What Is Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma is an infection that occurs due to skin affecting manifestations of lipids. Lipids are naturally occurring liquids in the human body found in sterols, Vitamin A, D, E, and K, fats, waxes, fat-soluble, and glycerides. Lipids tend to cluster beneath the skin and become visible via xanthelasma.

Xanthelasma is characterized by a soft, semisolid, or calcareous patch on the skin. This patch is symmetrical and flat-surfaced with a size ranging from 2-30mm and is also classified as a cutaneous necro-biotic disorder and a form of xanthoma. Their appearance can nonetheless be damaging to one’s self-esteem, especially in more advanced cases, prompting the need to seek xanthelasma removal at a specialist clinic.

Causes of Xanthelasma

There are various causes of xanthelasma although, they are all influenced by the presence of lipids. These causes are:

  1. Hereditary: This occurs in the form of hereditary disorders. Most victims of this skin disease have a family history of lipoprotein metabolism disorder. This is when the body cannot break down or produce excess lipids from lipoproteins, causing excess lipids.
  2. Cholesterol: This is another cause of the disease. When excess cholesterol is present in the white blood cells, it weakens the white blood cell preventing them from resisting excess lipids on the body.
  3. Temperature and Friction: High hot temperature causes an increase in the lipoprotein density level in the body; how? The high temperature causes the lipoprotein molecules to be agitated, giving them more mobility and resulting in leakage from the capillaries in the body. Hence, excess lipids are released into the body, and they begin to cluster.

Consequences Of Xanthelasma And Xanthoma

This skin infection does not have any lethal consequence except cosmetic problems. This skin infection disfigures a person’s appearance causing people to distant their selves from an infected person. No, this infection is contagious in any sort and does not bring any form of pain or injury to the sufferer.

Different Kinds of Xanthoma

This disease exists in different forms. It is essential you know how to identify this skin disease to enable early treatment on discovery before it spreads to the poi t of disfiguring a person’s appearance. The various kinds are:

  1. Xanthelasma Palpebrum: This is also called xanthelasma. This is characterized by yellow, delicate papules or plaques that form symmetrically on higher or lower eyelids. This skin disease is sometimes associated with hyperlipidemia.
  2. Tuberous Xanthomas: This is very different from xanthelasma. It is a firm, red-yellow nodule that develops around pressure areas of the body, like the knee and elbow. They are usually associated with increased cholesterol levels and increased lipoprotein Density Levels in the body.
  3. Tendinous Xanthomas:  This is a yellow subcutaneous nodule found on tendons or ligaments. It is associated with increased Lipoprotein density and severe hypercholesterolemia levels in the body.
  4. Eruptive Xanthomas: Often found on the buttocks, knees, hands, and rarely on the face. It is red-yellowish and erupts in mass on a particular area. It is associated with increased triglycerides and is common in diabetic patients.
  5. Other forms of Xanthomas are plane Xanthomas, Xanthomas disseminatum, and diffuse plane Xanthomas.

Testing for Xanthelasma

Xanthelasma can be discovered early by carrying out a fasting lipid level test. This test determines the cause of the disease allowing the dermatologist to proffer a solution to curb the spread.


In general, xanthelasma is a skin disease caused by excessive lipid components in the bloodstream and can exist in various forms. But, all these forms, if tested, can be identified and a solution to prevent cosmetic problems proffered.

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