Believe it or not, your skin can provide important clues about your health, including whether you have high cholesterol levels. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), uneven yellow patches called xanthelasma can appear on the eyelid and around the eyes due to the overproduction of cholesterol.
Xanthelasma is soft, flat, and often slightly raised patches that indicate high cholesterol or lipid levels in the blood. While these patches themselves are harmless and do not cause any pain or discomfort, they can serve as a warning sign for potential health risks associated with elevated cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol can lead to a variety of health problems, including atherosclerosis, which is the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. This can increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease. It’s important to note that xanthelasma do not always indicate high cholesterol levels, as some people with normal cholesterol levels may still develop these patches. However, if you notice the appearance of xanthelasma, it’s a good idea to consult with a healthcare professional for a cholesterol screening.
If you’re diagnosed with high cholesterol, you can make several lifestyle changes to improve your health. Adopting a heart-healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats and rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins can help lower your cholesterol levels. Regular physical activity, weight management, and quitting smoking are also crucial for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and reducing the risk of heart disease.
In conclusion, xanthelasma may serve as a visible clue to high cholesterol levels. While these yellow patches themselves are not harmful, they can indicate an underlying health issue that requires attention. If you notice xanthelasma on your skin, consult with a healthcare professional to assess your cholesterol levels and discuss potential lifestyle changes to improve your overall health.
American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. (n.d.). Xanthelasma. Retrieved from https://www.aocd.org/page/Xanthelasma
American Heart Association. (2018). How To Get Your Cholesterol Tested. Retrieved from https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol/how-to-get-your-cholesterol-tested