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What are they?

The conjuntiva is the membrane that covers the sclera (the white area of the eye) and the tarsi (surfaces behind the eyelids and in contact with the eyes). Pathologies can appear in the conjunctiva just like any other part of the body, for example, turmours. They are perceived as swellings or changes in colour in that area.  


These protruding tumours may cause a feeling of a foreign body, including an increase in the protuberance itself and reddening in cases where the lump itself is rubbing against the eyelid. On other occasions, we might only see changes in colour. 

If you have any of these symptoms, you should see an ophthalmologist to assess the next steps to take. 

Causes and risk factors

As with any tumour, there are internal and inherent factors to the individual as well as genetic factors and external factors like sunlight.


  • Benign: These are tumours that are not life-threatening nor is there any risk of any significant damage to the eyeball. However, there are symptoms on some occasions due to the fact that they protrude and the eyelid rubs against them. The entities are papilomas, hyperplasia pseudoepitheliomatous, nevus without atypia, racial pigmentation, ocular melanosis, secondary melanosis, primary acquired melanosis without atypia, oncocytoma, pleomorphic adenoma, apocrine adenoma, sebaceous adenoma, pyogenic granuloma, hemangioma, lymphangioma, fibroma, myxoma, osteoma and lymphoid hyperplasia.  
  • Precancerous: They are lesions with the capacity to become malignant lesions. These are actinic keratosis, intraepithelial keratosis, nevus with atypia and acquired primary melanosis with atypia. 
  • Malignant: In this case, the tumours may seriously affect the eyeball and even the life of the patient suffering from it. 


Prevention is based on two blocks of action. The first is protection against the sun, especially in countries or places with lots of sunlight. The second is an early diagnosis by a specialist with the aim of detecting lesions on time, being able to treat them and avoiding possible complications.


The treatments range from simple observation to a surgical approach depending on the type of lesion. There are lesions that allow topical treatments (eyedrops) that can control the lesion and stop it from evolving.  

Professionals who treat this pathology

Frequently asked questions