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Written by Healthwords's team of doctors and pharmacists based in UK | Updated: 26.01.2023 | 2 min read

Xanthelasma are fat deposits around the eyes, usually found near the inner corner of the eye and the inner upper eyelid. They tend to look slightly paler than the person's skin tone, and the lumps can vary in size. They are harmless themselves but can represent a high level of cholesterol (a type of fat) in the body although this is not always the case. Higher levels of cholesterol in the body can increase your risk of heart problems.

They do not need to be removed from around the eyes but can be removed privately for cosmetic reasons by a variety of methods from excision of the lumps to laser, chemical or freezing.

When should I see my doctor?

You should book a routine visit with your doctor if you notice you have xanthelasma, this is in order to test the level of fats (lipids) in your blood to see if you have increased levels.

You should see your doctor or call NHS 111 if you have any pain or redness of the eyes or changes in vision.

What will my doctor do?

The doctor will ask you about your medical history, your family history and about your current symptoms. They will examine the lumps around your eyes. The doctor will do a blood test to check your lipid levels and will also assess whether you have any increased cardiovascular risk (heart and blood vessels). If you do have an increased level of certain lipids in your blood the doctor may suggest dietary changes and possibly medication that can help lower levels, which will in turn lower your risk of clogging up blood vessels. This will reduce your risk of having a stroke, heart attack or other problems in the future.

Am I fit for work?

You are fit for work if you have xanthelasma.

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