Eyelid Lesions, Cancers & Tumors
Eyelid lumps and bumps come in all different varieties. They can be inflammatory lesions such as styes or chalazions, benign growths such as cysts, moles, keratoses or skin tags, or malignant cancers such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma or melanoma. Because of the delicate nature of the eyelids, careful evaluation by Dr. Zwick is required to determine the type of lesion and recommended management. Often, if the lesion is felt to be benign, Dr. Zwick can perform an in-office excision. Sometimes a biopsy will be performed to determine the exact pathology.
A chalazion is a cyst that develops as a result of trapped oil secretions in one of the many glands in the upper or lower eyelids. A chalazion can arise initially as a tender, red, swollen bump, resembling a stye or infection of the eyelid. Treatment initially includes warm compresses, massage, and sometimes antibiotic ointment or drops. After a few days, a painless firm bump on the eyelid may form. Typically, a chalazion will spontaneously resolve within a few weeks to a few months. When a chalazion persists, it can be excised by Dr. Zwick. Conditions associated with a chalazion include rosacea and blepharitis.
Eyelid cancers are usually painless, but can slowly grow and destroy the normal architecture of the lid. They are typically raised and slowly grow, can be light or dark in color, can cause loss of eyelashes, ulcerate and sometimes bleed. Early detection is critical before the damage becomes devastating. Proper excision and meticulous repair ensures eyelid function remains intact. It is important to have any suspicious lesion on or around the eyelid evaluated by an oculoplastic surgeon. If a biopsy proves cancerous, typically Dr. Zwick recommends excision of the cancer so the margins around it are clear. This is followed by reconstruction of the eyelid to achieve proper function and aesthetics. Often Dr. Zwick works with Mohs surgeons, specialized dermatologists who remove skin cancers by carefully clearing the margins, followed by his surgical repair of the area. This will be discussed at length at the consultation so that all questions are answered and a thorough understanding is achieved.
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