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Xanthelasma And High Cholesterol

High Cholesterol Levels & Xanthelasma 

The word “Xanthos” that precedes Xanthelasma is the Greek word for “yellow.” An individual is said to have Xanthelasma if he/she has yellow-colored fatty materials deposited under the skin.

The yellow deposits are contained in macrophages that have become bloated due to excess ingestion of the fatty substances. The main fatty material in Xanthelasma is LDL, which is termed as bad cholesterol.

This is the foundation of the relationship between Xanthelasma and high cholesterol. The cholesterol and macrophage remnants can be trapped in various body tissues. When they are trapped around the eyelid, it is referred to as Xanthelasma.

After it has been captured by macrophages, the cholesterol becomes oxidized; oxidized form of cholesterol is the type implicated in atherosclerotic plaque. Atherosclerotic plaque can damage blood vessels, and it can also detach to form an embolus. The embolus can block small blood vessels, leading to necrosis.

Thanks to Xanthelasma; its formation makes it possible for medical practitioners to get a forewarning about the complications of atherosclerotic plaque that the accumulated cholesterol can cause.

They can, therefore, initiate several medical procedures to curtail the complications that can arise from the atherosclerotic plaque. This is one of the beneficial effects of the relationship between Xanthelasma and cholesterol. Any patient having Xanthelasma will also have very high LDL cholesterol value when taken through lipid profile in the medical laboratory.

The value can be as high as 250mg/dl, and it can also be higher. Such a condition is known as “familial heterozygous hypercholesterolemia.” This is inherited, and it results due to dysfunctional LDL receptor.


Aside from the link between Xanthelasma and increased LDL, the condition is also known to be associated with an increase in VLDL. VLDL is triglyceride-rich cholesterol and it further strengthens the relationship between Xanthelasma and cholesterol.

It is associated, undoubtedly, with a disorder of various types of lipoproteins.

These disorders are seen as ‘red flags” by experienced medical practitioners for atherosclerotic plaque. Once it shows up, they can engage all possible procedures to treat the underlying conditions.

Most medical experts rarely bother about treating the Xanthelasma; rather, they concentrate on the hidden conditions that the Xanthelasma is indicating, like complicated cardiac condition and diabetes mellitus, among others.

picture of cholesterol spots

Some scientists are of the opinion that Xanthelasma and cholesterol, more or less leads to the accumulation of small LDL particles, which is undoubtedly the common cause of heart diseases in the United States. The condition can be caused by excess consumption of carbohydrate, which can also lead to diabetes mellitus.

The small LDLs are the ones that easily attach to the walls of blood vessels, and they are also implicated in the atherosclerotic plaque mentioned earlier. The small LDL, aside from attaching to blood vessels, also attach to the skin.

Some high LDL particles are also found in Xanthelasma, but they have little or no influence and cannot turn the situation around for the better. This means that heath care providers should look beyond the cosmetics impacts of Xanthelasma and cholesterol, but consider the underlying complications that they may cause.

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