Eyelid lesions and bumps are very common. Many of these lesions are benign and do not require surgical removal or biopsy. However, in some cases even benign lesions can be annoying, irritating or cosmetically unappealing. In these cases, surgical removal of the lesion is an option. Once your eyelid bump or lesion has been assessed, it will be determined if removal of the lesion is medically necessary or if it will be considered a cosmetic procedure. Any suspicious lesions will be biopsied and sent for analysis. If you are concerned about a bump or lesion on your eyelid, please contact us for a consultation. Below is some information on common eyelid bumps and lesions:
Chalazion is a common eyelid bump. Our eyelids are lined with oil glands called Meibomian glands that secrete the oil component of our tears. In some people, these glands have a tendency to become blocked or inflamed. This is called Meibomian gland dysfunction. A chalazion results from an acutely or chronically blocked oil gland. When the opening of the gland is blocked or inflamed, the oil accumulates inside, leading to a red or swollen bump on the eyelid. These bumps can become inflamed, painful or become so large that they interfere with vision. If a chalazion gets to this stage it may be required to drain or remove it surgically. This is a minor procedure that can be performed in the office. If a chalazion is recurrent or atypical, it may be recommended to biopsy the lesion to rule out cancerous changes.
A skin tag forms from an overgrowth of skin cells on the eyelid. In most cases these remain small and do not interfere with vision. These growths are benign, and surgery is not typically required. However, many patients do not like their appearance. In this case, the skin tag(s) can be removed cosmetically.
Small eyelid cysts can occur when either sweat (Cyst of Moll) or sebaceous glands (Cyst of Zeiss) on the eyelid become blocked. These will appear as small, smooth, translucent or white bumps on the eyelid or near the eyelashes. These small cysts are usually benign and do not require surgical removal. However, some patient's are bothered by their appearance and may choose to have them removed cosmetically.
Xanthelasma are deposits of cholesterol under the skin. These can manifest around the eyelids and appear as yellowish plaques of varying size. These deposits become more common with age. Depending on the severity of the xanthelasma, some patients may wish to have these deposits removed. While they do not pose any harm if they are not removed, there is the option to remove them surgically for cosmetic reasons.
The most common cancerous eyelid lesion is basal cell carcinoma. This can be caused from previous sun damage and the risk increases with age. Fortunately, these are often slow growing lesions and if caught early, the entirety of the lesion can often be removed with a minor surgery. Signs to look for in cancerous lesions include ulceration of the skin or eyelid margin, bleeding or crusting of the lesion and loss of hair or lashes in the affected area. Any of these signs are indications for surgical removal and biopsy of the lesion. Proper sun protection and safety are very important in preventing cancerous lesions on or around the eyes.