Cholesterol spots or deposits that you can notice around your eyes are bumps of fat that develop underneath your skin, usually in the inner canthus of the upper eyelid. They are also known as xanthelasma.
While one of the main causes of xanthelasma is a high level of low-density lipoproteins (LDL or ‘bad’ cholesterol) in the body, it can also be due to genetic factors, diabetes, liver disease and other conditions.
People who have high cholesterol, cirrhosis or diabetes are at a higher risk of developing this problem. It’s also more common among people who are between 40 and 60 years old.
This problem does not cause pain or itching, but it may impede vision if the bump grows large enough.
Plus, it can be a signal of future coronary artery disease. A 2013 study published in BioMed Research International reports that a good number of cases of xanthelasma palpebrarum are combined with smoking, central obesity, hypertension, diabetes and dyslipidemia, which are the major risk factors for coronary artery disease.
As the affected area is normally very close to the eyes, surgery is not a recommended treatment. Plus, surgery can lead to scarring, which can be as upsetting as the appearance of the bump itself. Laser treatment is another possibility, but also carries the risk of scarring.
It is important to find out the cause of your xanthelasma and plan the treatment accordingly. For instance, if the cause is high cholesterol in the blood, you need to take steps to reduce your cholesterol level.
In the meantime, these home remedies can help minimize the appearance of or even remove the bumps.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of cholesterol deposits around your eyes.
The best and most popular home treatment for xanthelasma is garlic.
The enzymes present in garlic help flatten the small, bumpy deposits. Garlic is also beneficial for reducing a high cholesterol level.
A 2001 study published in the Journal of Nutrition indicates the cholesterol-lowering effects of garlic extract are in part from inhibition of hepatic cholesterol synthesis by water-soluble sulfur compounds.
Later, a 2013 press release from the National Institute of Integrative Medicine reported that garlic extract is a safe and effective alternative to pharmaceutical blood pressure and cholesterol-lowering medications.
- Slice up a garlic clove or crush a few garlic cloves to make a paste. Apply it on the affected area and cover with a gauze so the garlic doesn’t get into your eye. Leave it on for 10 to 15 minutes, then wash it off with warm water. Repeat once daily for a few days.
- Alternatively, crush a garlic tablet into a fine powder. Add a little water to form a paste and apply it on the affected area. Leave it on for about 1 hour before rinsing it off. Do this daily until you get the desired result.
- Also, you can eat 2 to 3 raw garlic cloves on an empty stomach daily. If you prefer to take a garlic supplement, always consult your doctor first.
Note: Do not use garlic on your skin for a longer duration as it may burn the skin. Avoid using it completely if you have sensitive skin.
2. Castor Oil
Another effective remedy to treat xanthelasma is castor oil. The ricinoleic acid in castor oil helps shrink the cholesterol deposits.
However, this oil works best on small deposits that are new.
- Soak a cotton ball in cold-pressed, pure castor oil.
- Apply it on the affected area, keeping your eyes closed.
- Massage for a few minutes and, if possible, secure the cotton ball in place with a bandage or tape.
- Leave it on overnight, and clean the area with warm water the next morning.
- Repeat this remedy daily until you are satisfied with the result.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
If you have high cholesterol and it is the prime reason behind the cholesterol deposits near your eyes, apple cider vinegar is just what you need.
Apple cider vinegar helps reduce your LDL or the bad cholesterol level in the body. It liquefies the cholesterol and fat as well as aids the liver in removing toxins from the body.
Plus, the acetic acid in it is corrosive in nature, which helps remove the bumpy deposits.
- Soak a cotton ball in apple cider vinegar and apply it to the affected area. Use an adhesive tape or bandage to hold the cotton ball in place. After 2 hours, remove the cotton ball and rinse the area with warm water. Do this a couple of times a day.
- Also, mix 1 tablespoon of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar and a little raw honey in a glass of lukewarm water and drink it twice daily.
Note: If you have sensitive skin, dilute the apple cider vinegar with a little water before use.
4. Fenugreek Seeds
Fenugreek seeds are also effective at flattening cholesterol deposits until they disappear completely, mainly due to the seeds’ cholesterol-lowering properties.
- Soak 2 teaspoons of fenugreek seeds in a glass of water overnight. Drink this mixture first thing the next morning on an empty stomach. It will help reduce the level of bad cholesterol in your body. Repeat daily.
- Also, apply the water in which the fenugreek seeds were soaked overnight on the affected area. Massage the area gently with your fingertips, so that the water penetrates deep into the skin. Repeat daily.
This staple kitchen ingredient is another effective treatment, which you should surely give a try.
First of all, onions contain compounds that inhibit bad cholesterol and fat buildup, one of the main reasons behind this problem.
Secondly, their acidic nature helps flatten the bumpy deposits on the skin.
- Extract the juice from 1 onion, add a little salt to it and set it aside for a couple of hours. Before going to bed, apply it on the affected area, massage gently and leave it on overnight. The following morning, wash the area with warm water. Repeat daily.
- Also, mix 2 tablespoons of onion juice in a glass of water and drink it daily.
6. Banana Peels
To dissolve the cholesterol deposits around your eyes in a safe and natural manner, banana peels are very effective.
The peel has strong antioxidant properties and the enzymes in it help dissolve the bumpy deposits naturally.
- Cut out a small piece of a ripe banana peel.
- Carefully place the inside part of the peel over the cholesterol deposit.
- Use a bandage or tape to secure the peel and leave it on overnight.
- The next morning, remove the peel and wash the area with water.
- Repeat every night until the bump is no longer visible.
Coriander helps lower the levels of total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides, hence it is effective at treating xanthelasma if the cause is high cholesterol in the blood.
As coriander seeds have hypoglycemic effects, they are also effective in diabetes management, another risk factor for xanthelasma.
- Boil 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds in a cup of water.
- Cover and allow the mixture to steep for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Strain out the seeds and drink the water.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day to bring down your cholesterol levels.
8. Orange Juice
The vitamin C, folate and flavonoids in orange juice are effective at increasing your high-density lipoprotein (HDL or ‘good’ cholesterol) level and decreasing the bad LDL level.
A 2000 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reports that orange juice improves blood lipid profiles in people who have hypercholesterolemia.
Another 2013 study published in Lipids in Health and Disease found that long-term orange juice consumption is associated with low LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B in normal and moderately hypercholesterolemic subjects due to improvement of folate and vitamin C in their diet.
- Try to drink 2 to 3 glasses of fresh orange juice daily to keep your cholesterol level in check.
- Alternatively, you can eat a few oranges daily.
As almonds have the potential to reduce LDL cholesterol in the body, they are also effective in reducing cholesterol spots around your eyes.
A 2011 study published in Nutrition Reviews found that consumption of tree nuts like almonds help reduce LDL cholesterol. The nutrients in almonds regulate enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis and bile acid production.
Another 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association states that daily almond consumption is a simple dietary strategy to prevent the onset of cardio-metabolic diseases.
- Add a little milk to 1 teaspoon of almond powder to form a paste. Apply it on the affected area and allow it to dry. With a wet finger, gently scrub off the paste. Repeat once daily.
- Also, daily soak 4 or 5 almonds in water at night and eat in the morning as a part of your breakfast.
10. Reduce the Fat and Cholesterol in Your Diet
To curb the increasing size of the cholesterol spots near your eyes, it is important to keep a close eye on what you are eating. Eating high-fat and cholesterol-rich foods will just worsen the condition.
- Reduce the amount of fatty or deep-fried foods in your diet.
- Eat a diet low in saturated fats.
- Add moderate amounts of organic coconut oil to your diet. For instance, you can add 1 or 2 tablespoons of coconut oil in your morning coffee or smoothie drinks.
- Avoid excessive consumption of carbohydrates and processed sugars.
- Say no to foods that contribute to bad cholesterol, such as red meat, full-fat dairy products, egg yolks and processed foods.
- Eat more whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables.
- Try low-fat or fat-free dairy products.
- Fiber-rich foods, such as beans, should also be part of your diet.
- Enjoy a bowl of oatmeal regularly to reduce your cholesterol levels.
- Strive to maintain a healthy weight.
- Quit smoking and avoid excess alcohol intake.
- Exercise for at least 30 minutes, 5 days a week, to improve your blood flow and the breakdown of accumulated fats.
- Get regular lipid and cholesterol tests so you what’s happening with your levels.
- You can take fish oil supplements, after consulting your doctor, to keep your cholesterol level under control.