Home
Search in�� ��for��
 
Resources
Career Center
New Hospital Update
Learn More About MCI
Bill Payment
Upcoming Events
Find a Physician
Press Releases
Maps and Directions
Visiting Hours
Medical Services
Specialty Programs and Services
Volunteer Services
H2U
Birthing Center Tours
Clinics
Family Care of Eastern Jackson County
Jackson County Medical Group
Family & Friends
Virtual Body
Virtual Cheercards
Web Babies
Decision Tools
Self-Assessment Tools
Natural and Alternative Treatments Main Index
Health Sources
Cancer InDepth
Heart Care Center
HealthDay News
Wellness Centers
Aging and Health
Alternative Health
Sports and Fitness
Food and Nutrition
Men's Health
Mental Health
Kids' and Teens' Health
Healthy Pregnancy
Medications
Travel and Health
Women's Health
Genus MD
Genus MD
Physician Websites
Legal Disclaimers
Nondiscrimination
Privacy Notice



Send This Page To A Friend
Print This Page

Xanthelasma and Xanthoma

Pronounced: Zan-tha-las-ma; zan-tho-muh

 

Definition

Fatty lumps under the skin are called xanthomas. They range from very small to up to 3 inches in size. Xanthomas can be cosmetically disfiguring. Xanthomas may appear anywhere on the body. The most common places are the elbows, joints, tendons, knees, hands, feet, and buttocks.

If the fatty lumps are on the eyelids, it’s called xanthelasma.

 

Causes    TOP

Causes of xanthomas are:

Xanthelasma is connected to high fat levels in the blood. But, you can still have it without these problems.

 

Risk Factors    TOP

Xanthoma is more common in older adults. Your chances are higher if you:

  • Have one of the metabolic problems listed above
  • Have very high cholesterol or triglyceride levels
 

Symptoms    TOP

Xanthomas may cause:

  • Bumps under the skin, which may be:
    • Tender
    • Itchy
    • Painful
  • Skin bumps that:
    • Are many different shapes
    • Are yellow to orange
    • Have well-defined borders
 

Diagnosis    TOP

The doctor will ask about your symptoms and health history. Your answers and a skin exam will point to having xanthomas. You may also have:

  • A physical exam
  • A biopsy to check the fatty lumps
  • Blood tests to check cholesterol and to look for other causes

Skin Biopsy

Skin proceedure

Copyright © Nucleus Medical Media, Inc.

 

Treatment    TOP

Xanthomas may go away on their own. Care depends on what’s causing them. This approach helps lower the chances of having them come back. Care may involve:

  • Changes in you diet to lower the amount of fat
  • Medicines to manage cholesterol and triglyceride levels

Options for removal may involve:

  • Laser vaporization—different types of light can be used
  • Applying chemicals to the affected area
  • Surgery to cut them out

If you have them removed, it’s possible they will come back.

 

Prevention    TOP

To help lower your chances of xanthomas, follow your care plan if you have high cholesterol or other metabolic problems.

RESOURCES:

American Academy of Dermatology
http://www.aad.org

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
https://familydoctor.org

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Canadian Dermatology Association
https://www.dermatology.ca

Health Canada
https://www.canada.ca

REFERENCES:

Shapiro M. Rare Genetic Disorders Altering Lipoproteins. Endotext [Internet]. South Dartmouth (MA): MDText.com, Inc.; 2000-2015 Jun 12.

Hypertriglyceridemia. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115419/Hypertriglyceridemia . Updated June 4, 2018. Accessed June 20, 2018.

Xanthoma. DermNet NZ website. Available at: https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/xanthoma. Accessed June 20, 2018.



Last reviewed May 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcie L. Sidman, MD
Last Updated: 6/20/2018

Health References
Health Conditions
Therapeutic Centers


Copyright � 1999-2007
ehc.com; All rights reserved.
Terms & Conditions of Use
Privacy Statement
Medical Center of Independence
17203 E. 23rd St.
Independence,� MO� 64057
Telephone: (816) 478-5000