Causes of Xanthelasma


If xanthelasma or xanthomas occur in patients, the affected person has a disorder in lipid metabolism. The body then absorbs too much fat from the food ingested during the digestive process instead of excreting the excess fat. The body then stores this as tiny fat nodules in the skin.
In the so-called xanthoma, the fats are stored as lipids (cholesterol) in the skin cells (Histiocytes) encapsulated.
Xanthelasma are special forms of xanthomas: the body stores the lipids in the eyelid cells (macrophages, foam cells) so that their occurrence is particularly noticeable in these areas.

Forms of xanthelasma

There are different forms of Xanthomas and xanthelasma.
How to distinguish between deposits of fat that a patient has despite normal blood lipid levels having (normolipidemic Xanthomas and xanthelasmata) and the deposits in patients with high blood lipids (hyperlipidemic Xanthomas and xanthelasma). There are also deposits that from other diseases present, such as diabetes, Inflammation of the pancreas or alcoholic liver disease conditional (so-called secondary Xanthomas or xanthelasma).

According to the current state of science, the deposits of fat are not related to the weight of the affected patient, because even people of normal weight can get xanthomas or xanthelasma.
One is noticeable familial accumulation of xanthelasma on the eyelids, so that a genetic influence is being considered.

Occurrence of xanthelasma

The so-called Xanthelasma palpebarum usually occur from the age of 50 on, however, too from the age of 40 observed.
Xanthomas become most common over the elbows and knee joints, at the buttocks or at Tendon sheaths formed and show up as nodules that not painful are. The color of the nodules is due to the stored fat yellowishbut the skin above it is inconspicuous.

If many of the yellowish nodules develop within a short period of time, it is called in medicine eruptive xanthomas.

Other influences

Probably one is currently being discussed significant influence of lifestyle on the formation of xanthomas and xanthelasma.
So it is believed that Smoke, Sedentary lifestyle, lack of sleep, stress and unbalanced “western” diet considerably promote the occurrence of xanthomas and / or xanthelasma and that they herald for stroke and Heart attack could be.
For this reason, the Nodules shown to the GP and a way to be worked out together, the lifestyle next to one drug treatment of the underlying disease (e.g. diabetes, lipid metabolism disorder) to positively influence the health of the entire organism and avoid the occurrence of xanthomas, xanthelasma or serious harmful events.

Ways to remove xanthelasma

Since the xanthelasma primarily represent a cosmetic and not a medical problem, it is usually not absolutely necessary to have them removed. If they bother the patient too much or even hinder the eyelid closure, the doctor has various treatment approaches available. However, before the decision to remove the xanthelasma is made, it is essential to clarify whether the patient's blood lipid levels are within the normal range and whether the metabolism is functioning properly. If this is not the case, the doctor will first act therapeutically and only then be able to treat the xanthelasma. Surgical excision, electrocautery, various types of lasers, cryosurgery, and trichloroacetic acid treatment are options. After the surgical removal of xanthelasma, however, relapses occur in 40% of cases, that is, the xanthelasma form again in the same place. There is also the risk that the cutting out of the xanthelasma and the subsequent tightening of the eyelid will not completely close the eyelids, which leads to permanent drying of the eyes. Therefore, laser treatment is the first choice in most cases today.

Read more about this under: Xanthelasma removal and xanthelasma surgery