Zooey Deschanel’s eyes
Mail Online, March 12, 2013

Is high cholesterol to blame for the mystery bumps under Zooey Deschanel’s eye make-up?

Actress Zooey Deschanel sparked some concern last night after keen-eyed onlookers observed that there were some small bumps on her right eyelid.

Today, top medical experts suggested that the abnormality could be anything from cholesterol deposits to small benign tumors.

Dr David J Leffell, Professor of Dermatology & Surgery at Yale School of Medicine said that while he cannot comment specifically about Ms Deschanel, 33, since he has not examined her, there could be several reasons for bumps on one's eyelid.

'In general small bumps on the upper eyelid (and lower eyelid) as depicted in the photo could be small, benign tumors called syringomas, cholesterol deposits, or little water cysts,' he told MailOnline.  

'A reaction to make-up is also possible.' But the diagnosis of cholesterol deposits, or xanthelasma, is an especially popular one among MailOnline's experts, and if Ms Deschanel were to remove her eye make-up, it would be easy for a doctor to establish whether this were the case.    

According to Dr Ralph Abraham, Consultant in Diabetes and Endocrinology at the UK's London Medical clinic, 'the yellowish tinge of cholesterol deposits is unmistakeable.'

Dr Michelle Copeland, who is based in New York and specializes in cosmetic, plastic and reconstructive surgery, added that xanthelasma 'often occurs in both eyelids so it might be helpful to look at her other eye' and that sometimes several members of a family are affected in the same way. 'Small bumps on the upper eyelid could be small, benign tumors called syringomas, cholesterol deposits, or little water cysts'

Luckily for a patient who may be concerned about the way they look, the appearance of the bumps can be reduced with the help of medication - though they might need some patience.

'Cholesterol lowering drugs such as a statin cause these to reduce with time, but a skilled plastic surgeon is usually needed for patients who need instant beautification,' Dr Abraham explains.

But Dr Heidi A Waldorf, Director of Laser & Cosmetic Dermatology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York is convinced that xanthelasma is not the cause of Ms Deschanel's bumps.     

 'Based on the size and symmetry of distribution, they look like either syringoma or small epidermal cysts or could be suture reactions to removals of some lesions or even a blepharoplasty [surgical modification of the eyelid],' she says.

But, Dr Waldorf adds, 'it's impossible to tell for sure without additional history or a closer examination without make-up and ultimately a biopsy.'

Dr Copeland also speculated whether the bumps on the eyes could be milia, which she says 'are formed when keratin (a substance produced by the skin) becomes entrapped beneath the outer layer of the skin, forming a tiny cyst.' Like xanthelasma, milia can be removed surgically, she says.