Brown Spot on Your Eye: What causes and How to Treat It

Brown Spot on Your Eye What causes and How to Treat It

If you have ever noticed brown spots on the eyes and are looking for further information to understand its causes, prevention, and treatment methods, then this article is meant for you. 

Mostly harmless, they stand the chance of turning into melanoma. Read in detail below to know more.

What is Brown Spots on Eyes or Nevi?

Brown spots are known as nevus (plural: nevi). These are abnormal growths observed in the sclera (eye whites) or iris. Most nevi are completely harmless, but some have the potential to turn to cancerous growth.

Nevi form when melanocytes accumulate together. These melanocytes, or pigment cells are responsible for the colour of our skin. Factors like exposure to ultraviolet rays may result in development of such brown spots on the eyes.

Types of Brown Spots in Eyes

The nevi can be of different types based on the melanocyte’s location:

  • Iris: Such nevi are usually flat and found in the iris (coloured part of the eye). These can be easily spotted in people having lighter eye colour. 
  • Iris nevi: Such nevi are larger than the iris and found in the stroma (deeper eye tissues) (1).
  • Conjunctival nevi: These nevi appear on the sclera (white part of the eye). They might change colour during puberty or pregnancy. However, these are completely harmless and present from early childhood (2).

It is difficult to identify the type of brown spots on eyes hence ensure you visit a doctor for proper identification.

If you are born with nevi, then it is completely harmless. However, if you recently observed it, you may differentiate between the cancerous and non-cancerous nevi through the following features:

  • Non-cancerous nevi are flat and have well-defined margins. It doesn’t spread to other areas. The size remains the same (3).
  • Cancerous nevi causes pain, changes shape, and grows with time. It also shifts the vision, and the person may see flashing lights at any time of the day (4). 

Dark-skinned people who have more melanin in their bodies have a higher chance of developing nevi. Wearing sunglasses and keeping yourself covered results in lesser exposure to ultraviolet rays of the sun and may reduce the chances of nevi formation. In case nevi bothers you, seek immediate medical attention.

Diagnosis of Brown Spots on Eyes

Brown Spots on Eyes

A dilated exam test is recommended by doctors to diagnose brown spots in the eyes. Sometimes, these spots are tiny and might not be visible. Close observation by the doctor will provide an early diagnosis. Hence, this exam should be taken every two to four years by people with healthy eyes.

If any spot looks suspicious, it is important that you take an ophthalmologist’s appointment. Though most times such brown spots are harmless, a proper diagnosis can identify if it is cancerous.

Usually, middle-aged people are more susceptible to developing brown spots, and they mostly appear only in one eye. If left untreated, it has the potential to spread and develop in other body parts. This may sometimes be even a life-threatening process.

How to Remove Brown Spots from the Eyes?

If the spot is identified as a harmless nevus, the doctor may not remove it. However, if it has cancerous properties, the doctor will treat it accordingly.

Treatment Options

Most times, the brown spots are harmless. If it has been detected by the doctor as a harmless spot, you may not bother yourself much about it. The doctor may advise you to timely visit the clinic to record the shape, size, and colour of the spot.

A close and timely observation of such spots will also be required. Some people also remove these spots for cosmetic reasons.

In case the spots show signs of being cancerous or develop any other complications like pain or changes in vision, the doctor may perform surgical removal of such spots. Several other procedures like radiation, thermotherapy or photocoagulation may be performed by the doctor to check the growth of the nevi (5).

  • Radiation: Concentrated high-energy rays are used to treat brown spots by using special equipment.
  • Thermotherapy: The surgeons treat brown spots by using heat to reduce spots in size or disappear completely.
  • Photocoagulation: use of laser by the surgeon to destroy blood vessels that supply blood to the spot area.


The eye is a sensitive part of the body. The doctors will not advise extreme procedures till it is vital for you. The procedures of the eye are done only if the projected issue needs treatment. 

Sometimes, if the treatment is extensive, it might result in tissue damage of the affected part of the eye. Hence, it is vital that such treatments are taken after proper consideration.

Image Source : canva

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