While the presence of isolated pockets of yellowish skin around the upper and lower eyelids (“xanthelasmata”) may be neither painful nor harmful,they may be indicative of a more serious underlying condition. Recent research indicates that people who develop these collections of yellow plaques may be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease. So, although xanthelasmata may be easily removed, an increased threat of heart disease is likely to linger. With this in mind, those with these yellow patches on their eyelids are advised to consult with a doctor about having their blood-cholesterol levels checked. The same advice goes for people with opaque white or gray rings around their corneas (“arcus senilis”), which may also be indicative of high cholesterol levels.

P.S. Arcus senilis (white or gray corneal rings) result from cholesterol deposits in the eye.

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