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Eyelid Growths

By

James Garrity

, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

Last full review/revision Jul 2020| Content last modified Jul 2020
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Topic Resources

Noncancerous (benign) and cancerous (malignant) growths can form on the eyelids.

Xanthelasma

One of the more common benign eyelid growths is xanthelasma, a yellow-white, flat lump of accumulated fatty material. It is not a true tumor because it is not an abnormal growth of new tissue. Because xanthelasmas may indicate elevated cholesterol levels, especially in young people, a doctor may check the person’s cholesterol level by taking a blood sample. Xanthelasmas do not need to be removed unless their appearance becomes bothersome.

Basal cell carcinoma of the eye

Basal cell carcinoma Basal Cell Carcinoma Basal cell carcinoma, the most common skin cancer, originates in certain cells of the outer layer of the skin (epidermis). Usually, a small, shiny bump appears on the skin and enlarges slowly... read more Basal Cell Carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that frequently occurs at the eyelid margins, at the inner corner of the eyes, and on the upper cheeks. A doctor bases the diagnosis on the results of a biopsy (removal of a tissue sample for examination under a microscope). The growth is usually removed surgically.

Did You Know...

  • A growth on the eyelid that persists for weeks should be removed and examined under a microscope (biopsied) to exclude cancer.

Other cancerous growths of the eyelids

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Herpes Zoster Ophthalmicus
Herpes zoster ophthalmicus is an infection of the eye caused by the varicella-zoster virus. This virus also causes chicken pox and shingles. Which of the following describes the mechanism by which herpes zoster ophthalmicus causes infection?
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