Skin cancer most frequently occurs on areas of the body that are exposed to significant amounts of direct sunlight. Therefore, the eyelids, including the upper and lower eyelids, lid margins, eyebrows, and outer corner of the eye, are susceptible to cancer. At SightMD, our skilled surgeons can work in conjunction with an oncologist to provide compassionate, effective care for your skin cancer, including postoperative care to reconstruct your eyelid, minimize scarring, and further maintain your health.
About Eyelid Skin Cancer
Skin cancer involves the abnormal growth of skin cells, leading to lumps and lesions:
- Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer. It most frequently affects fair-skinned patients, and it is caused by sun exposure. Basal cell carcinoma may appear as a brown lesion or a waxy bump.
- Squamous cell carcinoma is the second most common form of skin cancer. It often presents as a red lump or a crusted lesion. Although this type of cancer can be the result of sun damage, it can also appear on skin that has been harmed by burns, chemical damage, or x-ray exposure.
- Melanoma is the most serious form of skin cancer, and it rarely affects the eyelid. It usually appears as a brown spot or irregularly shaped mole. Both fair-skinned and dark-skinned patients can develop melanoma. A family history of melanoma can increase your risk of developing the condition.
- Sebacious carcinoma is a rare form of skin cancer that usually develops on an upper or lower eyelid. Often, sebaceous carcinoma can be mistaken for a stye or chalazion, so you should seek medical treatment if your condition does not heal on its own in about a month.
Diagnosis and Treatment of Eyelid Skin Cancer
If you present with eyelid skin abnormalities, we will first recommend a biopsy before beginning any treatment. A biopsy involves removing a small portion of the lesion and testing it for cancer. If it tests positive, we will refer you to an a dermatologist specializing in oncology for your initial treatment. Typically, this will consist of surgical removal using Mohs surgery, a process of removing several consecutive layers of cancer-containing skin until no more cancer cells are present. Your doctor will also test to see if your cancer has spread to other areas of your body.
Once the cancerous cells have been removed, you will return to our office. Our skilled surgeons will carefully reconstruct your eyelid to minimize scarring. Your doctor may use one of a number of techniques. In minor cases, the doctor may simply need to close the incision with sutures. If you have had a significant amount of skin removed, he may perform a skin graft using tissues from elsewhere on your body to reconstruct your eyelid. No matter what process he uses, your doctor will use highly precise techniques to minimize your scarring and give you a restored appearance to complement a new chapter of health in your life.