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Monday, May 30, 2011

Raised White Dots on Eyelids Are Not Acne

Many of us may have noticed the appearance of some pronounced spots (not more than small raised lumps) on the upper or lower eyelid. They do not hurt and develop slowly, during the years. They usually look lighter in color, but sometimes have a white top and cluster together. Beware! They are not acne.

One misperception is that stress is their cause, but the truth is that several other things might make them appear – anything from skin tags (acrochordons) to "white spots" generated by dermatologic diseases or cholesterol deposits (xanthelasma) and even oil gland problems. I know that dermatologists are very expensive, but the large spectrum of causes and implications makes the specialized check of a doctor mandatory.

Irrespective of their cause, the main question you might want to ask your doctor is: Can They Be Removed?

Unfortunately the answer is not so easy. You may be lucky to find out that it could be the type of lumps or patches that are quite common and although they often alarm people they are of no harm. The white or yellow bumps that appear as a result of lipid collection or high cholesterol do not mean that your blood cholesterol level is necessarily high. Nevertheless, do check your cholesterol!

These lumps are usually determined by fatty cells in the eyelids and unfortunately there is no simple solution for them. Creams, lotions and potions usually fail to give the expected result. Massage sometimes brings improvements but pose some risks as the tissues and blood vessels in that area are very delicate and improper massage may damage them. That is why surgery (in fact a small incision made by the doctor under local anesthesia) could be the only solution to remove these white dots.

Always remember that any surgery leaves a scar – smaller or bigger, depending on a multitude of factors, from the dimension of the dots to the skill of the surgeon and the healing capacity of the patient. Techniques sharply improved recently and scars could be so minor that you do not even see them. But they do exist. Also, the white dots may recur in the future and a second surgery might be deemed unfit.

The raised white spots on the lids might be a form of cyst in the eyelid. They feel like bags filled with a thick fluid that can be slightly moved when touched. They are quite specific and cannot be mistaken for acne. In rare cases, the white bumps may be on the inner side of the eyelid, making you feel uncomfortable.

As all the up-mentioned white dots are placed on the eyelid, the dermatologist may ask for further checks with an ophthalmologist and if a gland problem is suspected you may need to approach an endocrinologist.

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