Myths about Xanthelasma Removal
Myth number 1 Garlic treatment
You can use garlic to treat Xanthelasma or even remove it!
Well, there is not evidence to support its efficacy in removing Xanthelasma! However given that garlic is cheap and available it is worth a try first! Although there is no evidence that garlic will remove your Xanthelasmas, eating more garlic will lower your cholesterol levels and therefore it is something, that you should maybe do, not matter whether you have Xanthelasma or not.
It has been reported that garlic has been used successfully for Xanthelasma prevention after removal but the sources could not be confirmed. Some people in blogs say that you can crush a garlic clove and apply it onto your Xanthelasma for 10 minutes. This supposedly removes the Xanthelasmas over time. This is a cheap remedy, so you can give it a try as see the result for yourself. We have tried it a number of times on our patients and we neither achieved removal nor improvement of the Xanthelasmas. Garlic is healthy and cheap so we advise you to try. But always,remember, mind your eyes!
Myth number 2. You have to live with Xanthelasmas and cover them up.
The misconception that you need to live with Xanthelasma and the only way to alleviate the embarrassment of being affected by this condition is make up is another non truism. This myth comes from a recommendation made by a doctor on the UK TV programme embarrassing bodies.
This doctor suggested the young patient who was badly affected by Xanthelasmas to avoid treatment and just use make up to cover the yellow patched up as a long term solution. Allegedly this was because, according to the doctor, any treatment would have led to scarring. Fortunately this is not true as there are thousands of people worldwide who have been successfully treated without being scarred by the removal (using Lasers, Hyfrecator, XathRemover and many other alternatives) . Given all the treatments that are available nowadays there is no need to live with your Xanthelasmas and battling every day to cover them up. Treatments that guarantee low risks of scarring and high likelihood of successful removal are available. Therefore make up can be used only while you are seeking the right treatment for you.
Myth number 3. Xanthelasmas are there because of high cholesterol levels
Amongst people affected by Xanthelasma there are many who have high cholesterol levels. However in many other cases, Xanthelasmas appeared also on those people who have normal levels of Cholesterol and lead a healthy lifestyle. It has been already proven that high cholesterol incidence amongst Xanthelasma sufferers is very similar to that of the normal population who never develop Xanthelasmas.
By all means, it is a good thing to associate Xanthelasma with high Cholesterol levels if this gives you an extra incentive to lower your cholesterol. It seems that Xanthelasmas are mainly developed due to genetic reasons. This means that if a close relative of yours had Xanthelasmas you may also be a risk of developing Xanthelasmas as well.
There is a published study which links the use of Cholesterol lowering drugs with the disappearance of Xanthelasmas. There are not enough studies we could find to advise on the use of cholesterol lowering drugs to remove Xanthelasmas.
Myth number 4. Xanthelasma removal will cost thousands.
This is because Xanthelasmas is a condition that has long been neglected by the medical sector. After all it is not a dangerous condition and keeping Xanthelasmas will not affect your health as such. It is prevalently a cosmetic condition. For almost any cosmetic condition those who have the most knowledge on the topic are cosmetic surgeons. As we all know, cosmetic doctors are not selling their services cheap. The demand for their services is almost always and almost in any country very high therefore they quote high prices for relatively easy procedures.
As an example, when this type of treatment was available for free in the UK the main procedure advised to the patient was TCA treatment. This was sensible advice since, if properly carried out, peeling treatment for Xanthelasma removal is the one that guarantees lowest likelihood of scarring at the lowest possible cost. Therefore in the UK many thousands of individuals had their Xanthelasmas removed for free using peels in NHS clinics. However once the problem was passed on the to private sectors the rules of the game changed as the purpose of the private sector is to make the most amount of profits making the least efforts. As a result many patient have been now quoted between £2000 and £3000 in the UK for Xanthelasma removal.
Similarly, in the USA, many patients get quoted in the region of 5000 USD in order to remove their Xanthelasmas using lasers. Therefore instead of opting for the least cost and the least risks the option cosmetic clinics offer to their patients is the not the one that offers the least risks at the least costs.
Myth number 5. No point on removing Xanthlasmas because they will be back
It is true that many people who had Xanthelasma in the past, developed them again after removal. This is because this condition is not always a mere result of a bad lifestyle and/or bad diet, but it is predominantly a genetic condition that makes certain individuals more prone to developing Xanthelasmas, over and over again. There are also individuals who develop Xanthelasmas due to their poor diet and sedentary lifestyle.
To those who have been affected by Xanthelasmas predominantly due to genetics the recurrence will be out of their control. However effective, low risk and inexpensive treatment is now available therefore recurrence should not stress anybody out.
For those whose Xanthelasmas are directly related to their lipids in bloodstream an healthy lifestyle and regular exercise will prevent the Xanthomas from recurring after removal. In some cases it has also been shown how those individuals can literally treat their Xanthelasmas by improving their diet quality and taking on exercise. So these are the lucky once who have the power to control their condition and prevent the Xanthelasmas from recurring.
Myth number 6. If I have Xanthelasma I am more likely to die younger of heart related deseases
There are a number of articles on the Internet associating Xanthelasmas with early signs of heart and cardio-vascular diseases. Some of these articles even go on to state that the lifespan of those affected by Xanthelasmas is lower that those of the general population. This is allegedly because the processes that lead to the accumulation of fat deposits on the epidermis (xanthomas) and the fat deposits within the arteries that cause strokes and heart attacks seem similar.
We believe that, if you have Xanthelasmas and your Cholesterol levels are normal, you should not worry about heart disease. It is always a good idea to take on regular vigorous physical activities (like jogging, cycling swimming ets) just in case. This is because, to date, we have not been able to find a research paper backing up these claims with tangible statistical data. Therefore do not worry about heart attacks, just keep healthy. Xanthelasmas and heart attacks have not been scientifically linked but stress and worry have been scientifically linked to heart disease.
On the other hand should you be affected by Xanthelasmas and you have high cholesterol levels you are better off changing your lifestyle and diet. By lowering your cholesterol levels your Xanthelasmas may even disappear and your chances of developing heart disease and stoke will inevitably lower.