Xanthelasma Removal Summary
Xanthelasma are yellow cholesterol deposits found around the inner eyelids. While uncommon in the general population, they are seen more often in individuals with high blood cholesterol levels. They are harmless skin growths and do not by itself cause any health problems. Xanthelasma removal with laser surgery is associated with faster healing rates and without the need for stitches.
Xanthelasma (aka Xanthelasma Palpebrarum) are yellow coloured cholesterol deposits that are found on the eyelids. It may affect the inner aspect of the upper and lower eyelids at the same time. They grow slowly over time, and do not cause symptoms such as itch or pain. They feel soft, and can either remain stable or grow larger over time. Most individuals request xanthelasma removal because of the undesirable cosmetic appearance.
While most individuals with xanthelasma have high cholesterol levels, xanthelasma can also occur in people with normal cholesterol levels. Dieting and taking medications to control high cholesterol does not readily improve the xanthelasma.
Xanthelasma Removal Surgery
There are a variety of treatment options for xanthelasma removal. These include electrosurgery, surgical excision, cryotherapy and laser surgery. Xanthelasma removal with Laser surgery is a precise way to destroy the cholesterol deposits and is associated with less bleeding and without the need to undergo surgical excision.
Following surgery, there is a chance of xanthelasma returning. This is because some xanthelasma deposits may extend deeper into the skin layers. Repeated treatments may be needed in some cases.
After care following surgery
While healing is good in most individuals after xanthelasma removal, there are some things to take note of. For example, regular application of an antibiotic ointment can reduce infection and improve healing.
Avoiding unnecessary sun exposure can minimise the risk of pigmentation problems of the treated area.
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- Christoffersen M, Frikke-Schmidt R, Schnohr P, et al. Xanthelasmata, arcus corneae, and ischaemic vascular disease and death in general population: prospective cohort study. BMJ. 2011 Sep 15. 343:d5497.
- Basar E, Oguz H, Ozdemir H, et al. Treatment of xanthelasma palpebrarum with argon laser photocoagulation. Argon laser and xanthelasma palpebrarum. Int Ophthalmol. 2004 Jan. 25(1):9-11.