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xanthelasma (yellow eyelids)
What are xanthelasma?
Xanthelasma are yellow patches on the skin that occur most commonly on the upper and lower eyelids. They are usually located on the medial side of the eyelids. Xanthelasma are more common in women than in men.

Symptoms of xanthelasma

The yellow plaques occur slowly and are often symmetrical. In general they are soft, but semisolid or even calcareous lesions exist. Xanthelasma usually start as small lesions but have a tendency to spread and coalesce.

What is the cause of xanthelasma?

One third to one half of persons with xanthelasma have elevated levels of lipids in the blood. If cholesterol levels are too high diet or cholesterol lowering drugs may be advised by your doctor. Although xanthelama are completely benign lesions of the skin may be a predictor of a higher risk for myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis and other heart diseases.


Xanthelasma can be cosmetically unappealing and many patients seek medical treatment. If a person has a lipid abnormality exercise and dietary changes may be recommended. Some patients require oral medication in order to lower the lipid levels in the blood.
In many cases, especially when the plaques are very flat, camouflage is the best option. Other options include surgical excision, laser treatment, local application of a special acid solution and electrodesiccation (electric needle treatment). The second picture shows a xanthelasma lesion immediately after application of a trichloroacetic acid solution.

                      immediately after treatment with trichloroacetic
                      acid solution

Further reading on xanthelasma

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