Primary malignant melanomas of the eyelid are extremely rare; they amount to 1% of all eyelid cancers.
It has been estimated that an American's current lifetime risk for developing a skin melanoma is 1 in 128.
Where do they Occur?
Lentigo maligna (Hutchinson's melanotic freckle) is considered the premalignant lesion of lentigo maligna melanoma. It a represents 10% of all skin melanomas is the most common form in the head and neck areas.
They are usually flat, tan to brown macule with irregular borders.
Within the lesion, there might also be areas of white and grey. They most offen occur on sun-exposed facial skin in the elderly.
Superficial spreading melanoma is considered the more common form of melanoma. It represents 70% of skin melanomas. It usuallly involves nonexposed skin surfaces. It might appear on the nonexposed skin surfaces and a grow faster than lentigo maligna.
Are they dangerous?
A patient with a suspected eyelid melanoma should have a careful examination, an incisional biopsy, and might ultimately require complete excision of the lesion and follow-up with an oncologist since this tumor can spread throughout the body.
Excision of the tumor can be performed by a MOHS surgeon, an dermatologist, or an ophthalmic plastic surgeon.