Xanthelasma and Xanthoma

Xanthoma is a condition in which fatty deposits form beneath the skin. They can be more than three inches in size or very small. Xanthomas are not painful or dangerous, but can be cosmetically disfiguring. Xanthomas may appear anywhere on the body, but are most frequently found on the elbows, joints, tendons, knees, hands, feet, and buttocks. Xanthelasma is a form of xanthoma that appears on the eyelids.

  • Causes

    Xanthoma is typically caused by:

    • Elevated levels of fats in the blood

    • Metabolic disorders including:

      • Diabetes

      • Primary biliary
        cirrhosis
      • Some cancers
      • Inherited metabolic disorders like high levels of cholesterol in the blood

    Although xanthelasma may be associated with high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, it can occur without cholesterol problems.

  • Definition

    Xanthoma
    is a condition in which fatty deposits form beneath the skin. They can be more than three inches in size or very small. Xanthomas are not painful or dangerous, but can be cosmetically disfiguring. Xanthomas may appear anywhere on the body, but are most frequently found on the elbows, joints, tendons, knees, hands, feet, and buttocks.

    Xanthelasma
    is a form of xanthoma that appears on the eyelids.

  • Diagnosis


    Xanthoma is usually diagnosed by examining the skin growths. A
    biopsy
    of the tissue will confirm a fatty deposit.

    Skin Biopsy
    Skin proceedure
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    A blood lipid profile and other tests may be done to determine the underlying condition responsible for the appearance of xanthomas.

  • Prevention

    To help reduce your chances of getting xanthoma, take the following steps:

    • Keep blood lipids and cholesterol at a healthy level
    • Keep metabolic disorders well-controlled

  • Risk Factors

    Factors that may increase your chance of developing xanthoma include:

    • Having a metabolic disorder listed above
    • Having extremely high cholesterol and/or triglyceride levels
    • Increased age

  • Symptoms

    The most common symptoms of xanthoma are:

    • Bumps under the skin

    • Skin lesions that are:

      • Many different shapes
      • Yellow to orange
      • Have well-defined borders

    Xanthomas may be tender, itchy, and painful.

  • Treatment

    Treating xanthoma consists of treating and controlling the underlying health conditions that cause the fatty deposits to develop. Better control of the metabolic disorders that can lead to xanthoma can reduce their occurrence.

    Xanthomas can recur after treatment.

    Other treatment options for xanthomas include: