Xanthelasma consists of single or multiple soft yellow plaques/papules caused by localized accumulation of fat deposits on the eyelids, mainly in the inner corner of the eyelids. The upper lids are more frequently involved than the lower lids. Often, the four lids are involved. Xanthelasmata have a tendency to progress and become permanent.

Xanthelasma tends to manifest in middle-aged to elderly individuals, predominantly females, but can be seen over a wide age range and children have been reported with the lesions as well. While they are neither harmful nor painful, these minor growths may be disfiguring.

Xanthomata are depositions of yellowish cholesterol-rich material that can appear anywhere in the body in various disease states.They are skin manifestations of lipidosis in which lipids (fat) accumulate in foam cells within the skin.

They are often associated with hyperlipidemia, or congenital disorder of lipid metabolism. As a result, you need to make sure that you have discussed this with your GP to check your cholesterol levels.

Xantelasma can be found on other sites: neck, trunk, shoulders, armpits.

The differential diagnoses are Chalazion, Sebaceous Hyperplasia, Syringoma, Nodular Basal Cell Carcinoma, and Necrobiotic Xanthogranuloma.

Xantelasma is a benign lesion, not associated with any cutaneous complications, treatment is often only for cosmetic reasons.


The available treatments are surgical excision, laser or other energy-based devices ablation, topical therapy, or systemic therapy. Depending on the type of treatment, there are possibilities of scarring after Xanthelasma removal, according to damages caused to the dermis during the treatment, or infection following the treatment. Recently, an ablation therapy based on plasma has been used for the removal of the Xanthelasmata.

A plasma generator produces a controlled and focused micro-plasma beam (generated by ionization of the gases contained in the air, a small electric arc similar to a minute lightning) useful to treat epidermal areas affected by aesthetic blemishes with low scars risk. This technique is very safe, because no effraction of the dermo-epidermal junction and no damage for the surroundings tissues occurs. Furthermore, the basal membrane stays untouched and no necrosis occurs.

Treatment offered at Brio Medical:

  • Plasma ablative therapy (Plasmage, by Brera Medical Technologies S.r.l., Italy)