Q:

What causes cholesterol deposits around the eyes?

A:

Cholesterol deposits around the eyes are usually the result of elevated fat levels in the bloodstream. Metabolic disorders, such as diabetes, can also cause the condition, notes WebMD.

Xanthelasma, or the deposits around the eyes, is usually not harmful. Due to their appearance, they are easy to diagnose. They typically do not grow to larger sizes and do not shrink. Xanthelasma is found mostly among people of Mediterranean or Asian descent and the elderly. People with high-cholesterol levels are also more likely to develop deposits. Treatment is not necessary in most cases, but some people choose to have them removed. There are several surgical methods available to remove the deposits including cryotherapy.

Surgery does have its risks. Scars can result from the surgery. Since it is an elective surgery, insurance companies sometimes do not cover the procedure. Another fact to take into consideration is that the cholesterol deposits sometimes recur. An alternative to the surgery is the use of medications, such as bichloroacetic acid. The acid works to dissolve the cholesterol deposits. As a precautionary measure, it is recommended that a thorough examination by a doctor is performed to ensure that high cholesterol is not a contributing factor. High cholesterol can be a precursor to heart-related problems.

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