The skin around your eyes is very thin and sensitive. It is for this reason prone to several types and causes of bumps, lesions or lumps. These masses are commonly characterized by itchiness, yellowish color and deposits of cholesterol around the eyes.
Most lumps under or around the eyes are not life-threatening. In fact, some can be easily treated with OTC and home remedies. But as it is always with lumps, seeking medical attention is very advisable. This is largely because you can discover a lump, but only your doctor can correctly diagnose the same. This article discusses causes, symptoms and available treatment options for itchy, yellow and cholesterol lumps under or around the eyes.
Red itchy lump under eye or on face near eye
A red itchy lump under eye can be caused by any of the following:
This is a skin condition that causes red, irritated skin patches. It develops after the skin has come into contact with an allergen or an irritant, mostly due to cosmetics and other beauty products including soaps. Affected skin tends to be very itchy, dry, scaly and inflamed.
Patients with keratosis pilaris develop small, tiny bumps that resemble goose bumps. The condition develops in people with dry skin. Conditions such as atopic eczema encourage keratosis pilaris.
A stye is a red, tender, pus-filled and sometimes itchy lump that develops near the edge of the eye. If it originates in the eyelashes, it will develop on the outside. If it originates in oil glands, it will develop inside the corner of the eye. Styes are usually small and tend to be painful due to presence of bacteria. Styes are a bit different from lump on outside of eyelid caused by chalazia.
This is a condition that causes red, small bumps filled with pus. Before the bumps appear, you will experience facial flushing and formation of red skin patches. The nose, cheeks, forehead and chin are mostly affected. Typically, rosacea is not itchy. Itchiness is brought by skin dryness and formation of bumps.
Sometimes, an insect bite can be the cause of an itchy lump under eye. Some insects such as small ticks can get hidden under the itchy swelling.
Treatment for itchy lump under eye or on face near eye
Steroidal and antibacterial medications are commonly prescribed. This however depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Mild cases mostly require OTC products such as salicylic acid for keratosis and sometimes itchy acne. Severe cases call for prescription-strength medications such as retinoids and stronger steroids.
You can also try some home remedies recommended for dry skin, such as aloe Vera, and anti-inflammation, such as turmeric. It is however a good idea to consult your doctor before using home remedies and OTC medications near your eyes. Home remedies are a better idea when treating conditions such as a painful lump on top of foot after an injury.
Rosacea is quite serious and chronic. Treatment at home is not advised. Your doctor will prescribe medications to manage the condition.
Cholesterol lumps on eyes or yellow lumps around eyes
Cholesterol deposits or yellow lumps around eyes are due to a condition known as xanthelasma. The condition develops due to high cholesterol levels. Sometimes, cholesterol lumps on the eyes can be caused by a genetic disorder known as familial hypercholesterolaemia.
Cholesterol deposits around the eyes or xanthelasma can occur in anyone. People with high levels of LDL or triglycerides are most likely to develop this condition. Sometimes, high levels of plasma cholesterol can also encourage xanthelasma. Risk factors include:
- Hereditary factors
- Excess weight
- Low fiber content in diets
- Some medications such as oral birth control pills, retinoids and steroids
- Lack of physical exercises
Xanthelasma rarely causes any symptoms other than yellow lumps around eyes. The lumps develop on the inner part of the eyelids. In most cases, both eyes are affected.
Most cases of xanthelasma are reported in people above the age of 30 years. If the condition is genetically linked, especially if both parents have the defective gene, symptoms may include formation of yellow bumps on elbows and knees.
Diagnosis and treatment for yellow lumps around eyes
Xanthelasma bumps are quite unique. Your doctor will most likely identify them after a physical exam. You may also be asked a couple of questions on your medical history and lifestyle habits.
To confirm diagnosis, a blood panel test to measure your cholesterol levels may be taken.
Xanthelasma bumps do not reduce eye functionality. They can be left without treatment for this reason. If bothersome, several treatment options are available.
Surgical removal is the most common option. The bumps can also be removed with liquid nitrogen. This is a very cold substance commonly used for removal of skin growths such as warts. The main drawback is that the method requires several applications and may cause scarring beside the eye once the bumps are gone.
Another treatment option which still is likely to cause scarring is laser surgery. Here, high energy lasers and carbon dioxide are used to poison the xanthelasma bumps. The advantage is that it will not involve incision, like normal surgery.
If you are very concerned about scarring, ask your doctor about chemical cauterization. It is a removal method that uses acids and chlorine to peel off the bumps. Compared to other removal methods, it is less likely to leave noticeable scarring.
Accumulation of LDL or ‘bad cholesterol’ is the main cause of yellow lumps around eyes. This means that in future, you can prevent the lumps from coming back by simply keeping your cholesterol levels in check. For genetically predisposed individuals, talk with your doctor about prevention. Below are some tips that may help keep the lumps from coming back:
- Increase your plant proteins intake. Plant proteins are low in fats but high in fiber.
- Develop a schedule that will allow you to routinely engage in cardiovascular exercises. 30-60 minutes of such exercises 3 times a week is a good way to start.
- Try maintaining your cholesterol levels at around 100mg/dl. Above 129mg/dl, you risk not only getting cholesterol deposits around your eyes but other complications such as heart diseases.
- Avoid habits such as excessive consumption of alcohol and tobacco smoking or chewing. Such habits encourage increase of bad cholesterol in quite a number of ways.
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if a lump in or around your eyes interferes with your vision or gets intolerably bothersome. Also get medical attention if a lump develops beneath the eye, inside the eye socket or on the eyeball. Such lumps will most likely affect your vision.
They can also be caused by infections which can easily travel to the brain. Early signs of infection may include pain, swelling, watery eyes, hard lump on scalp or behind ears due to swollen lymph nodes.
There are more topics such as painful lump in breast causes, signs of testicular cancer, treatment for lump inside cheek, how to treat a hematoma lump and so on that you can find helpful. You find that although your doctor is in the best position to confirm diagnosis, prior information is very important, especially when preparing for appointment.
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