What Are The Signs Of High Cholesterol On Your Face?

What Are The Signs Of High Cholesterol On Your Face

High cholesterol could be life-threatening. People with a family history of high cholesterol and other heart issues should keep looking for symptoms that can indicate the issue at an early stage. 

Here, we will discuss the signs of high cholesterol on the face that will help you understand if you should start taking preventive measures right away. 

Usually, yellowish-orange bumps on your eyes and face indicate high cholesterol. Let’s learn about high cholesterol, its signs, and ways to prevent it.

What Is High Cholesterol? And How Does It Get High In The Blood?

High cholesterol (1) is a health condition in which too much cholesterol circulates in the blood. 

Cholesterol is a fat that can build into plaques in the arteries, limiting them and constricting blood flow to and from the heart. This can lead to a fatal heart condition called a heart attack or stroke.

High cholesterol doesn’t usually induce symptoms unless it leads to a complication. 

However, high-fat levels (cholesterol and triglycerides) can sometimes lead to prominent skin changes. The first indication of high cholesterol may be an unexplained set of bumps, soft yellowish skin patches, or bruises on your extremities.

How Does High Cholesterol Affect Your Skin?

Too much cholesterol can collect fatty deposits under the skin when circulating in your bloodstream. This can cause a rash of orange or yellowish bumps filled with fat.

Cholesterol can also block small blood vessels called capillaries that supply skin oxygen. This can cause the texture of your skin to change color. It may also contribute to skin diseases like psoriasis.

Cholesterol embolism is the more severe condition of having high cholesterol. Skin ulcers or other complications can occur when a crystal of cholesterol plaque dies off and blocks a vein or artery.

Firstly, try to manage a cholesterol-related skin issue by specifying the condition. You can then cure the underlying reasons, including managing cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

What Are The Skin Symptoms Of High Cholesterol?

Skin conditions caused by high cholesterol levels range from mild to severe. Here are a few of them.

1. Xanthoma

Xanthomas (2) are localized fat deposits that impact skin and tendons. Here are a few types of it:

  • Eruptive xanthoma: Rash of several spots on the skin, filled with fatty cholesterol deposits.
  • Tuberous xanthomas: Nodules often seen on the knuckles, knees, and elbows.
  • Verrucous xanthomas: Wart-like xanthomas can occur inside the lining of your mouth or genitals.
  • Planar xanthomas: Flat or slightly elevated patches can be seen at any part of the body.

2. Xanthelasma


Xanthelasma (3) is the most typical type of planar xanthoma. It is a soft patch of yellowish bumps around the eyes, usually around the corners of the eyes nearest to the nose. It’s more typical on the upper lid than the lower.

3. Psoriasis


Psoriasis (4) is an inflammatory skin disease that causes red, itchy patches of skin due to the speedy turnover of skin cells. It’s a chronic autoimmune disorder that causes an inflammatory response in your body. It can affect your blood vessels, causing an increased risk of heart disease.

According to 2017 research, there’s also a connection between psoriasis and high cholesterol levels (5). If someone has psoriasis, it is advised to consider checking their cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

4. Cholesterol Embolism

When crystals of cholesterols and other substances break free from plaques in one of the large arteries, cholesterol embolism occurs. They travel through the circulatory system before lodging in a smaller artery or blood vessel.

The flow of blood to that area can be obstructed, causing damage and skin symptoms such as:

  • Leg ulcers
  • Skin discoloration
  • Gangrene
  • Blue or purple toes
  • Livedo reticularis

5. Livedo Reticularis

A netlike pattern of bluish-red mottling of the skin can cause livedo reticularis. It generally occurs on the thighs, feet, toes, buttocks, lower legs, or other extremities. 

Contact a doctor if it doesn’t go away and parts of your skin turn dusky blue to black. You may have a blockage that requires urgent medical attention.

When To Contact A Doctor?

High cholesterol can lead to several life-threatening diseases, including heart disease and stroke. Having a healthcare professional check your cholesterol levels early is a good idea. It will ensure that life threatening diseases can be detected at an early stage so that the right line of treatment can be provided. 

People at low risk for cardiovascular disease are recommended for cholesterol testing every five years. On the other hand, those with a family history of high cholesterol and cardiovascular diseases should test more often.

Can We Lower Cholesterol?

Yes, efforts can be made to keep control of cholesterol levels in the blood. If diagnostic tests have concluded that your body has high cholesterol, you can make certain life-style changes to manage it. These are-

  • Consume a heart-healthy diet
  • Stay physically active
  • Stop smoking
  • Lose weight


Some of the prominent signs of high cholesterol on the face include painless, skin-colored bumps on cheeks and forehead, painless, yellowish-orange growths on the skin and bumps in the skin of upper or lower eyelids.

If any of these signs become prominent, it is advised to reach out to doctor immediately. At the same time, if there is a family history of high cholesterol, consulting the doctor after every year for the same is essential.  

The doctor will conduct a test to rule out high cholesterol or triglycerides and confine the best treatment.

  1. Centers For Disease Control And Prevention – Cholesterol
  2. National Library Of Medicine – Xanthoma
  3. National Library Of Medicine – Xanthelasma Palpebrarum
  4. National Institute Of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases – Psoriasis
  5. National Library Of Medicine – The relationship between blood lipid and risk of psoriasis

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