Xanthelasma (or xanthelasma palpebrarum) is a clearly outlined yellowish deposit of fat underneath the skin (growth of tissue) usually on or around the eyelids (it can be found elsewhere.) They can feel hard or slightly soft when touched.
They are common in people of Asian and Mediterranean origin. Because of the hereditary component, they may or may not indicate high blood levels of cholesterol. Where there is no family history of xanthelasmata, they usually indicate high cholesterol and may correlate with a risk of atheromatous disease
and with abnormal blood fat levels (hyperlipidemia). Check with your doctor to make sure that isn’t the case!
Atheroma: A fatty deposit in the inner lining (intima) of an artery, resulting from atherosclerosis. Also called an atherosclerotic plaque, an arterial plaque, or a plaque.
Xanthelasma can be removed with a trichloroacetic acid peel, surgery, lasers or cryotherapy. Removal may cause scarring and pigment changes, but it is an uncommon side-effect of treatment. It sounds scary but it really isn’t! It is a very common skin condition and a good Dermatologist can remove it. Don’t try to remove it yourself however.