Are you bothered by the presence of xanthelasma, yellowish plaques that develop on the eyelids and can detract from your appearance? Xanthelasma treatment offers a solution to address these cholesterol deposits and restore smoother, blemish-free skin around the eyes. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about xanthelasma, including its causes, symptoms, treatment options, and more.

What is Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma is a common skin condition characterized by yellowish plaques or patches that typically develop on the eyelids, particularly near the inner corners of the eyes. These plaques are composed of cholesterol deposits and may vary in size from small, barely noticeable lesions to larger, more prominent growths. While xanthelasma is usually harmless and painless, it can be cosmetically bothersome and may affect self-esteem, especially if the lesions are prominent or widespread.

Causes of Xanthelasma:

The exact cause of xanthelasma is not fully understood. However, several factors may contribute to its development, including:

  • High cholesterol levels: Elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood may lead to the deposition of cholesterol-rich plaques in the skin, including the eyelids.
  • Genetic predisposition: Some individuals may be genetically predisposed to developing xanthelasma, especially if other family members have a history of the condition.
  • Metabolic disorders: Underlying metabolic conditions such as diabetes or thyroid dysfunction may increase the risk of developing xanthelasma.

Symptoms of Xanthelasma:

Xanthelasma typically presents as:

  • Yellowish plaques or patches on the eyelids, particularly near the inner corners of the eyes.
  • Variable size, ranging from small, barely noticeable lesions to larger, more prominent growths.
  • Soft or slightly raised texture.
  • No associated pain or tenderness unless the lesions become inflamed or irritated.


Diagnosing xanthelasma is usually straightforward and based on visual inspection by a dermatologist or healthcare provider. In some cases, blood tests may be performed to evaluate cholesterol levels and assess for underlying metabolic conditions.

Treatment Options:

Treatment for xanthelasma may include:

  • Topical treatments: Topical medications containing ingredients such as trichloroacetic acid (TCA), glycolic acid, or retinoids may be applied directly to the xanthelasma to help dissolve the cholesterol deposits and lighten the pigmentation over time.
  • Laser therapy: Laser treatment can be used to target and break down the cholesterol deposits in the xanthelasma, resulting in their removal and improvement in skin appearance. This approach is often preferred for smaller, superficial lesions and may result in minimal scarring.
  • Surgical excision: Surgical removal of xanthelasma may be performed under local anesthesia as an outpatient procedure. The dermatologist makes an incision around the lesion, removes the cholesterol-rich tissue, and closes the incision with sutures.

Recovery Time:

Recovery following xanthelasma treatment depends on the chosen method and the size and location of the lesions. Generally, patients can expect:

  • Mild discomfort, swelling, or redness at the treatment site, which typically subsides within a few days.
  • Instructions for post-treatment care, including keeping the area clean and dry and applying topical medications as prescribed.
  • Return to normal activities within a few days to a week, with full healing and resolution of any scarring occurring over several weeks to months.

Risk Factors:

While xanthelasma treatment is generally safe, potential risks and complications may include:

  • Changes in skin pigmentation or texture.
  • Scarring, though this is rare when the procedure is performed by a skilled dermatologist or healthcare provider.

Preparation for Treatment:

To prepare for xanthelasma treatment, patients may be advised to:

  • Avoid certain medications that can increase the risk of bleeding, such as aspirin or blood thinners.
  • Arrange for transportation to and from the dermatologist’s office or surgical facility.
  • Follow any pre-treatment instructions provided by the healthcare provider, including fasting before the procedure if necessary.
Xanthelasma may be a common cosmetic concern, but effective treatment options are available to address these cholesterol deposits and restore clearer, smoother skin around the eyes. If you’re bothered by the presence of xanthelasma or seeking to improve the appearance of your eyelids, consult with a Rejuuvmed surgeon to explore treatment options tailored to your needs and achieve a more confident, rejuvenated appearance.

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