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"Can moles form in the eye?"


Is it possible for moles to form in the eye? I started feeling irritation in my right eye a couple months ago. Since then it has come and gone, but now I'm noticing that when I pull down my lower eyelid there's a small, round, dark bump inside that looks like a mole. Should I see a doctor?


There are a few different potential causes of small mole-like formations inside of the eye. The physicians who are most qualified to discuss this issue with you include your primary care doctor and your eye doctor (ophthalmologist). Moles (nevi) can form in any skin location.

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They are made up of small nests of pigmented cells called melanocytes that live in clusters under the skin. Most nevi are benign, even those in the eye. However, if they cause discomfort, such as tearing or irritation, they may need to be treated. Rarely, moles (nevi) can transform into melanoma. As melanoma is a very dangerous type of cancer, any new nevus in any location, including the eye, must be immediately evaluated by a physician. Nevi that are particularly worrisome include those that appear to be large, have multiple colors, have irregular borders, or be growing rapidly. Upon evaluation of your condition, your physician made advice a biopsy, which is a sample of the tissue of and surrounding the mole, to determine if further treatment or workup is needed. As always, the diagnosis and management of your particular condition will require a physical examination by your personal physician. Scheduling an appointment soon with your primary care physician or eye doctor to discuss this issue is strongly recommended.

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