dermoid 1


This is skin tissue [often includes hair in many cases] which is located on the cornea and / or conjunctiva and in more rare cases may disrupt the normal anatomy of the eyelids. This abnormal position of skin is due to incomplete development of the eye during fetal growth and differentiation.

In most cases, the dermoid originates on the edge of the conjunctiva and progressively grows onto the cornea. Initially, this growth involves the superficial cornea but if the mass is not surgically removed early, the deeper layers of the cornea become affected causing an opaque cornea which may affect vision in the patient. 



The only effective treatment for this condition is to surgically remove the mass from the cornea and conjunctiva. This involves a procedure called a keratoconjunctivectomy.

The surgical procedure involves cutting the cornea and undermining the mass all the way till healthy conjunctiva. In many cases, the conjunctiva is then sutured with very fine dissolvable sutures to the edge of the cornea. The recurrence rate following surgery is very low, but it certainly can recur, especially if the mass is deep seated in the ocular tissues. Deep-seated dermoids may require a conjunctival pedicle graft or amnion graft to cover the thin cornea and assist healing and trying to maintain corneal clarity.