A xanthoma is a cholesterol deposit that appears as a painless skin nodule or bump under the skin or on tendons. Achilles tendon xanthomas are small bumps that are attached to your Achilles tendon and appear close to your heel.
In most cases, Achilles tendon xanthomas are not harmful skin lesions and should not affect the function of your lower leg; however, the location of the skin nodules could cause discomfort. The greater concern related to xanthomas of the Achilles tendon is the underlying cause.
Causes of Achilles tendon xanthomas
Xanthomas of the Achilles tendon are caused by very high cholesterol or triglycerides levels. High levels of cholesterol and triglycerides can lead to heart disease, so the appearance of xanthomas is a strong indicator that you should visit your doctor to check your heart health.
If you suffer from familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic disorder characterized by high cholesterol levels, you have an increased chance of developing xanthomas.
Symptoms of xanthomas of the Achilles tendon
Xanthomas of the Achilles tendon appear as waxy, yellowish to white bumps under the skin along the Achilles tendon. At times, the xanthomas will not be visible without close inspection.
If you are trying to determine if a bump near your heel is Achilles tendon xanthomas, determine if the bump is moving with the tendon as you flex it. Xanthomas of the Achilles tendon will move with the tendon.
Treatment of xanthomas of Achilles tendon
Because Achilles tendon xanthomas are a sign of an underlying cholesterol and triglycerides problem, it is important for you to visit your doctor to treat those issues.
In some cases, a biopsy of the xanthomas may be needed, but typically the skin nodules or lesions are not removed.