Eyelid and Facial Skin Cancer

Each year in the United States there are more new cases of skin cancer than there are cases of breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancer combined. Skin cancer can affect those of all ethnicities, but most commonly affects people with lighter complexions.

Skin cancers of the lower eyelid are some of the most common that we treat. They are typically raised bumps on the edges of the eyelid that are not painful, but they may also be flat or even cavity-like. Other symptoms of possible skin cancer of the eyelid include itching, crusting, bleeding and open sores.

The two skin cancers most commonly affecting the eyelid are:

  • basal cell carcinoma
  • squamous cell carcinoma

Other less common types include: melanoma, sebaceous cell carcinoma, merkel cell carcinoma, and others.

Skin cancers necessitate various approaches to treatment. The primary goal is removal of all traces of the cancer. In addition, restoring the functionality of the eyelid is a priority while preserving the aesthetic appearance of the eyelid and face remains paramount.

Eyelid & Consultants aims to make every patient feel comfortable and secure. If you have any questions or concerns or would like more information, please call (504) 895-3223 to set up a consultation with one of our specialists.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is the most common type of skin cancer?

Basal cell carcinoma is the most common type of skin cancer followed by squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma is less frequent but it is more likely to metastasize, so diagnosing melanoma early is important.

What causes skin cancer?

Risk factors we are born with include: fair complexion, light colored eyes, blond or red hair, tendency to burn instead of tan, family history of skin cancer, and a weakened immune system. People who have had a prior skin cancer are much more likely to form another. The number one modifiable risk factor for skin cancer is sun exposure.

How does sun exposure contribute to skin cancer?

Ultraviolet light damages the skin cells and causes them to become cancerous.

Is all ultraviolet light bad?

Yes. Ultraviolet light can be divided into the A rays and the B rays. The B rays are more responsible for causing skin cancer but the A rays can also act as tumor promoters. The A rays actually penetrate deeper into the skin are more responsible for the loss of skin elasticity and premature aging of the skin seen in those with chronic sun exposure. It is important to choose sunscreen that blocks out both A and B rays.

Is it true that one really bad sunburn can cause skin cancers later in life?

Yes.

When do most people get sun damage to the skin?

Most sun damage occurs prior to the age of 18. It is very important that children be protected from the sun and that sunburns not be an acceptable in children.

How is skin cancer diagnosed?

The important first step is that the patient or the doctor suspect that a lesion might be a skin cancer. The lesion is then biopsied and sent to be examined with a microscope. If the lesion is a skin cancer it will require further treatment to remove it completely.

What is MOHS surgery?

MOHS surgery is a procedure where a dermatologist with special training removes a skin cancer. MOHS surgery has the highest cure rate for most skin cancers and it is the procedure that preserves the most normal skin adjacent to the skin cancer. Preserving normal skin is very important when dealing with cancers on or near the eyelids.

What can I do to prevent skin cancer?

Avoid sunburns or excess sun exposure, avoid tanning booths, and protect your children from the sun! Use broad spectrum SPF15 or greater sunscreen and apply it liberally and frequently. Wear sunglasses and a broad brimmed hat when in the sun.

I have a history of sun exposure; what can I do to prevent this from being a problem?

As with most things you cannot take back what you did when you were young. However, you can assist by bringing any suspicious lesion to the attention of your primary care doctor, a dermatologist, or one of the doctors at Eyelid & Facial Consultants. Often a skin cancer is noted by the way it changes with time. It is very useful to bring to the attention of a doctor that a skin change is getting bigger, sometimes bleeds, or sometimes forms a scab. Skin cancers are much easier to treat and less likely to leave a scar when they are small when diagnosed.

What role do the doctors at Eyelid & Facial Consultants play in diagnosing and treating skin cancers?

Our doctors can biopsy any suspicious lesion. Most typically, we recommend skin cancers be removed using the MOHS technique and the center will coordinate this appointment for you. Our doctors are experts in reconstructing the defects left after skin cancer has been removed from the eyelids, face, or trunk. Our goal is to cure you of the cancer and to restore normal appearances.

 

appointments

Use the form below to request an appointment
online or you may call us directly at

504-895-3223

Our Locations


Contact Us

New Orleans Location
3715 Prytania St, Suite 504
New Orleans, LA 70115
Tel: 504-895-3223
Fax: 504-895-3224

Baton Rouge Location
10423 Old Hammond Hwy, Suite 1-A
Baton Rouge, LA 70816
Tel: 225-522-2233
Fax: 225-522-2232