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Aust J Gen Pract. 2019 Aug;48(8):509-514.

Eyelid lesions in general practice.

Author information

MBBS, PhD, Clinical Lecturer, South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology, The University of Adelaide, SA; ophthalmology registrar, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA.
Ophthalmic research student, South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology, SA; medical student, The University of Adelaide, SA; Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA.
MBBS(Hons) FACD, Consultant Dermatologist, Department of Dermatology, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA; Clinical Professor, The University of Adelaide, SA.
DHSc FRANZCO, Chairman, South Australian Institute of Ophthalmology, SA; Foundation Chair, The University of Adelaide, SA; Consultant Oculoplastic Ophthalmologist, Royal Adelaide Hospital, SA.



Patients with eyelid lesions often present in the primary healthcare setting. Although most eyelid lumps are benign, accurate diagnosis and early recognition of sinister lesions leads to improved patient outcomes.


The aim of this article is to provide an overview of common eyelid lesions presenting to the general practitioner.


The majority of eyelid lesions are benign, ranging from innocuous cysts (cysts of Moll, Zeis and epidermoid cyst) and chalazion/hordeolum to naevi and papillomas. Key features that should prompt further investigation include gradual enlargement, central ulceration or induration, irregular borders, eyelid margin destruction or loss of lashes, and telangiectasia. The presence of these features should prompt referral to an ophthalmologist for further evaluation.


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