What is Xanthelasma?
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The appearance of this condition is of yellow deposits above and below the eyelids, most often near the corner of the eye.
The yellow plaques are a build up of cholesterol deposit; although they are not harmful they can be unsightly and upsetting for people.
It is likely to occur more in women than men, but it hardly affects children and tends to affect those who are 15 years old and above. Once the build up of cholesterol deposits is established, it tends to remain that size although they can grow in size slowly; they never regress (get smaller in size). This tends not to affect the eye or eyelid function. The appearance of Xanthelasma actually affects your appearance, so sufferers obviously want to get rid of it, although there is still no guarantee that it will not occur again.
What are the causes?
Causes are often linked to a lipid imbalance in the body. Lipids are fats, and together with proteins and carbohydrates make up the components of living cells. When lipid levels in the bloodstream becomes too high, it starts depositing fatty deposits or plaques. Sometimes high cholesterol runs in the family generations so some people may be more predisposed to the condition.
What are the symptoms?
The patient will not suffer any pain, itching or inflammation in the area. There is also no link to this condition with any cancer related diseases or other serious problems.
Xanthelasma can be diagnosed by the colour of the patches and it's appearance around the eye area. Sometimes Xanthelasma can be mistaken with other skin disorders such as Milia (www.milia.co.uk) or Syringoma. Milia tend to be white hard lumps around the eyes that resemble pearls whereas Syringoma are commonly 1-3mm in size and appear as flesh-yellowish coloured benign bumps that are caused by the overgrowth of cells from the sweat glands.
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