Xanthelasma (Cholesterol Deposits)

About Xanthelasma Treatment

Xanthelasma is made up of cholesterol that gets deposited in the skin around the eyes and appears as raised yellow/orange bumps that may coalesce into larger protruding mounds. This condition tends to appear during the 4th to 5th decade of life and is approximately three times more common in women than it is in men. Around half of the patients who have xanthelasma also have some sort of acquired or inherited lipid disorder. Because lipid disorders involve elevated amounts of fat in the blood, individuals living with xanthelasma may be at higher risk of developing atherosclerosis and as a consequence, cardiovascular disease. In some people, xanthelasma may also be related to underlying thyroid disease or diabetes mellitus.

How is xanthelasma treated?

At Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center, our board-certified dermatologists use a state-of-the-art ablative laser (erbium or CO2) to precisely vaporize your xanthelasma. The ablative laser allows for meticulous tissue control, ensuring that only the skin containing abnormal cholesterol deposits is removed, while your unaffected skin is left untouched. Although some physicians will recommend treating xanthelasma by freezing it (cryotherapy), this treatment approach is not only imprecise, but it also has a high risk of post-treatment hypopigmentation or depigmentation (where your skin’s pigment is temporarily or permanently destroyed), as well as scarring. Other providers may recommend surgical excision with a scalpel, but this method is also imprecise, creates more tissue damage than ablative laser, and causes a significant amount of bruising in the post-treatment period.  Ablative laser in the hands of one of our extremely skilled physicians is the most effective way of treating xanthelasma, thoroughly removing the cholesterol deposits while giving you the best cosmetic outcome and leaving your surrounding unaffected skin untouched.

Can I have other treatments performed on the same day?

It is absolutely possible to have other treatments performed on the same day. Because xanthelasma is limited to the skin around the eyes, it is in most cases possible to have any number of other treatments performed on the same day, in order to bundle your recovery time. Some of the treatments that our board-certified dermatologists will frequently perform in conjunction with xanthelasma treatment include:

How long will I need to recover from having my xanthelasma treated with ablative laser?

Depending on the extent to which xanthelasma is affecting the skin around your eyes,  recovery time can range from one to four weeks. Recovery entails keeping the areas clean and moist with ointment, and most importantly keeping the treated areas protected from the sun, so that they don’t become hyperpigmented. Once the treated areas have healed, it is possible to apply sunscreen and/or makeup over them to camouflage any residual redness, which will eventually fade with time.

Is there a cure for xanthelasma?

Unfortunately, there is a risk of xanthelasma recurrence following ablative laser treatment. For xanthelasma that is being driven by an underlying medical condition, such as thyroid disease, diabetes, or lipid abnormalities, your xanthelasma may be less likely to recur if these conditions are brought under good control.  However, xanthelasma, once established, will not disappear on its own, regardless of how well you are managing the underlying medical condition that has contributed to its development. For this reason, ablative laser is unquestionably your best option if you are highly motivated to improve the appearance of the areas around your eyes affected by xanthelasma.

Why trust Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center to treat my xanthelasma?

Our board-certified dermatologists at Gateway Aesthetic Institute and Laser Center have decades of experience performing ablative laser treatments for a variety of benign skin issues using the most advanced technology. While many practitioners will recommend freezing or scalpel excision of xanthelasma, these approaches are imprecise, as well as fraught with a high risk of complications. The skin around your eye is some of the most delicate on your body, and it requires artistry in addition to experience in order to carefully remove xanthelasma in a manner that is both complete and aesthetically conscious. Additionally, because xanthelasma is related to a number of underlying medical conditions such as thyroid disease, diabetes mellitus, and various types of lipid abnormalities, it is very important that you seek the care of a physician who is aware of these associations and can pursue the appropriate work up to determine whether you might have one of these conditions. Finally, because of our wide breadth of aesthetic offerings, it is possible for you to not only address your xanthelasma during a single treatment session but to also incorporate many other ways to refresh the appearance of your face and skin on the same day, so that you are making the most efficient use of your recovery time, while on the journey toward looking like the best version of yourself.

Begin your aesthetic journey with us today.