Eyelid Lesions

  • Bryan J. WinnEmail author
  • Christine Zemsky


The presence of an eyelid lesion is a common patient complaint. Most are benign masses of limited clinical significance; however, some are potentially life-threatening and, to further complicate matters, may have subtle and underwhelming presentations. These facts and the proximity to the eye create significant anxiety among patients and clinicians alike. The following paragraphs are meant to introduce the clinician to the most common and most clinically important benign and malignant eyelid lesions in terms of demographics, risk factors, clinical presentation, work-up, treatment, and prognosis. The photographs, by and large, represent classic presentations. As with all disease entities, atypical presentations are not uncommon. Even seasoned clinicians at times may misdiagnose these eyelid lesions based on presentation and appearance alone, further stressing the importance of histopathologic confirmation of all excised tissues.


Eyelid lesions Lesions of the eyelid Chalazion Hordeolum Eyelid abscesses Xanthelasma Molluscum contagiosum Apocrine hidrocystomas Seborrheic keratosis Squamous papillomas Cherry hemangiomas Melanocytic nevi Basal cell carcinoma of the eyelid Squamous cell carcinoma of the eyelid Melanoma of the eyelid 

Suggested Reading

  1. Actis AG, Actis G, De Sanctis U, Fea A, Rolle T, Grignolo FM. Eyelid benign and malignant tumors: issues in classification, excision and reconstruction. Minerva Chir. 2013;68(6 Suppl 1):11–25.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Allen RC. Surgical management of periocular cancers: high- and low-risk features drive treatment. Curr Oncol Rep. 2017 Sep;19(9):57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Campbell AA, Grob SR, Freitag SK. Controversies in sentinel lymph node biopsy for ocular neoplasms. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 2015 Fall;55(4):73–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Dekmezian MS, Cohen PR, Sami M, Tschen JA. Malignancies of the eyelid: a review of primary and metastatic cancers. Int J Dermatol. 2013;52(8):903–26; quiz 922–3, 926CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Deprez M, Uffer S. Clinicopathological features of eyelid skin tumors. A retrospective study of 5504 cases and review of literature. Am J Dermatopathol. 2009;31(3):256–62.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Ho VH, Ross MI, Prieto VG, Khaleeq A, Kim S, Esmaeli B. Sentinel lymph node biopsy for sebaceous cell carcinoma and melanoma of the ocular adnexa. Arch Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2007;133(8):820–6.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Silverman N, Shinder R. What’s new in eyelid tumors. Asia Pac J Ophthalmol (Phila). 2017;6(2):143–52.Google Scholar
  8. Slutsky JB, Jones EC. Periocular cutaneous malignancies: a review of the literature. Dermatol Surg. 2012;38(4):552–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Yin VT, Merritt HA, Sniegowski M, Esmaeli B. Eyelid and ocular surface carcinoma: diagnosis and management. Clin Dermatol. 2015;33(2):159–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Columbia University Irving Medical CenterNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Department of Ophthalmology, Edward S. Harkness Eye InstituteColumbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and SurgeonsNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of OphthalmologyColumbia University Irving Medical Center, Edward S. Harkness Eye InstituteNew YorkUSA

Personalised recommendations