Condition > Xanthelasma

Xanthelasma Causes & Removal 

Noticed some bumpy, yellow-coloured patches forming on the skin around your eyes lately? Take a closer look at the area, and you’re likely to find that the unsightly patches are mostly concentrated on the inner corners of your eyelids. Possibilities are that you suffer from a skin condition called xanthelasma palpebrarum. 

Xanthelasma is caused by factors that lie deeper in the body.  The condition develops when cholesterol takes the form of a fatty deposit under the skin surface. Although it is not a harmful condition, Xanthelasma is often considered an indicator of excess cholesterol levels in the body. As we know, excess cholesterol build-up in the blood stream often leads to heart disease. Do seek a doctor to get it checked out. Patients who are bothered by xanthelasma appearance can have it removed with lasers.   

a women with a Xanthelasma or cholesterol on her skin

What is Xanthelasma? 

Xanthelasma is basically a condition where cholesterol solidifies under the skin and appears as yellowish patches on the skin surface. It usually occurs on or around the eyelids, often, developing symmetrically around both eyes.  It can also affect other body areas such as the neck, trunk and shoulders. While they are generally harmless for the skin or painful, these minor growths may cause the eyelid to droop. The condition can develop at any age. However, it is more likely to trouble middle-aged people and in women more often than men. This is why many people who suffer from the condition seek effective Xanthelasma removal treatments. 

Once they appear on the skin, these lesions may expand slowly over time. Sometimes, they join together to form larger lumps. It has been observed that people with Xanthelasma often tend to have dyslipidaemia or abnormally high lipid levels in the blood. Lifestyle factors can also cause cholesterol to deposit around the eyes. An example is a diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol, excessive alcohol and insufficient exercise.  

Chances of developing Xanthelasma increase if you’re a woman, aged between 30 and 50 years, Asian or Mediterranean. Risks increase if you smoke, are overweight, suffer from diabetes and hypertension. High lipid levels is a major factor in developing Xanthelasma.   

Why treatment is necessary for Xanthelasma 

Xanthelasma may not cause significant physical problems to patients. But the unattractive patches can draw unnecessary attention and lead to self-confidence issues. That’s why, Xanthelasma is considered more of a problem that can be treated cosmetically. 

However, a small number of patients sometimes face eyelid function problems due to Xanthelasma. In such cases, the eyelids tend to droop, leaving the patient struggling to open and shut their eyes or even suffering from vision problems. Removal of Xanthelasma becomes even more important in such cases.  

How to Get Rid Of Xanthelasma?

There are various treatments for a safe, and painless removal of Xanthelasma spots. These include surgical, and non-surgical options for treatment.  

Surgical excision:  It is considered one of the effective solutions to remove these growths. However, this method requires a long downtime.  

Non-surgical treatments: For individuals who are unable to afford time for the long healing process, non-invasive treatments are an effective, safe, painless, and convenient option for Xanthelasma removal. Non-surgical modalities that use medical laser or radiofrequency modalities flatten the Xanthelasma down to the skin level without cutting the skin. 

Laser Treatment: Xanthelasma can be effectively treated with an ablative laser. The laser targets the skin surface with beams of light. Since the laser acts on the water content within the skin, the tissues get vaporised immediately.  Apart from removing spots and skin damage, the laser boosts collagen production by initiating a wound healing process.  Erbium YAG lasers are some of the other laser modalities frequently used for treating Xanthelasma. The majority of patients respond positively to laser treatments as there is little tissue loss or destruction.  

 Anaesthetic cream is applied directly into the target area to prevent any discomfort during the treatment. Eye shields are to be worn during the treatment to protect the patient's eyes since Xanthelasma usually occurs very near the eyes. 

Radiofrequency treatment: This procedure uses energy generated by radiofrequency waves to effectively treat Xanthelasma. 


Takeaways for Xanthelasma 

Consult your doctor to decide the ideal Xanthelasma removal method for your specific condition. Whichever removal method you may finalise, remember the condition can develop again. So, along with treating the skin condition, it’s also important to treat the underlying medical conditions that lead to Xanthelasma. Schedule a consultation with a doctor to learn more about your conditions.