Seborrheic keratoses: These are benign growths that occur with the aging process, commonly arising in the eyelids. They can range in color from light brown to black. The texture of SK’s is uneven and can sometimes cause you to scratch at your eyelids, a behavior that may lead to infection if left unchecked. These types of eyelid lesions can be removed if they cause discomfort, if they are cosmetically unappealing, or if they interfere with your vision. Removed lesions are sent to biopsy to confirm they are benign.
Papilloma: These smooth, round growths that rise up from the outer skin layers of the eyelids are associated with aging and may also be called “skin tags”. Occasionally, papillomas have a fleshy, mottled appearance and are caused by viral infection in young people. While these types of eyelid lesions rarely require surgical excision, they can be removed non-invasively for cosmetic reasons.
Nevus: These are moles that frequently appear after prolonged exposure to the sun. They are generally not removed unless they interfere with vision or they become painful or itchy. Any change in the nevus should be brought to the attention of a medical profession who can biopsy it and ensure it is benign.
Hemangioama: These benign tumors tend to occur in infancy, growing larger with time. If the hemangioama is interfering with vision, then it will need to be removed surgically by an eye doctor.
Actinic keratosis: When the eyelids are exposed for long periods of time to the sun, scaly, light-colored patches may form known as actinic keratosis (AK). These are usually benign, but they should be biopsied nonetheless.
Xanthelasma: In individuals with elevated cholesterol levels or uncontrolled diabetes, yellow-colored, fatty eyelid lesions may form, causing self-consciousness. Laser therapy or radiofrequency energy can be instrumental in removing these lesions and restoring a favorable eyelid appearance.
Skin cancer (such as basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, sebaceous cell carcinoma): Cancerous lesions in the eyelids are almost always caused by overexposure to the ultraviolet rays of the sun. These lesions run the risk of damaging your vision, so they should be removed by a medical professional.