What should I look for with Eyelid Skin Cancer - SightMD Skip to main content

April 04, 2023

By: Leon Rafailov, MD

What should I look for with Eyelid Skin Cancer

close up of a mans brown colored eye looking directly into the camera

Cancer is a disease which, unfortunately, can affect anywhere inside or outside the body. Even the eyelids are not immune to the possibility of developing cancer. While this is an uncomfortable possibility to discuss – let alone actually suffer from ­– it is important to know what to be aware of in the event you or someone you know should be faced with skin cancer on the eyelids.

What does skin cancer look like on eyelids?

To begin with, this condition is not uncommon and more often than not, this cancer takes shape on the lower part of the eyelid. It may develop as a bump that is either smooth, shiny, or firm and red. In other cases, a sore that is bloody, crusted or has a scab may grow on the eyelid. The cancer also may form as a flat lesion that resembles a scar. The color of eyelid skin cancer may be red, brown, flesh, or black.

People with eyelid cancer may experience the following symptoms or signs. Sometimes people with eyelid cancer do not show any of these symptoms. Or, these symptoms may be caused by a medical condition that is not cancer.

  • A change in appearance of the eyelid skin
  • Swelling of the eyelid
  • Thickening of the eyelid
  • Chronic infection of the eyelid
  • An ulceration (area where skin is broken) on the eyelid that does not heal
  • A spreading, colored mass on the eyelid

In addition to any visible symptoms, physical manifestations that may be signs of skin cancer include the loss of eyelashes, or a swollen or chronic infection of the eyelid. And, if you or someone you know has what appears to be a stye (a small, red bump) – and it is not healing – you should consult an eye care professional to determine if it might be cancerous.

If cancer is diagnosed, relieving symptoms remains an important part of cancer care and treatment. This may also be called symptom management, palliative care, or supportive care. Be sure to talk with your health care team about symptoms you experience, including any new symptoms or a change in symptoms.

What should I do if I think I have skin cancer on my Eyelids?

Yes, eyelid cancer may indeed be serious, but it is treatable through specialized surgery – particularly if it is detected early enough. That’s why we stated earlier that, as grim a topic as eyelid cancer may be, it is necessary to proactively address this issue. If you are concerned about one or more of the symptoms or signs on this list, please talk with your doctor. Your doctor will ask how long and how often you’ve been experiencing the symptom(s), in addition to other questions. The professionals at SightMD have the expertise to treat eyelid cancer as well as many other serious vision-related problems. If you are concerned about the possibility that you, a family member or friend may be developing what looks to be eyelid cancer, either call us or request an appointment online.