These are cholesterol deposits that form under the skin or on the achilles tendon, near the heel. They appear as small yellow or white bumps, and may grow to be more visible over time. There are different types of growths that can occur near the back of the heel, but achilles xanthomas can be identified when the bump moves along with the movement of the tendon. Though painless, they can cause discomfort while wearing shoes that press or rub on the area.
Achilles xanthomas are sometimes a patient’s first sign of heart disease risk, appearing only when one has very elevated cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Individuals with a family history of hyperchloresterolemia are at greater risk for developing this condition.
Conservative treatments are usually indicated, including change in footwear, or the use of pads to relieve pressure. Xanthomas are generally not removed, though your podiatrist may recommend a biopsy of the xanthoma. However, this condition is a strong indicator that you should see your doctor to reduce and manage cholesterol levels.