Xanthelasma Removal in Washington, DC
What are Xanthelasma?
Xanthelasma are the most common presentation of xanthomas (cutaneous fat deposits). Xanthelasmas present as small yellow or yellow-orange bumps or sheet like deposits under the skin and are most commonly found on the eyelids (xanthelasma palpebrum) or the cheeks. While xanthomas and xanthelasmas are commonly associated with either genetic or dietary high cholesterol they are found just as commonly in patients with normal cholesterol levels. They typically begin as a small yellow bump which slowly grows over time before stabilizing in size. Xanthelasmas typically persist without treatment and do not resolve or regress spontaneously. While xanthelasmas themselves are primarily a cosmetic concern, as they can be a sign of high cholesterol (hyperlipidemia) a workup for high cholesterol will typically be performed for new onset xanthelasma in a patient with no prior history of hyperlipidemia.
Several treatment methods exist to remove visible xanthelasmas. These include lasers, chemical peels, and surgical methods. Having utilized all methods in our practice, we have found that the use of ablative lasers such as the Erbium Laser to be the safest and most effective method of removing xanthelasma. While surgical methods are often employed by plastic surgeons and ocular surgeons, in the case of multiple or large xanthelasma this can often lead to extensive scarring and loss of eyelid laxity leading to vision problems when utilized for extensive xanthelasma. Use of chemical peeling acids can also be effective, however typically requires multiple treatments with extended healing times for each treatment.
Laser Xanthelasma Removal
Through the use of ablative lasers, dermatologic laser surgeons such as Dr. Thomas Adrian are able to selectively remove the fat deposits found in xanthelasma with minimal to no scarring. Laser xanthelasma removal is typically performed in a single treatment session with all xanthelasma treated at one time. Healing time is typically 6-8 days post treatment and involves local wound care. Treatment discomfort is managed with topical numbing creams. After the initial healing period the treated area may be pink or red for several weeks. In certain skin types prolonged redness may present which can be effectively treated with our vascular lasers. While scarring is possible with any laser, the risk of scarring from laser removal of xanthelasma is minimal compared to the nearly 100% risk of scarring from surgical removal of xanthelasma.
If you would like to schedule a consultation for laser xanthelasma removal in Washington, DC with Board and Fellowship-Trained Laser Dermatologist Dr. Thomas Adrian please call us at 202-966-8814 or click here to schedule a consultation via email.