6 April 2023
Eyelid skin lesions: the importance of an early check-up
Living in a warm climate like Gibraltar, with up to 2,778 sunshine hours a year, places us at a higher risk of sun-related skin damage around the eyes and therefore also a higher risk of skin cancer.
Skin lesions which appear on the eyelids can cause significant cosmetic problems, as well as changing the shape, size and function of the eyelid, they may also have a permanent effect on vision.
Both upper and lower eyelids are extremely vulnerable to damage from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays. We must be aware of the higher risk of developing skin lesions on areas exposed to the sun such as the eyelids, face, etc.
Eyelid lesions can be benign, this means they are localised and do not invade the adjacent tissue, or malignant, this means they can easily spread to the surrounding tissue, the eye and other parts of the body. Unfortunately, malignant skin lesions on the eyelids can easily be mistaken for benign lesions. Approximately 5-10% of all skin cancers occur on the eyelid.
When should I seen an Ophthalmologist?
You should see an ophthalmologist if you notice any new lesions on the eyelids or around the eye which are neither resolving or responding to treatment, as well as any eyelid lesions/lumps/bumps which are increasing in size, changing shape or changing colour.
If you have any of the following, you should see the ophthalmologist:
- long-standing lump(s) on the eyelid
- long standing thickening of the eyelid
- chronic eyelid infection
- broken skin on the eyelid which does not heal
- change in the position or direction of the eyelid.
All the above-mentioned changes in your eyelid warrant an appointment with an ophthalmologist. The ophthalmologist at SMC will not only offer you a full ophthalmic check-up but may also advise imaging tests to find out whether the disease has spread. Our ophthalmologist can also take biopsies in order to diagnose the problem or remove the eyelid lesion and/or reconstruct the eyelid in our theatre, or at one of sister theatres in Spain. Your treatment options may depend on your diagnosis, they may involve medical treatment, surgical removal of the lesion and/or more advanced treatment such as radio or chemotherapy.
Please feel free to book appointment with us to talk though the changes in your eyelid skin and take necessary action in good time for early treatment of any premalignant or malignant eyelid skin lesions.
Author: Dr Keti Pachkoria, Consultant Ophthalmologist, SMC
Dr Pachkoria is a skilled surgeon, having performed over 5000 eye surgeries. She has previously worked as a Locum Consultant Ophthalmologist at Moorfields Eye Hospital, UK. In her day-to-day work, her main motivation is making a difference for her patients. She enjoys her versatile role, from restoring patients’ vision following cataract surgery to achieving natural age-appropriate results following eyelid surgery, helping patients look and feel their best. She places the emphasis on a personalised approach and develops specific treatment plans that best suit each individual patient. Given her extensive experience, she is able to manage complex eye conditions in a safe and holistic manner to deliver the best care for her patients.