- Tiny (1-2 mm) yellowish plaques that are slightly raised on the skin surface of the upper or lower eyelids. Xanthelasma is caused by tiny deposits of fat in the skin and is often associated with abnormal blood fat levels (hyperlipidemia). Xanthelasma is a kind of minute harmless growth of tissue. Xanthelasma typically appears in or near the eyelids. Under the microscope, Xanthelasma can be seen to be composed of lipid-laden foam cells. These cells, termed histiocytes, contain lipid material in their cytoplasm (the nonnuclear zone of the cell). The word “xanthelasma” is made up of “xanth-“ from the Greek roots “xanthos” (yellow) and “elasma” (plate) = a yellow plate, so called because these are yellow plaques.
* * *- generalized x. xanthoma planum of the neck, trunk, extremities, and eyelids in patients with normal plasma lipid levels.- x. palpebrarum soft, yellow-orange plaques on the eyelids or medial canthus, the most common form of xanthoma; may be associated with low-density lipoproteins, especially in younger adults. SYN: x., xanthoma palpebrarum.
* * *xan·the·las·ma .zan-thə-'laz-mə n a xanthoma of the eyelid
* * *n.yellow plaque occurring symmetrically around the eyelids. In elderly people it is quite common and of no more than cosmetic importance, but in some cases it may be a manifestation of disorders of fat metabolism (hyperlipidaemia). The plaques may be removed by careful use of saturated trichoracetic acid; in expert hands this is most effective.
* * *xan·thel·as·ma (zan″thəl-azґmə) [xanth- + Gr. elasma plate] a common type of planar xanthoma found on the eyelid. Called also xanthoma palpebrarum.
Medical dictionary. 2011.