Xanthelasma Treatment- Plastic and Cosmetic Surgery

What is Xanthelasma?

Xanthelasma appear as yellowish plaques and occur usually near the inside corners of the eyelid. They generally appear on the upper lid than the lower lid. These yellow patches are made up of cholesterol which is under the skin.

What are the treatment options?

The treatment options to treat xanthelasma include dietary restrictions, systemic therapy, topical therapy, use of energy-based devices, and surgery. A dermatologist (skin disease specialist) or opthalmologist (eye disease specialist) are the physicians who might be involved in Xanthelasma treatment.

Dietary restrictions: Maintaining proper lipid levels may yield only limited response to reduce the yellow plaques.

Systemic therapy: This includes probucol and alirocumab. Probucol is an antioxidant, and it acts by limiting the alteration of LDL cholesterol. Alirocumab maintains cholesterol level and thus it helps to treat xanthelasma.

Topical therapy: Topical therapy includes liquid nitrogen cryotherapy and chemical peel (chemical cauterization).

Liquid nitrogen cryotherapy: It is an effective treatment option to freeze off the growth of yellow plaques.

Chemical cauterization: Chlorinated acetic acids are very effective in the treatment of xanthelasma. They precipitate and clot the proteins and dissolve lipids. Monochloroacetic acid, dichloroacetic acid and trichloroacetic acid are used. These chemicals are applied in a circular manner such a way that it covers the entire treatment area. It helps to dissolve the growth of the yellow plaques.

Use of energy-based devices: Various types of lasers such as CO2 laser, Er:YAG laser, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser, Argon laser etc. are used to remove the growth. Use of lasers are recommended due to improved hemostasis, better visualization, speed, and no need of suturing.

Surgery: Removal of growth by surgery generally helps to achieve exceptional cosmetic outcomes. Excision is recommended for small linear lesions. Smaller bulging lesions are f "uncapped" and then removed; and after this the flap is replaced and sutured.

What to expect after the treatment?

Side effects of the above mentioned treatment options include change in skin color, scars, and turned-out eyelid. If the patient has inherited high cholesterol, the growths might reappear.

To learn more about Xanthelasma Treatment, please check our blog on YELLOW PATCHES ON YOUR EYELIDS IS IT XANTHELASMA?.



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About the Author:

Dr. Anand Lakhkar is a physician scientist from India. He completed his basic medical education from India and his postgraduate training in pharmacology from the United States. He has a MS degree in pharmacology from New York Medical College, a MS degree in Cancer/Neuro Pharmacology from Georgetown University and a PhD in Pharmacology from New York Medical College where he was the recipient of the Graduate Faculty Council Award for academic and research excellence.  His research area of expertise is in pulmonary hypertension, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular pharmacology.  He has multiple publications in international peer-reviewed journals and has presented his research at at prestigious conferences.