The eyelid xanthelasma is a yellowish plaque. Which appears on the upper eyelid (but sometimes also on the lower one) in the area adjacent to the root of the nose. Its name derives from the Greek Xanthos, which means yellow.
Belonging to the family of xanthomas, these dermatological abnormalities occur mainly in the age group between 40 and 60 years, on one (in this case they are unilateral xanthelasmas) or both (bilateral) eyelids. Xanthelasmas appear in men and women equally.
They are characterized by a rounded, elongated, irregular shape. But with well-defined margins and dimensions ranging from a few millimeters to a few centimeters. They are distinguished from the sebaceous cysts by their appearance and by their soft texture.
The eyelid xanthelasma is a swelling caused by the deposition of macrophages that contain high amounts of lipoproteins, the molecules that carry cholesterol in the body. Macrophages are cells of our immune system that function to “clean” the tissues. When cholesterol is in excess in the blood, the macrophages engulf it in an attempt to eliminate it.
The appearance of xanthelasmas is, in fact, more frequent in people suffering from hypercholesterolemia, hypertriglyceridemia and various metabolic disorders. However, many cases of eyelid xanthelasma concern people with normal metabolic values.
The eyelid xanthelasma does not cause health problems, nor pain or itching. But it is often the indicator of metabolic imbalances that could pose a health risk.
Frequently rubbing the eyes with the hands can favor the appearance of xanthelasmas in predisposed subjects. While it is proved that the sun has no effect on promoting their appearance.
The eyelid xanthelasma often tends to change color. And increase in size over time, due to the progressive deposition of cholesterol-infested cells.
Eyelid Xantelasm: natural remedies
The eyelid xanthelasma may regress spontaneously. But these circumstances occur very rarely.
The adoption of a balanced diet can contribute to the correction of the metabolism. And therefore to the prevention of the formation of xanthelasmas (and of the magnification of those already existing) in predisposed people.
It is useful, therefore, to limit the intake of sugars and fats of animal origin, eliminate alcohol and increase the presence of soluble fiber in the diet. And of foods containing fatty acids of type omega-3 (bluefish and seeds) and omega- 6 (abundant in sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and dried fruit).
In cases where xanthelasmas are associated with metabolic alterations, regular exercise is another preventive system.
In the context of proper nutrition, the intake of garlic (such as fresh food, dried aroma or dry extract) contributes to normalizing cholesterol levels in the blood thanks to one of its components, allicin.
The indication of use as an adjunct to dietary management in the treatment of hyperlipidemias is approved by the World Health Organization. According to some unverified traditional sources, the local application of its juice can help prevent further local cholesterol deposition.
Gently massaging the area in which the eyelid xanthelasma has manifested with a cotton bud dipped in castor oil (carefully avoiding the eyes), can represent an additional system to prevent the enlargement of xanthelasma. After treatment, the oil must be removed with warm water and mild soap.
The dandelion, widely used in herbal medicine as a purifying plant, is a valuable support to a diet rich in vegetables. And low in animal derivatives to balance the metabolism. Thanks to its tarassicin and tarasserol content, taken as a decoction. Or as a dry extract in tablets or capsules, it helps to reduce cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
With the enlargement and therefore the greater aesthetic impact, the hypothesis of surgical excision can be evaluated. Large xanthelasmas can also cause discomfort, interfere with the correct opening of the eyelid and obstruct the view.
Surgical treatment of the eyelid xanthelasma is the responsibility of the dermatologist and the cosmetic surgeon. It can use different methodologies, all of which can be performed under local anesthesia. Recurrence is frequent.