Pediatric Xanthomas

Pediatric Xanthomas

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Summary

Xanthoma causes fatty growths to develop underneath the surface of a child’s skin.

Expanded overview

A child with xanthoma will have fatty growths develop underneath the surface of the skin. These growths – sometimes called xanthomas – can range in size, from being as small as a pinhead to as large as a grape. A child with this condition may have a single growth, or clusters of growths in the same part of the body. The xanthoma growths themselves are not typically harmful, but they are the sign of an underlying condition that may cause complications.

While these growths can occur anywhere, they most commonly form on the:

  • Buttocks
  • Elbows
  • Feet
  • Hands
  • Knees

Causes

High levels of blood lipids (fats) typically cause xanthomas. High levels of blood lipids is usually a sign of another underlying medical condition, such as:

  • Cancer
  • Cholestasis (disorder that slows or stops the flow of bile from the liver)
  • Diabetes
  • Hematologic disease (affect the body’s ability to break down substances and digest fat)
  • High cholesterol
  • Hypothyroidism (condition in which the thyroid doesn’t produce adequate levels of hormones)
  • Nephrotic syndrome (condition that damages the blood vessels of the kidneys)

Symptoms

The only symptom of xanthoma are bumps that:

  • Are yellowish or orange in color
  • Form individually or as a cluster of bumps

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