Cholesterol deposits, or xanthomas, are fatty deposits that build up under the skin. They can occur in anyone, on any area of the body, but most commonly appear around the eyes. Cholesterol deposits can vary in size, from very small to larger than three inches in diameter. They are typically flat and soft and have well-defined edges and borders. They are often flesh-colored or yellow, but sometimes they appear reddish or pink in color. They can occur as a single bump or in clusters. Cholesterol deposits are not usually painful or itchy, but they can be in some rare instances. They are not contagious, dangerous, or harmful in and of themselves, but their occurrence may be a sign of a more serious underlying condition.

Xanthelasma palpebra is a common type of cholesterol deposit that forms on the eyelids. They may occur without any underlying medical condition or elevated cholesterol or lipid level.


Cholesterol deposits most frequently occur in older individuals and are associated with high cholesterol levels, but there are other causes as well. Cholesterol deposits may be a sign of a medical condition involving an increase in blood lipids, including certain types of cancer, diabetes, pancreatitis, hypothyroidism, hyperlipidemia, primary biliary cirrhosis, and inherited metabolic disorders such as familial hypercholesterolemia. A sudden outbreak of cholesterol deposits, also known as eruptive xanthomas, is a sign that blood fat levels may be too high. Those with eruptive xanthomas should schedule a consultation with a physician as soon as possible.

Management & Treatment

Routinely checking cholesterol levels is a good way to start management and/or prevention of cholesterol deposits. A physician can typically diagnose the condition by simply looking at the problem site, or a biopsy can be performed to fully diagnose a growth. If painful, cholesterol deposits can be removed through a surgical or laser procedure, but xanthomas may recur. Epionce lytic topical treatment is an effective approach to helping break down the deposits in the skin and preventing xanthomas from forming. Epionce treatment also reduces redness, visibly improves the appearance of imperfections, and smoothes uneven skin tone and texture. At DermaHealth, we apply electrocautery Ellman to remove cholesterol deposits from the skin. Our electrocautery treatment uses an electrically heated instrument to physically remove the xanthoma and is a quick and easy approach with minimal downtime.

To see if you are a candidate for our cholesterol deposits treatment, schedule a complimentary consultation with DermaHealth today.