Our NEW Online Store is now OPEN! Free Shipping when ordering over $200


Cholesterol Deposits

Cholesterol deposits are a type of skin lesion caused by fat accumulation in the skin’s macrophages. They can look like small yellow or skin colored-bumps or larger plaques. They are most common around the eyes, but can also affect other parts of the body.

While cholesterol deposits aren’t harmful, they can be a sign of more significant underlying health issues. They can also impact self-esteem by making the skin around the eyes look bumpy or scaly. Fortunately, removing cholesterol deposits is a simple matter!


What Causes Cholesterol Deposits?

In the medical community, cholesterol deposits are referred to as xanthoma or, in the case of the most common types of cholesterol deposits, xanthelasma. These deposits are often a symptom of dyslipidemia, a condition where there are unhealthy levels of lipids in the blood. Macrophages, the skin’s main immune cells, absorb some of that lipid and then deposit on the surface of the skin as lesions.


What Do Cholesterol Deposits Look Like?

Cholesterol deposits can look like little bumps or like wide areas of plaque, and they often have a yellow tint. In the early stages, they may look like milia or whiteheads. As it spreads, it may be reminiscent of a raised keloid scar. In those cases, you can tell the difference based on the color – a yellow tint is often the surest sign of cholesterol deposits. However, it’s always best to avoid self-diagnosis and to speak to a healthcare professional instead.


Best Treatments for Cholesterol Deposits

It’s important to know that even once treated, there is a risk that your cholesterol deposits will return, especially if you don’t address their underlying causes. However, the risk is lower if they are treated early, and removal is generally simple, quick, and fairly affordable.



One of the easiest, quickest, and least invasive ways of removing cholesterol deposits is with a radiofrequency device. At Discovery Laser, we often use Lamprobe to deal with them quickly and easily. This treatment quickly and easily destroys minor skin imperfections by zapping them with high and low radiofrequencies. It’s non-invasive and only treats the targeted area without impacting the surrounding skin. It’s especially effective on smaller deposits, preventing them from developing further.


Laser Treatments

In some cases, CO2 fractional laser resurfacing might be the best solution for cholesterol deposits. Laser ablation is a fantastic skin-smoothing and anti-aging treatment that works by resurfacing the skin. It might be a more efficient option in cases where your cholesterol deposits cover a wider area.


In-Office Removal

Your doctor or dermatologist might also be able to remove cholesterol deposits. In-office, doctors usually utilize scraping & cauterization, cryotherapy, and even surgical removal. While these solutions are often effective, they might be more likely to leave a scar compared to laser or Lamprobe.


Addressing Underlying Causes

Cholesterol deposits are often a symptom of specific issues with cholesterol or blood lipids. In some rare cases, they may show up in perfectly healthy individuals, but that’s unusual.

Speak to your doctor about having a blood test, identifying the cause of your cholesterol deposits, and following a proper treatment regimen with lifestyle changes or medication.

Learn More About Cholesterol Deposits Recommended Treatments & Products

1% retinol clinically proven to improve visible discoloration
0.25% retinol that rapidly improves visible discoloration
For oily, acne and redness-prone skin
For normal to oily and acne-prone skin

Cholesterol Deposits FAQ

Cholesterol deposits do not normally go away on their own, so removal is necessary to get rid of them and prevent them from growing.

The easiest way to get rid of cholesterol deposits on the face is professional removal. Whether in the doctor’s office or at a clinic like Discovery Laser, medical professionals have the tools to remove cholesterol deposits safely and with minimal scarring.

We don’t recommend popping your cholesterol deposits. Results are always better if the entire bump is removed, rather than popped. Popping a cholesterol deposit is highly likely to result in a scar, and there’s also a serious risk of skin infection.