What You Must Know about Xanthelasma




Xanthelasma is a condition of the appearance of yellow plaques such as fat clots above or below the eyelids, precisely in the corner of the eye or canthus that can develop over time. These skin diseases are among the most common, especially in middle-aged women to late age. But it is possible to occur in men of all ages.


The growing xanthelasma can be shaped like a soft, calcareous, or semi-solid lump, with a symmetrical position on the eyelid. There are 4 points of the eyelid where the blob usually appears, ie above and below the inner eye angle, in the right and left eyes. The lower eyelid often becomes an area that is often overgrown with the lump.

Although xanthelasma is rare and harmless, it can be a symptom of a serious illness, such as heart disease or stroke. In addition, xanthelasma can not go away by itself and require medical help for its treatment.

Cause of Xanthelasma

Xanthelasma is caused by enzyme abnormalities that accumulate in skin cells, especially around the eye area, and is often associated with hyperlipidemia (high blood fat levels). In this condition, "bad" cholesterol (LDL) in the blood is pushed out onto the skin surface and forms a yellow blob like fat or lipid.
Some other factors that can increase a person's risk of experiencing xanthelasma are:

  • Low levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL) in the blood.
  • Has a history of cholesterol or hypercholesterolaemia.
  • Has primary biliary cirrhosis disease or damage to the liver duct.
  • Diabetes.
  • High blood pressure.


In addition, people with obesity and smokers are also at high risk of this disease, because these two factors can increase fat accumulation in the body and trigger heart attacks.

Symptoms of Xanthelasma

Briefly, the symptoms of xanthelasma are only characterized by the appearance of yellowish lipid or fat that continues to grow around the eyelids.

In certain cases, the symptoms of xanthelasma have similarities with other skin diseases. It is recommended for those who experience the symptoms to see a doctor to be diagnosed and treated appropriately.

Xanthelasma Diagnosis

Initially, the doctor will examine the lumps or bumps on the patient's eyelids, ranging from color and size to find out if there is an indication of xanthelasma disease. Given these conditions can be triggered by another condition, further tests such as blood pressure checks, laboratory tests, and heart health tests, are likely to be performed.

Xanthelasma Treatment

Although xanthelasma is not harmful, it is advisable to treat it to keep the lipid from growing and disturbing vision. Treatment can be done through lifestyle changes (including diet) or through surgery.

Changing Patterns of Life

This is generally done to lower cholesterol levels in the blood and suppress the growth of lipids. In addition, some potential diseases such as heart attack or stroke can also be prevented in this way.

Surgical Actions

In cases where the patient is disturbed by growing fat clots, surgical action can be performed to lift the coating from around the eyelid. The amount of incision required will be adjusted to the growing lipid conditions.

In addition to surgery, other ways that can be done to remove the clot between them is through electrodessication and cryotherapy techniques. Both of these techniques aim to kill the cells that cause xanthelasma to occur. Electrodessication is done with the help of electric waves, whereas cryotherapy uses very cold temperatures. Possible side effects of both methods are the appearance of scarring and hypopigmentation. Neither can it be done if xanthelasma has expanded into reaching the muscles.

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