Who Gets Cholesterol Deposits On Skin, Know its Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, Diet, Lifestyle Modifications

Cholesterol deposits on skin, is also known as xanthomas and can occur to anyone on any part of the body. Want to know more about the cholesterol deposits on skin? The enjoy reading the post and discover more about this condition. Let us understand about their causes, and also about some of the ways to treat the cholesterol deposits on the skin.

What Are Cholesterol Deposits On Skin?

Cholesterol deposits on skin or xanthomas, are the fatty deposits building up under the skin. Though such cholesterol deposits on skin can build up on any part of the body, usually they appear commonly around the eyes. They can vary in size and may be too small to very large, larger than 3 inches in diameter. Cholesterol deposits on skin are generally flat and soft and they have well-defined edges. These deposits are typically flesh-colored or yellow in color; however, sometimes they may also appear pink or reddish.

Who Gets Cholesterol Deposits On Skin

Cholesterol deposits on skin can occur either as a single bump or occur as clusters. These are usually not painful or itchy; however, in rare cases they can be. It must be noted that these deposits on skin are not contagious, or harmful by themselves; however, their appearance may be a sign of some severe underlying health condition.

A common type of cholesterol deposit on skin of the eyelids is xanthelasma palpebra. These may occur without any underlying health condition or without an elevated level of cholesterol or lipid.

Who Gets Cholesterol Deposits On Skin?

Cholesterol deposit on skin is generally very rare, however; sometimes you can get it if the cholesterol level is high or if there are high levels of other fats in the blood. But again, it is also possible that you might also get cholesterol deposits on skin even if you have normal cholesterol levels.

This is more common in women than they are in men. Most people, who get cholesterol deposits on skin, are middle-aged or even older.

What Are The Causes Of Cholesterol Deposits On Skin?

More than half the people with cholesterol deposits on skin, have high levels of cholesterol. However, there are also other causes of cholesterol deposits on skin. Most likely, you would get this if you have the following conditions.

  • High levels of LDL or bad cholesterol or Low levels of HDL or the good cholesterol.
  • If you have inherited high cholesterol.
  • Medical conditions that involves an increase in the lipid levels in the blood, such as some types of cancer, hyperthyroidism, pancreatic, diabetes, hyperlipidemia and liver disease like the primary biliary cirrhosis(which raises the cholesterol levels).
  • The risk of cholesterol deposits on skin is higher in people who have their families from Asia or the Mediterranean.

Symptoms of Cholesterol Deposits on Skin

Appearance of cholesterol deposits itself are one of the symptoms of cholesterol deposits on skin, but it is important to be able to identify them. You can suspect cholesterol deposits on skin if you notice some yellow patches under the skin. These patches are made of cholesterol present under your skin. It is important to seek medical advice and get your physician to check your cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

If you see them on the corners of the eyelids from inside. You need to see an eye specialist to help you get rid of these patches.

How To Treat Cholesterol Deposits On Skin?

Your doctor can diagnose cholesterol deposits on skin by physical examination or in some cases, a biopsy may be advised to diagnose the growth completely and rule out certain other conditions.

In order to treat cholesterol deposits on skin, it is important to monitor and keep a check on cholesterol levels with the help of medicines and appropriate lifestyle.

Below are some of the ways to treat cholesterol deposits on skin.

Medicines – The growth of the xanthomas or the cholesterol deposits on skin can be dissolved with certain medicines. Moreover for treating these cholesterol deposits on skin caused due to underlying lipid abnormality, it is essential to treat the underlying condition. This can be done by certain systematic medications to lower the blood lipids.

Fibrates( Bezafibrate), Niacin, Ezetemibe, Bile acid sequestrants, Statins or HMG CoA reductase inhibitors, Cholestiramine and Cholestipol, must be prescribed for treating the underlying lipid disorders.

Epionce Lytic Topical Treatment – This is an effective way to help break down the cholesterol deposits on skin and prevent the occurrence of xanthomas. This type of treatment also reduces the redness, and also improves the appearance of imperfections of the growth, and smoothes the uneven texture and skin tone.

Electrocautery Treatment – This type of treatment is used to remove the cholesterol deposits on skin. Electrocautery treatment typically uses an electrically heated instrument so as to physically remove the cholesterol deposit on skin. This is a quick as well as an easy approach for treating xanthomas.

Cryosurgery – Another way to treat cholesterol deposits on skin is the cryosurgery. Here, the physician would freeze the xanthoma off with intense cold.

Surgery – If the cholesterol deposits on skin are painful, then a surgery or laser removal procedure would be required.

Though the above methods of treatment could work in getting rid of the cholesterol deposits on skin, they may have some side effects such as scars, changes in the color of your skin, turned-out eyelids; and also the growths may again come back, especially in case you have inherited high cholesterol.

Dietary And Lifestyle Modification To Treat Cholesterol Deposits On Skin:

We talked about the treatments for cholesterol deposits on skin. However, there are some dietary and lifestyle medications that can be followed so as to treat these deposits, especially the ones that occur due to any underlying lipid disorder or lipid abnormality. Below are some of the dietary measures you can follow to treat lipid disorders that might be causing the xanthomas.

  • Consume more of salads, vegetables, cereals and fish.
  • Reduce taking saturated fats(such as those present in butter, meat, coconut oil, palm oil)
  • Reduce the intake of simple and refined sugars that are present in fizzy drinks, biscuits, sweets and cakes.

Moreover, you also need to reduce your weight if you are overweight or obese; and this can be done by increasing physical activity and decreasing calorie intake.


With this we are now pretty aware of the cholesterol deposits on skin. If you suffer from this problem and are worried about how they look, do visit a dermatologist and talk about the best possible treatment for you. It is also important for you to have a monitor of your cholesterol level and take the prescribed treatments for high cholesterol along with the treatment of cholesterol deposits on skin.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:July 8, 2021

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