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Heart Health

Bumps on Your Feet May Be a Sign You Have High Cholesterol

Itchy bumps on your feet could signal a condition called xanthoma.


When considering signs of high cholesterol, you probably think of health issues like chest pain or shortness of breath. However, it turns out that another part of your body could be a serious indicator that something’s wrong. Have you ever contemplated what your feet could mean for your cholesterol?

If you’ve looked at your feet recently and noticed itchy bumps on them, you could have a condition called xanthoma. Essentially what happens is fatty deposits begin to grow under the skin, creating lumps and ridges on the surface. Xanthomas can come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from just rough raised spots on the feet to bumps as big as grapes. They’re typically yellow or orange in nature, and they can either appear individually or in clusters over time. Additionally, they can pop up on other parts of the body, like your hands, knees, elbows, and butt. While they may look a little weird or gross, the good news is that they often aren’t painful.

While xanthomas on the feet are most commonly associated with high cholesterol, they could be a sign of other serious health issues, including cancer, hypothyroidism, and diabetes. If you’re looking to get diagnosed, your doctor will most likely not only get a skin biopsy of the lumps but also take a number of blood samples to try and decide what may be causing them. That may involve looking at your liver function, lipids, triglycerides, and other key measures of proper organ function.

The bumps can be removed through medical interventions like trichloroacetic acid, surgery, and laser treatments, but they will come back if the underlying problems, such as high cholesterol, aren’t addressed. The best thing you can do is talk to your doctor as soon as you see them appearing on your feet. Together, you can figure out a course of treatment that works best for you.

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