Clinical features and management of eyelid margin nevi

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Purpose: Acquired melanocytic nevi are common eyelid lesions; however, their clinical presentation is not well documented. Methods: In this retrospective study, clinical records were reviewed in patients evaluated between 2005 and 2022. Results: Eyelid margin nevi (n = 150) were more commonly excised in female (78%) and Caucasian (86%) patients. Change in appearance/size were frequent presenting complaints, and 17% experienced ocular symptoms. Referring diagnosis included other benign lesions (11.3%), and concern for malignancy (16.7%). Many individuals (38.7%) noted their lesion for ≤5 years. Nevi were distributed across the 4 margins (9% peripunctal), and 88% had a regular base. Visible pigmentation was more common in non-Caucasians (95.2%) than Caucasians (41.1%). Lashes grew through 60.7% of nevi and were often misdirected. Nevi were treated with superficial excision and cauterization. Histologic subtypes included: dermal (86.6%), compound (9.4%), blue (2.7%), junctional (0.7%), lentiginous dysplastic (0.7%). An irregular base (p=0.042) and pigmentation (p=0.056) were more common in compound than dermal nevi. Lash line quality and appearance were improved in the majority of patients returning for follow-up, although postoperative trichiasis, marginal erythema, and residual pigmentation were observed. Conclusions: Melanocytic nevi commonly involve the eyelid margins and have a variety of presentations and appearances. Existing nevi can change, and new lesions appear throughout adulthood. Stable, benign appearing nevi can be observed. Shave excision provides a diagnosis and improved appearance for symptomatic or suspicious lesions, with few serious complications. Malignant transformation is rare, although evidence for recurrence warrants further evaluation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)8-15
Number of pages8
JournalOrbit (London)
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


  • Eyelid nevus
  • blue nevus
  • eyelid lesion
  • peripunctal nevus


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