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See also: Xanthoma
Classification and external resources
Specialty ophthalmology
ICD-10 H02.6
ICD-9-CM 374.51
DiseasesDB 28519
MedlinePlus 001447
eMedicine oph/610
Patient UK Xanthelasma

Xanthelasma (or xanthelasma palpebrarum; pronunciation: /ˌzænθˈlæzmə/) is a sharply demarcated yellowish deposit of fat underneath the skin, usually on or around the eyelids.[1] While they are neither harmful nor painful, these minor growths may be disfiguring and can be removed.[1] They are common in people of Asian origin and those from the Mediterranean region.[citation needed]

Because of the hereditary component, they may or may not indicate high blood levels of cholesterol. Where there is no family history of xanthelasmata, they usually indicate high cholesterol and may correlate with a risk of atheromatous disease.[citation needed]

A xanthelasma may instead be referred to as a xanthoma when becoming larger and nodular, assuming tumorous proportions.[2] Still, xanthelasma is often classified simply as a subtype of xanthoma.[3]


Xanthelasmata can be removed with a trichloroacetic acid peel, surgery, lasers or cryotherapy. Removal may cause scarring and pigment changes, but it is an uncommon side-effect of treatment.


The word is derived from Greek xanthos, ξανθός, "yellow" and έλασμα, elasma, "foil". The plural is xanthelasmata. Palpebrarum is Latin for 'of the eyelids' (plural genitive case).[citation needed]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Lang, Gerhard K (2000). Ophthalmology. Stuttgart: Thieme. [page needed]
  2. ^ Shields, Carol; Shields, Jerry (2008). Eyelid, conjunctival and orbital tumors: atlas and textbook. Hagerstwon, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. ISBN 0-7817-7578-7. [page needed]
  3. ^ "xanthelasma". Mosby's Medical Dictionary (8th ed.). 2009. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  4. ^ Susman, Ed. "AHA: Eyelids Hold Clue to Heart Disease". Medpage Today. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 

External links[edit]