Don’t Make this Mistake with your Eyelids

Eyelid Cancer | Ophthalmic Plastic & Cosmetic Surgery Inc. | St. Louis, MOSummer is coming, which means a lot of folks are brushing up on their sun-safety skills. We’ve heard time and time again that we need to apply sunscreen every day. Inevitably, many of us forget to maintain this habit once the flip-flops go into the closet. Then, when the temperatures start to rise again, we’re back on the front lines with broad-spectrum sunscreen to protect and preserve our skin.

We are concerned about your general health and well-being but are primarily interested in the skin around your eyes. According to statistics, skin cancer of the eyelid is on the rise. This may have a little something to do with the fact that, according to additional research, the majority of us either don’t apply sunscreen at all or just don’t apply it to the delicate eyelid skin. Because the tissue is so thin and fragile, it is even more vulnerable to UV damage than other parts of the face. So, to miss this area could mean missing an excellent opportunity to avoid unexpected dermatologic problems.

What Data Has to Say

In a study of approximately 60 participants, researchers at The University of Liverpool observed how sunscreen is applied. The University gave Study participants sunscreen to apply. After application, imaging with UV-sensitive light was performed. This would show which areas of the face received sunscreen and which, if any, did not.

Images with UV-sensitive light revealed that approximately 9.5% of the surface of the face was missed. Commonly excluded were the bridge of the nose, the inner corners of the eyes, and the eyelids. This makes a lot of sense because most people do what they can to avoid getting any substance in their eyes. When it comes to sunscreen, though, every bit of skin matters.

The Skin Cancer Foundation has estimated that as much as 10% of all skin cancers exist on eyelid tissue. Of eyelid cancer diagnoses, types of skin cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma, and melanoma.

What You Can Do

The first thing you can do to reduce your risk of eyelid skin cancer, as well as premature aging of the eyes, is carefully apply sunscreen to this delicate region. Using a sunscreen stick instead of drippy lotion may help. Additionally,

  •    Protect the eyelids and the eyes themselves by blocking UV light with quality sunglasses. If your sunglasses are not blocking 99% or more of ultraviolet light, it’s time for a new pair.
  •    Try to schedule outdoor activities during non-peak hours. Mid-day sun has the strongest UV rays and most intense brightness, both of which are more damaging to the eye region.
  •    Wear a hat to complement those trendy UV-blocking sunglasses.

If you need treatment to reduce premature aging around the eyes or need to consult with a specialist about eyelid cancer, we are here for you. Call our St. Louis office at 314-567-3567.

Posted in: Eyelid Cancer

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St. Louis, MO 314-567-3567