Skin cancer of the eyelid accounts for 10 percent of all skin cancer, and 95 percent of all eyelid cancers are basal cell carcinomas or squamous cell carcinomas. Signs of eyelid cancer include loss of eyelashes, ulceration of the skin, distortion of the normal eyelid structure, abnormal pigmentation, bleeding, or itching.
Risk factors for the development of eyelid cancer include fair skin, increased age, history of sunburns and sun exposure, personal or family history of skin cancer, and immunosuppression. Any new lesion or growth on or around the eyelid should be evaluated as soon as possible.
Not all eyelid lesions are cancerous.
In the management of cancers and lesions of the eyelid, experience and training matter. Once the eyelid cancer has been removed, specialized techniques are required for reconstruction of the eyelids in order to preserve proper eyelid function. Oculoplastic surgeons are well trained and experienced in these reconstructive techniques, while providing quality eye care for the preservation of vision.
Avoidance of excess sun exposure, proper UV-blocking sunglasses, and sun block are key to prevention of eyelid cancer. Other tips include avoiding sun exposure in the middle of the day, wearing sunscreen in your daily moisturizer year-round, avoiding tanning beds, and being aware of sun-sensitizing medications. Also, frequent inspection of your skin for changes or new growths is essential for detecting new skin cancers and precancerous lesions.