Xanthelasma appear on the skin around the eyes as small yellow soft lumps, and are thought to be due to a build up of cholesterol deposits. As with any condition on the face or near the eye, the concerns for many people are the nature of the condition, and it's affect on their appearance. Some people prefer to have them removed. Traditional treatments have involved surgery, but with the development of modern techniques, there are other, less invasive options available.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
The eye condition Xanthelasma is not well understood by doctors, although they can be hereditary. Xanthelasma are not harmful, however some people consider them unsightly and prefer to have them treated. In the first instance, you should consult your doctor to ensure a correct identification of the condition. There are other similar conditions, and it is important that the correct identification is made, in order to ensure the best and most effective treatment,
Once removed, there is a possibility that xanthelasma will recur, and it is worth bearing this in mind when you choose which treatment course to embark on. Laser treatment and cryotherapy, freezing, are often used. As with any treatment involving areas close to the eye, there is still the risk of scarring, due to the soft nature of the tissue.
Recent research suggests that the use of 70% trichloroacetic acid, TCA, can be an effective and simple method of improving the appearance. Again, there is no guarantee that some residual scarring may remain, but many patients feel that this is more acceptable than the untreated xanthelasma. Sometimes the area will appear as a partial irregular area of weaker pigment. Once the initial treatment has been done, it may be possible to cover any affected area with suitable make up. Satisfaction levels for patients are usually good.
The procedure for applying TCA, should be carried out by a qualified dermatologist. Before treatment is carried out, your doctor will need to confirm that you have xanthelasma, rather than a similar condition. He or she will explain the way the treatment is carried out, and should also explain the potential risks which are inherent in any treatment near the eyes. Your doctor may request that you have a test for high cholesterol, which can be a factor in xanthelasma.
Once you have arranged your appointment, the TCA is usually applied to the xanthelasma by cotton tipped applicators. The procedure is unlikely to work immediately. Usually a course of treatment is required over a three month period. Results can vary, although research suggests that up to sixty per cent of patients are happy with the outcome. As with other treatments for xanthelasma, there can be no guarantee that they will not return at some stage in the future.
Due to the range of treatments available for this condition, it is worthwhile to discuss all the options to find the most suitable one for you. Treatment of xanthelasma by TCA offers a simple, less invasive option.
Correct identification is important
Tips and warnings
- Ask your doctor to refer you to a good skin specialist
- Ask questions when you go to your appointment
- If possible, ask to see examples of completed treatment
- Do not diagnose the condition yourself
- Do not try to treat the condition yourself
- Get professional advice before using makeup
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