NHS doctor reveals how painless skin growths might signal elevated cholesterol levels

a woman looking at her skin in the mirror
-Credit: (Image: Pexels)


Being attuned to the subtle signals our bodies send can be crucial for early detection and improved health outcomes. A doctor has recently highlighted one such signal that could indicate a serious condition.

NHS doctor Renee Hoenderkamp has pointed out a painless sign on your skin that may suggest high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol, alongside high blood pressure, is known to increase the risk of heart disease and other significant health issues, often without noticeable symptoms.

However, Dr Hoenderkamp, GB News' resident doctor, advises paying close attention to your skin as it might reveal important clues.

She stated: "You can get yellowish-orange growths on your skin if your cholesterol levels are high."

These growths, as described by the doctor, are actually cholesterol deposits beneath the skin's surface. When they manifest on the eyelids, they are called xanthelasma, as reported by Birmingham Live, reports the Mirror.

Research indicates that about half of those with xanthelasma have abnormal cholesterol levels. These growths are termed xanthoma when they develop on other parts of the skin.

Dr Hoenderkamp further clarified that these bumps are painless and tend to appear particularly around the eye corners. The appearance of these lumps can be mistaken for a rash, warts, or molluscum contagiosum.

In fact, they are accumulations of fatty cholesterol due to very high triglyceride levels in the blood. "Triglycerides is often high in familial hypercholesterolaemia," she added.

Familial Hypercholesterolaemia (FH) is a genetic disorder characterised by an impaired ability to clear harmful LDL-cholesterol ("bad cholesterol") from the bloodstream, leading to a significantly increased risk of developing heart disease at an early age.