What are Xanthelasmas?
Xanthelasmas are collections of cholesterol and fat underneath the skin in the upper and lower eyelid region. They begin as small, round yellowish bumps that can slowly grow over time. If they remain untreated, they may grow enlarge to create significant aesthetic concerns for patients. Xanthelasmas are not harmful or painful.
Although these growths can sometimes be associated with higher lipid or cholesterol levels, this is not always the case. It is important to have your blood lipid and cholesterol levels checked regularly if you do have Xanthelasma. However, blood lipid levels are not always a good predictor of the presence of these lesions.
Xanthelasmas can be caused by an underlying metabolic disorder such as high cholesterol, high triglycerides, diabetes, or other disease processes. They may be present independent of any of these above mentioned disorders. Since Xanthelasmas are associated with other metabolic diseases, any patient with new onset the condition around the eyes should be evaluated by their primary care doctor to ensure good health.
Do Xanthelasmas grow over time?
While no one can predict the future, it is possible for Xanthelasmas to slowly grow over time. Commonly, however, they do not enlarge as the patient ages.