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Yellow skin pigmentation patches above eyes
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Yellow skin pigmentation patches above eyes

I am a 44 year old female in excellent health.  I do not smoke (never have) and limit my alcohol intake to less than 1 glass of wine a week.  A couple years ago I noticed yellowish patches of skin above my eyes, towards my nose and just inside the fold of skin above my eyes and below my brow.  I have asked my doctor about them but no one has been able to tell me what it is, why it appeared and what to do.  Do you have any idea what this is and if there is anything I can do to make it go away or lighten?
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The skin discoloration is most often xanthelasma, which is cholesterol being deposited under the skin on the upper and lower lids in a "butterfly" distribution. Most people with this problem have elevated serum lipids (high blood fats especially cholesterol and triglycerides).  

You need a 12 or 14 hour fasting lipid profile. Then an appointment with your personal physician to discuss the results. If elevated you will likely need diet and exercise program. If that doesn't work in 2-3 months you may need to go on statins to lower the lipids.

In some cases with lipid lowering by medication, diet and exercise the xanthelasma will get smaller or at least stop growing.

In a few cases serum lipids are normal.

If your lipids are lowered and the xanthelasma don't go away completely they can be removed but the operation is often considered cosmetic and not coverered by insurance.

If you have them removed and your lipids are high they often reoccur.

JCH III MD Eye Physician & Surgeon
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