Heart attack or heart disease risk may be increased with raised yellow patches of skin around the eyelids. These yellow patches around the eye often signify high cholesterol. The condition is also referred to as xanthelasma. Although cholesterol deposits around the eyes may not always signify high cholesterol, it’s still important to check your blood as other conditions also cite xanthelasma as a symptom.
For the study, researchers wanted to determine if there was a link between xanthelasma and the risk of having a heart attack or developing heart disease. The researchers surveyed 12,745 individuals. At the start of the study, 563 participants had xanthelasma while 3,159 had arcus corneae (white or gray rings around cornea which are also cholesterol deposits).
During the follow-up, 1,872 participants had a heart attack, 3,699 developed heart disease, 1,498 had a stroke, 1,815 developed cerebrovascular disease, and 8,507 died.
The researchers found that having xanthelasma was a risk factor for developing heart disease, experiencing a heart attack, or dying within a 10-year period. The risk was further increased if patients had other cardiovascular disease risk factors, like high blood pressure, smoking, or being overweight.
On the other hand, arcus corneae has not been found to be linked to the same risks as xanthelasma.
The study highlights the importance of further investigating xanthelasma in order to reduce the risk of cardiovascular events.
Causes of xanthelasma
Cholesterol deposits around the eyes can occur in anyone, but are more common in seniors and are often seen in people with high cholesterol. Other causes of cholesterol deposits around the eyes include some types of cancers, diabetes, primary biliary cirrhosis, and metabolic disorders. These conditions can result in higher lipid levels in the blood, thus contributing to cholesterol deposits around the eyes.
Treatment options for xanthelasma
If you want to reduce cholesterol deposits around the eyes, lowering cholesterol levels in your body is essential. This involves eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, eating fiber-rich foods, minimizing your intake of red meat and dairy products, avoiding alcohol, and eating more fruits and vegetables.
If your cholesterol deposits are a result of another condition such as diabetes, it’s important that you properly manage this condition to make sure your blood lipid levels don’t go up.
Natural remedies for xanthelasma include:
Castor oil: The acid in castor oil has been found to reduce appearance of cholesterol around the eyes. Soak a cotton ball in pure cold-pressed castor oil and apply it to the area. Either massage it in or tape the cotton ball to the area to allow it to soak in. Leave it overnight and rinse with warm water in the morning.
Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar has been shown to reduce cholesterol, so ingesting it regularly can help bring down LDL cholesterol levels. You can also soak a cotton ball with apple cider vinegar and some water to dilute it, and apply it to the area.
Fenugreek seeds: Soak fenugreek seeds in water overnight and drink the mixture in the morning on an empty stomach as a means of reducing cholesterol levels. You can also apply the liquid to the area around your eyes.
Onions: Extract some juice from an onion, mix it with salt, and allow it to sit for a few hours. Before bed, apply the mixture to the affected area and either leave overnight or massage into the skin. You can also stir some onion juice into your water to help reduce cholesterol.
Banana peels: Place the inside of a ripe banana peel over the area around your eye and secure it with a bandage to leave it on overnight. In the morning, remove the peel and rinse the area. Repeat nightly.
Coriander: Steep coriander seeds as you would tea for about 10 to 15 minutes and drink the water a few times a day as a means to reduce cholesterol.
Orange juice: Orange juice has been found to improve LDL cholesterol numbers, so drinking it a few times a day can help bring down your cholesterol, which is contributing to the deposits around your eyes.
Almonds: Consuming tree nuts like almonds has been shown to improve cholesterol. You can also mix some milk with almond powder and apply the paste to the area.