Eyelid Lesions + How To Treat Them

Apr 17, 2023
 – Besser Eye Care Team
  • Eye Health

Have a bump or growth on the outside of the eye? Get informed about the different types of eyelid lesions and how to treat each.

Eyelid lesions are growths that occur on the lid or the eye's exterior. Patients may experience a variety of lesions. While most are harmless, some can interfere with vision and pose serious health risks (including cancer).

Proper treatment for an eyelid lesion will depend on the diagnosis. Thus, being aware of the variety of eyelid lesions a person could experience, and understanding the importance of getting a diagnosis from an eye doctor is key.

What are eyelid lesions?

Eyelid lesions refer to a variety of bumps, lumps, or growths that occur on the outside of the eye. Lesions appear on the eye for a variety of reasons. Many are infections, some are caused by structural problems, and others may be a sign of pre-cancerous growths.

Lesions can generally be sorted into two categories:

Benign eyelid lesions: Non-cancerous lesions

Malignant eyelid lesions: Cancerous lesions

Most lesions are benign. However, due to the risk of malignant ones, patients should remain diligent about receiving a diagnosis from their eye doctor.

Symptoms of eyelid lesions

As there are a variety of eyelid lesions, the symptoms for each will vary. Some telling signs can be:

  • The appearance of a bump or lump on the eyelid

  • Redness or inflammation

  • Pain and discomfort

  • Itching and burning around the eyelid

  • A lump or bump that obstructs vision

How to diagnose eyelid lesions

Lesions are typically diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. During the exam, the doctor may ask questions regarding the duration of the problem, changes in the lesion, and whether the patient has a history of skin cancer.

The doctor will then look at the eyelid for signs of drooping, excessive tissue, tearing, and misdirected eyelashes.

If the doctor suspects the lesion is cancerous, they will perform a biopsy by removing a small amount of tissue to sample.

Types of eyelid lesions



A chalazion is an inflammatory lesion caused by a plugged gland. Its symptoms range from a small, painless lump, to painful eyelid-wide inflammation.

Chalazion develops when glands in the eyelid are blocked and fluid leaks in the surrounding areas. These lesions don’t pose a serious threat to the eye and usually go away on their own.


A stye is a painful red bump on the base of the eyelid. It is caused by a bacterial infection in the eyelash follicle. Most styes will go away on their own. Some may need to be treated with warm compression or antibiotics.


A benign growth on the eyelid caused by a virus. It usually appears as a small flesh-colored bump. Although not a serious health risk, an eye doctor can remove these bumps if they are cosmetically unappealing or cause vision problems.


A soft, yellow lesion that appears under the lower fold of the eyelid. It is typically caused by high cholesterol or genetic disorders. Though the condition is not harmful, an eye doctor can remove it for aesthetic reasons.

Inclusion cyst

Benign cysts that form mobile, dome-shaped lumps on or around the eyelid. Most are not cancerous and do not come with any symptoms. However, they can cause cosmetic disfigurement, reduced motility, and foreign body sensations.

Basal cell carcinoma

This is the most common type of cancer that develops in the eyelids. It typically appears as a shiny, pearl-colored bump on the lower eyelid. If left untreated, this cancerous lesion may spread to surrounding areas and obstruct vision.

Most basal cell carcinomas are treated with either surgery or radiation.


If you’re in the greater Los Angeles area and you would like to have an eyelid lesion examined, please contact Dr. Besser's office for a consultation.

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