Cholesterol deposits are generally painless, and they can occur in many places on the body but are most common around the eyelids. They often indicate that a person is at higher risk of certain health conditions which makes it necessary to consult a doctor. People wish to remove cholesterol deposits for cosmetic reasons, since they become large and uncomfortable with time and unlike several other diseases, there are no home remedies which come in handy to get rid of these protruding spots at home. A person should not try to pop cholesterol deposits at their convenience. Instead, they should speak with a doctor and consult their prescription and procedure, that will help in removing these unwanted growths.
Dr. Smriti Naswa Singh, Consultant-Dermatologist & Fellow Pediatric Dermatology, Fortis Hospital, believes that our skin is the mirror of the internal body and mind. Talking more on the subject, the doctor elucidates, "Yellow coloured spots around eyelids are linked to deranged lipid profile which can be one of the causes of high blood pressure, heart attack, brain stroke, clots in legs, etc. in future. Only cosmetic removal of these spots (with surgery or chemical peels) would be insufficient treatment if the underlying root cause is not identified and treated."
Having a word from the very well, let’s know what causes these cholesterol deposits and what should be done in case of one.
How does cholesterol affect the body?
Having the right cholesterol level helps in maintaining the right levels of vitamin D and hormones in the body which in turn aids digestion and digestive problems. People who eat animal and poultry products may have more cholesterol in their bodies than those who don’t.
LDL cholesterol coats arteries that pile up a substance called plaque on their walls. This leads to a condition known as atherosclerosis, which is a form of heart disease. Not only the heart but also the body is affected when this happens. This condition slows down the flow of blood in the heart muscles and can block blood from getting to the heart. When this happens there is an increased risk of a heart attack in a person.
The liver is also affected with an increase of cholesterol in the body when a diet is high in fat and trans fats. Having a loaded amount of LDL cholesterol, caused by trans and saturated fats, increases the risk for several fatal heart diseases and diabetes.
Causes of Xanthomas
Self explanatory cholesterol deposits can indicate that a person has high levels of cholesterol. There are several possible causes of these cholesterol deposits, including:
- Certain cancers
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Inherited metabolic disorders, like familial hypercholesterolemia
- Scarring of the liver due to blocked bile ducts (biliary cirrhosis)
- Inflammation and swelling of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
- High levels of triglycerides
- Underactive thyroid (hypothyroidism)
Prevention of Xanthomas
However difficult and doctor consulting xanthomas may be, it can always be prevented. Like they say, prevention is better than cure, a person with risk factors for high cholesterol, such as diabetes or heart disease, should frequently undergo a cholesterol test.
Here are a few ways one can lower their cholesterol levels:
- Eating a wholesome diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, fish, nuts, and poultry
- Limiting the intake of sodium and sugar
- Reducing the intake of saturated fats
- Limiting the intake of red and processed meat
- Losing weight
- Regular exercise or intense workout every week
- Reducing alcohol consumption and quit smoking
Treatment of Xanthomas
Although, the method of removal of this growth will depend on the size, location, and characteristics of the deposit but the surgical options include:
- Carbon dioxide and argon laser ablation
- Chemical cauterization
- Surgical excision
- Laser ablation
The conditions that lead to xanthomas are serious and without treatment, they can lead to severeties such as hospitalization, surgeries, or even death. In certain cases, if you get your blood lipid levels down, the xanthomas will go away on their own. If not, the safe alternative is to speak to your doctor about having them removed with a clinical treatment.
(Inputs from Dr. Smriti Naswa Singh, Consultant-Dermatologist & Fellow Pediatric Dermatology, Fortis Hospital, Mulund)