Xanthoma is a skin condition in which fat builds up under the surface of the skin.
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
Xanthomas are common, particularly among older adults and people with high blood lipids.
Xanthomas vary in size. Some are very small, while others are bigger than 3 inches in diameter. They may appear anywhere on the body, but are most often seen on the elbows, joints, tendons, knees, hands, feet, or buttocks.
They may be a sign of a medical condition that involves an increase in blood lipids. Such conditions include:
- Certain cancers
- Inherited metabolic disorders such as familial hypercholesterolemia
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
Xanthelasma palpebra, a common type of xanthoma that appears on the eyelids and may occur without any underlying medical condition, is not necessarily associated with elevated cholesterol or lipids.
Pictures & Images
Xanthoma, eruptive – close-up
Xanthomas are firm, raised waxy-appearing papules (bumps) which may occur on the trunk, arms, and legs. The lesions may be skin-colored, pink or even yellow. The presence of this type of skin lesion�may be�associated with abnormal levels of lipids (fats) in the blood.
Xanthoma – close-up
Xanthomas are lesions on the skin containing cholesterol and fats. They are often associated with inherited disorders of lipid metabolism (inherited problems with the way that fats are broken down and used).
Xanthoma – close-up
Xanthomas are raised, waxy-appearing, frequently yellowish-colored skin lesions. They may be associated with an underlying lipid (cholesterol/triglyceride) abnormality.
Xanthoma on the knee
Xanthomas are raised, waxy-appearing, frequently yellowish-colored skin lesions, seen here on the knee. These may be associated with an underlying lipid (cholesterol/triglyceride) abnormality.
Review Date : 8/26/2009
Reviewed By : Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network; Linda Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.