Let us look at the eyelids at a time of stress or when they are affected by the environment, infections, neoplastic processes, metabolic or neurologic disorders. Because the eyelids are a part of the whole body, they may sometimes first manifest systemic health conditions. And because the are at the forefront of the whole us, they are subject to many, sometimes unavoidable insults.
Here are just some of the most common signs that call your attention to your eyelids and signal you to see your eye doctor for a complete eye exam.
Xanthelasma are yellowish plaques on your eyelids that people occasionally develop with aging. They may however signal that your blood levels of cholesterol, triglycerides and lipids are elevated and would need to be controlled by medication to decrease the risk of development of cardiovascular diseases. Xanthelasma may be removed by excision or by carbon dioxide laser.
Sty, chalazion, or chordeolum is a bump at the eyelid margin that occurs due to e clogged oil gland with subsequent accumulation of the secretions that occasionally become superinfected. Initially lid hygiene, warm compresses and massages along with topical or systemic antibiotics may be sufficient but, if the bumps are not treated for some period of time, they require drainage and clearing of the oil materials.
Squamous cell carcinoma may look like flakiness and reddish growth. Basal cell carcinoma may look like a bump with central ulceration. Sebatious gland carcinoma may appear as eyelid irritation and redness. Eyelid skin cancers increase in frequency with age and exposure to the ultraviolet radiation from the sun. People may sometime note loss of eyelashes and skin discoloration. A sty that doesn’t go away may harbor a sebatious cell carcinoma. Any suspicious eyelid lesion need to be biopsied by an eye doctor, examined by a pathologist, and excised fully if necessary.
Melanomas be present as pigmented or non-pigmented lesions of the eyelids. They might be flat or elevated. Many people have freckles on the eyelids that need to be observed carefully for some cases of malignant transformation into melanoma which are always to be completely excised.
Some bumps that suddenly appear around your eyelids may be caused by viruses and may respond to topical medications, including mild steroids. They occasionally cause irritation and require intervention in the form of excision.
Sweat glands are also present in the eyelids and may form tumors, mostly benign. Some require only observation, others need to be biopsied to confirm the diagnosis, some need to be treated by excision. It’s important to distinguish these from other entities as some may be related to system medical conditions.
Lymphoma also may present itself in the skin of the eyelids appearing as an amorphous mass. The conclusive diagnosis is made based on the sample of the tissues taken by your eye doctor and examined by specially trained pathologist.
People suffering from diabetes are more prone to infections and are at risk for infection of the eyelids and underlying tissues as well. Cellulitis, preseptal or septal, is the infection of the eyelids that presents with redness and warm sensation to the eyelid skin. This type of infection requires prompt exam by your eye doctor and oral, or sometimes intravenous antibiotics, to prevent the spread of infection deeper into the orbit and the brain.
The above is a list of the more common conditions leading to bumps and humps on people’s eyelids. All require a careful exam by an experienced eye doctor to make a proper diagnosis and prognosis. So if you have a suspicious “something” on your eyelids, call your eye doctor for an exam and take care of your beautiful eye frames.