Eyelid Skin Cancer
Skin cancers are abnormal growths of any of the different cell types that make up the outer layer of your skin, called the epidermis. A biopsy is needed to confirm the diagnosis of skin cancer. Similar to the rest of your body, the skin of your eyelids is susceptible to the formation of skin cancer.
What Causes Eyelid Skin Cancers?
The most important risk factor for the development of skin cancers is sun exposure. For this reason, sun protection with hats, sunglasses, and/or sunscreen is recommended. Skin pigmentation is another risk factor as fair-skinned people have a higher risk for developing skin cancer than darker-skinned people. Other risk factors can include genetic causes and smoking.
What are the Types of Skin Cancer of the Eyelids?
Each type is based upon the cell type growing within the tumor. These include basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma, and sebaceous cell carcinoma.
Are Skin Cancers on the Eyelids or Around the Eye Serious?
Any skin cancer is considered serious as these can grow and invade surrounding structures and in some cancers even spread (metastasize) to the rest of the body if left untreated. Fortunately, when these are detected early, there is a better chance of removing the tumor completely and of minimizing the amount of tissue that needs to be removed.
How are Eyelid Skin Cancers Treated?
The most effective treatment of skin cancers of the eyelid is surgical excision. Once removed, a pathologist will examine the tissue to determine what type of skin cancer is present and whether all of it was removed. The eye doctors at Gulfcoast Eye Care frequently receive referrals from dermatologists as we focus not only on removing the skin cancer but on reconstructing the area from which it was removed. In reconstruction the eyelid, we aim to preserve eyelid function, protect the eye, and provide a satisfactory cosmetic appearance.
Skin cancers of the eyelid can appear as a freckle, bump, thickening of the eyelid, or a persisting inflammation of the eyelid. If you are noticing anything suspicious on your eyelids, please give us a call at Gulfcoast Eye Care today.