Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is there a cure for cholesterol pimples?"


I was reading comments in this one forum online and now I'm pretty convinced I've got cholesterol pimples, because I'm a middle aged man with an acne problem and my high cholesterol has been out of control for a long time. What is the best treatment for this?


Skin conditions should always be evaluated by a physician before initiating any treatment. Physicians that you could see in your particular case include family doctors or a dermatologist, depending on the cause. Cholesterol spots in the skin are known as xanthomas.

See a doctor who can help

Find a Dermatologists near you

They are actually not acne at all, but rather small cholesterol deposits in the skin over a tendon such as the achilles tendon. They are seen in patients with extremely high cholesterol levels. The only treatment for xanthomas is aggressive cholesterol lowering therapy often with a combination of different medications. On the other hand, xanthomas are far less common than acne, but the two can look similar to the untrained eye. If your pimples are mostly on your face or back, they are much more likely to be acne rather than cholesterol xanthomas. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician. He or she can take a look at your skin and determine whether you actually have xanthomas, or if you just have classic adult acne. If your skin spots are actual xanthomas, then you should look into more a aggressive cholesterol lowering regimen. If it is acne, then you should look into additional treatment and possible referral to a dermatologist if necessary. Good luck.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.