterolemia occurs if the condition is inherited. Liver diseases such as primary biliary cholangitis raise cholesterol levels which may give rise to this particular disease. These patches do not disappear on their own. They either stay the same way or aggravate. You may look at them as an indication that something is going wrong inside, and can start taking better care of your body. In case you get bothered by them then there are various kinds of xanthelasma treatments for that. The growth can be dissolved with medicines such as bichloroacetic acid or trichloroacetic acid. Freezing them off with intense cold (cryosurgery) is another option. Other xanthelasma treatments include removing them with a laser or taking them off with a surgery. Electrodessication can also be a way of treating them.
These treatments work well, but they can also have side effects. Scars, skin colour changes and turning out of the eyelid may occur sometimes. The growths may also re-appear if you have inherited high levels of cholesterol in blood. Research suggests that xanthelasma may be an early sign of cholesterol building up in your blood vessels. These cholesterol deposits may form hard, sticky plaques in your arteries over time. This condition, known as artherosclerosis, can lead strokes, heart attacks and any form of heart diseases. Xanthelasma can also be associated to other diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and smoking excessively.
Therefore, if these patches are bothering you very much you should get them removed. Try consulting a dermatologist in that case. Also give a visit to your primary doctor to get a check of your cholesterol levels, blood pressure and other heart risks so that you can work to control them.