If you notice soft or hard yellow patches on the inside corners of your eyelids, you might have xanthelasma.
Xanthelasma (or xanthelasma palpebrarum) is a sharply demarcated yellowish deposit of fat underneath the skin, usually on or around the eyelids. While they are neither harmful nor painful, these minor growths may be disfiguring and can be removed.
They are common in people of Asian origin and those from the Mediterranean region
Even though xanthelasma itself won’t hurt you, it could be a sign that you’re at higher risk for heart disease. So don’t ignore this skin condition. Get it checked by your doctor.
Affected population includes:
- Middle aged or older people.
- People with high Cholesterol and Deranged lipid profile
- May also affect Diabetics
- Females are more commonly involved
About half of people with xanthelasma have high cholesterol. You’re more likely to get these growths if you have:
- High LDL (“bad”) cholesterol or low HDL (“good”) cholesterol
- Inherited high cholesterol (familial hypercholesterolemia)
- Liver disease called primary biliary cirrhosis, which can raise cholesterol levels
Your xanthelasma usually won’t go away on its own. The growths will either stay the same size or get bigger over time.
If you’re worried about your appearance, you may want to have these growths taken off. Your doctor can remove xanthelasma with one of these methods:
- Dissolve the growth with medicine such as bichloroacetic acid or trichloroacetic acid
- Freeze it off with intense cold (cryosurgery)
- Remove it with a laser
- Take it off with surgery
- Treat it with an electric needle (electrodessication)
These treatments work well, but they can cause side effects such as scars, skin color changes, and a turning out of the eyelid. The growths can also come back, especially if you have inherited high cholesterol.
xanthelasma may be an early warning sign that cholesterol is building up in your blood vessels.
Over time, cholesterol deposits can form hard, sticky plaques in your arteries. This buildup is called atherosclerosis, and it can lead to heart disease, heart attack, or stroke.
Xanthelasma may also be linked to other heart disease risks, such as:
- High blood pressure
If you notice yellow growths on your eyelids and want to have them removed, see a dermatologist.
Also visit your primary care doctor to have your cholesterol levels, blood pressure, and other heart risks checked so you can work to control them.