Yellowish firm nodules in the skin frequently indicating underlying disease, such as diabetes, disorder of fats (lipid disorder or hyperlipidemia), or other conditions. A xanthoma is a kind of harmless growth of tissue.
Under the microscope, a xanthoma can be seen to be composed of lipid-laden foam cells. These cells, termed histiocytes, contain lipid material in their cytoplasm (the nonnuclear zone of the cell).
The word “xanthoma” is made up of “xanth-” from the Greek roots “xanthos” (yellow) and “oma” (swelling) = a yellow swelling. A xanthoma is a circumscribed yellow swelling, a yellowish nodule.
- Xanthoma tendinosum
Xanthoma that clusters around tendons and is associated with lipid disorders, including chronically elevated blood cholesterol levels.
- Xanthoma tuberosum
Xanthoma that clusters near joints and is associated with lipid disorders, cirrhosis of the liver, and thyroid disorders.
- Xanthoma, diabetic
Xanthoma that is associated with poorly controlled diabetes mellitus. Treating the diabetes causes diabetic xanthomas to disappear.
- Xanthoma, disseminatum
A type of xanthoma characterized by orange-to-brown nodules on the skin or mucus membranes.
- Xanthoma, eruptive
Xanthoma that is linked to lipid disorders and is accompanied by a pink-to-red raised rash.