Xanthelasma Removal

Xanthelasma is a condition caused by a collection of yellowish cholesterol deposits underneath the skin around the eyes

By Andrew Hatfield
Updated: 23rd November 2023

Medically reviewed by

If you are concerned about your appearance caused by Xanthelasma you should speak to your GP. You can ask to see our Consultant Burns, Laser Plastic Surgeon, Professor Shokrollahi privately without any long delays.

We have launched our laser skin clinic, which offers an effective non-surgical treatment for Xanthelasma, which can avoid surgery and minimise scarring.

What treatments are available for Xanthelasma?

Treatments for Xanthelasma include:

Which consultants treat Xanthelasma?

Consultants who treat Xanthelasma:

Professor Shokrollahi

The most suitable type of treatment for you will be discussed at your consultation, with your surgeon.

Want to be seen privately?

You will be offered an appointment at the earliest convenient date for you.

For information about booking appointment you can contact us on 01744 746 425 or enquiries@fairfield.org.uk

Consultants who treat Xanthelasma:

The information on this page is for reference only and has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals. The information contained on this page should not be a substitute for professional medical advice nor is it intended to be for medical diagnosis or treatment.


Q.1 What is Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma is a skin condition characterised by the development of yellowish, fatty deposits under the skin, typically around the eyelids. These soft, flat, and yellowish plaques or patches are often painless and may vary in size. Xanthelasma is considered a type of xanthoma, which is a collection of lipid-laden macrophages in the skin.

The presence of xanthelasma is usually associated with underlying lipid metabolism issues, such as high cholesterol levels or other lipid disorders. However, xanthelasma itself is generally benign and not harmful. It is more of a cosmetic concern for many individuals due to its appearance.

Q 2. Which individuals are prone to developing Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma can affect individuals with underlying lipid metabolism issues, such as elevated cholesterol levels or lipid disorders. However, it’s noteworthy that approximately 50% of people with xanthelasmas don’t necessarily have high cholesterol. Risk factors for xanthelasma encompass being assigned female at birth and having conditions like overweight, a tobacco product habit, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of high cholesterol or xanthelasma.

It’s observed that xanthelasmas can manifest between the ages of 20 and 70, with a higher incidence occurring between ages 35 and 55. If you identify with these risk factors or observe the development of xanthelasmas, consulting with Fairfield Independent Hospital is advisable for a comprehensive evaluation, diagnosis, and guidance on potential lifestyle adjustments or treatments.

Q 3. How common is it for people to have Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma is a relatively uncommon condition, and its prevalence can vary among different populations. While it is not considered rare, it is not as widespread as some other dermatological conditions. The prevalence of xanthelasma is influenced by factors such as age, gender, and the presence of underlying health conditions.

The condition is more frequently observed in individuals between the ages of 35 and 55, with a higher incidence during this period. It is also noted to be more prevalent in individuals assigned female at birth. The occurrence of xanthelasma can be associated with certain risk factors, including overweight, a tobacco product habit, high cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure, and a family history of high cholesterol or xanthelasma.

Q 4. What are the symptoms of Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma itself is typically asymptomatic, meaning it does not cause noticeable physical discomfort. The primary symptom of xanthelasma is the appearance of yellowish, soft, flat plaques or patches on or around the eyelids. These patches are usually painless and may vary in size.

While xanthelasma itself may not cause physical symptoms, it can be associated with underlying lipid metabolism issues. In some cases, individuals may experience symptoms related to these underlying conditions, such as high cholesterol levels. However, the xanthelasma plaques themselves do not cause specific symptoms beyond

5. What causes Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma is typically associated with underlying lipid metabolism issues, particularly elevated cholesterol levels or other lipid disorders. The exact cause of xanthelasma is not fully understood, but it is believed to be related to the accumulation of lipids (fats), including cholesterol, within certain cells of the skin.
Several factors may contribute to the development of xanthelasma, including:
High Cholesterol: Elevated levels of cholesterol in the blood are a common factor associated with xanthelasma. However, it’s important to note that not everyone with xanthelasma has high cholesterol.
Other Lipid Disorders: Conditions involving abnormal lipid metabolism may contribute to the formation of xanthelasma.
Genetic Factors: A family history of xanthelasma or high cholesterol can increase the risk of developing the condition.
Risk Factors: Certain risk factors, including being overweight, a tobacco product habit, diabetes, and high blood pressure, may also be associated with xanthelasma.

While xanthelasma itself is generally considered benign, it may indicate an increased risk of underlying cardiovascular issues, especially if it is associated with high cholesterol. If you notice the development of xanthelasma or have concerns about your skin’s appearance, consulting with our healthcare professionals at Fairfield Hospital is advisable for a comprehensive evaluation and appropriate management.

6. Can Xanthelasma go away on its own?

Xanthelasma typically does not go away on its own. Once the yellowish plaques or patches have formed on or around the eyelids, they tend to persist unless treated.

7. How can Xanthelasmas be removed?

Xanthelasmas can be removed through various methods, and the choice of treatment depends on factors such as the size of the lesions, their location, and the individual’s preferences.

Here are common methods for removing xanthelasmas:

Laser Therapy: Laser treatment is a common approach for removing xanthelasmas. The laser targets the blood vessels that supply the xanthelasma, causing them to collapse. This method is often used for smaller lesions.
Cryotherapy: Cryotherapy involves freezing the xanthelasma with liquid nitrogen. The frozen lesion is then removed. Cryotherapy is suitable for smaller xanthelasmas.
Surgical Excision: Larger xanthelasmas may be surgically excised. This involves cutting out the lesions and stitching the incision. Surgical excision may be recommended for extensive or thick xanthelasmas.
Chemical Peel: Chemical peels, using substances like trichloroacetic acid (TCA), can be applied to the xanthelasma to peel away the top layers of the skin, reducing the appearance of the lesions.
It’s crucial to note that while these methods can effectively remove xanthelasmas, they do not address the underlying lipid metabolism issues. Therefore, managing cholesterol levels and other lipid disorders may be an ongoing consideration, and lifestyle changes or medications may be recommended by healthcare professionals.