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What is the treatment for xanthelasma?

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Treatments for xanthelasma include electrodessication with electric needles and the application of substances such as bichloroacetic acid to dissolve the growths, reports WebMD. Lasers, conventional surgery and cryosurgery, which is the use of intense cold to disintegrate unwanted tissue, are other possible removal methods.

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These xanthelasma treatments may cause side effects, including skin discoloration, scars and ectropion, which is turning out of the eyelid. Also, the condition may reoccur after treatment if a patient has inherited high cholesterol, a condition known as familial hypercholesterolemia, states WebMD. High levels of bad cholesterol and primary biliary cirrhosis can predispose a person to xanthelasma. The rare condition, which causes yellow, cholesterol-filled bumps to appear on the inside corners of the eye, is more prevalent in people of Mediterranean and Asian descent, and women are more susceptible to it than men.

Although xanthelasma is typically harmless and doesn't cause pain, the condition may be a sign of a serious medical condition associated with high cholesterol levels in the blood, warns WebMD. Cholesterol buildup in blood vessels may cause atherosclerosis, a condition in which the arteries gradually harden and narrow and may eventually become blocked. Blockage of arteries may cause stroke, heart disease or heart attack. Smoking, diabetes and hypertension, which increases a person's risk of heart disease, are also associated with xanthelasma.

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