Xanthoma is a skin condition most commonly seen on the face, elbows, joints, tendons, knees, hands, feet and buttocks. They appear as raised, painless, yellow bumps that are caused by fat deposits. This is an early indication of high cholesterol. The appearance will vary depending; however, in most cases a yellowish patch of skin will be present. Although not harmful or painful, these minor growths may be disfiguring and can be removed.
If neglected and cholesterol levels continue to increase, fatty deposits can develop under the eyes (upper and low eyelids) and can grow 3 inches in diameter. By the time these appear your cholesterol levels should be extremely high. Once present, xanthoma does not usually go away on its own. In fact, deposits frequently grow larger and more numerous.
Xanthoma can occur in people of any race and of either sex. However, females seem to be more frequently affected than males. In addition, it is unusual for a child or teenager to develop it; most individuals develop the condition in middle age and thin people suffer from it as well.
See your doctor if you suspect you have a xanthoma, so that he or she can check your cholesterol levels.
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If you have any further questions feel free to contact Houston OBGYN Dr. Lisa Otey for more information or an appointment.
For more on similar topics, check out our Women’s Health Blog.