What is Xanthomas?
Xanthomas are fatty growths that develop under the skin or on internal organs due to high levels of blood lipids. They are often associated with medical conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, liver disease, etc.
What are the signs and symptoms of Xanthomas?
The signs and symptoms of xanthomas are fatty growths that develop under the skin or on internal organs. They may appear as small bumps that are reddish, yellowish, or orange in color. They may be itchy or tender to the touch. They can occur anywhere on the body, but they are most common on the joints, tendons, hands, feet, buttocks, and eyelids. Xanthomas are usually caused by high levels of blood lipids, such as cholesterol and triglycerides, which may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Some types of xanthomas may also have specific symptoms, such as:
- Eruptive xanthomas: These are small shiny bumps that are typically 1–4 millimeters in size. They may cause pain in some cases.
- Familial chylomicronemia syndrome (FCS): This is a rare genetic disorder that causes extremely high levels of triglycerides in the blood. People with FCS may have xanthomas as well as other symptoms, such as lipemia retinalis (milky appearance of retinal veins and arteries), neurological symptoms (such as forgetfulness, fatigue, or memory loss), and pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas).
What are the causes of Xanthomas?
Xanthomas are caused by high levels of blood lipids, which are a type of fat. Blood lipids include cholesterol and triglycerides. The excess blood lipids can build up under the skin or on internal organs and form fatty growths. Xanthomas may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition that affects blood lipid levels, such as diabetes, high cholesterol, liver disease, thyroid disease, metabolic disorders, or certain cancers.
What treatments are available at the dermatologist for Xanthomas?
There are different treatments available at the dermatologist for xanthomas, depending on the type, size, and location of the growths.
Some of the possible treatments are:
- Surgical removal: This involves cutting out the xanthoma with a scalpel or a sharp instrument. This may leave a scar or require stitches.
- Laser surgery: This uses a high-energy beam of light to vaporize the xanthoma. This may cause some redness, swelling, or pain after the procedure.
- Chemical treatment: This applies a strong acid, such as trichloroacetic acid, to the xanthoma. This may cause some burning, stinging, or crusting of the skin.
These treatments may not cure xanthoma completely, as the growths can return after treatment if the underlying cause is not addressed. Therefore, it is important to consult with your dermatologist in Cincinnati and follow the recommendations for managing your blood lipid levels and treating any medical conditions that may cause Xanthoma.
FAQ About Xanthomas
What do xanthomas look like?
Xanthomas can vary in size, shape, color, and location. They may appear as small bumps that are reddish, yellowish, or orange in color. They may be itchy or tender to the touch.
How are xanthomas diagnosed?
Xanthomas can be diagnosed by a doctor or a dermatologist. They may be able to make a diagnosis simply by examining the skin. A skin biopsy can confirm the presence of a fatty deposit beneath the skin and rule out cancer.
Is there a dermatologist near me in Cincinnati that offers treatment for Xanthomas?
Yes. At our Cincinnati dermatology office we offer treatment for Xanthomas to patients from Cincinnati and the surrounding area. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment.