Elevated cholesterol in many people may go unnoticed with there being few external signs. Lifestyle, diet and genetics all play a role in elevated blood cholesterol. Getting an annual physical and lab work will help identify this issue early.
There are skin presentations that may indicate a problem with lipid levels in our body. Xanthelasma is a fat or cholesterol deposit on the eyelids, presenting in both upper and lower eyelids. These are sharply demarcated yellowish deposits or plaques of cholesterol underneath the skin. This can be cosmetically disturbing and embarrassing to those affected.
While the plaques appear primarily on the eyelids, other nodular deposits of fat may be present in other areas of the body. These xanthomas are soft to the touch, painless and will also be yellowish in color. For some people this may be the first sign that there is an underlying issue with cholesterol. Treating and balancing healthy body fats is the first line of business, however these lesions will not resolve on their own so treatment so removal is necessary.
We are lucky that we have many treatments available for this condition ranging from topical trichloroacetic acid peels, surgery to laser treatments. Lasers treatments with CO2, Erbium YAG or Erbium YSGG seem to offer the best cosmetic outcome. These laser treatments will safely remove the lesion, layer by layer, with little down time or side effects. Treatment results in a scab to care for with topical ointments for about 7-10 days. Sun avoidance is important for many months following, but results are amazing. Consult your trusted skin care clinic for safe and effective treatment options.