Eye freckles are brown spot that appears on the eye. Ocular melanoma is a rare form of cancer that can be found in very few cases. If the spot becomes cancerous, eye specialists will recommend treatment.

You may notice a brown spot in your eye, which you might be worried about. It may look like a brown spot on the colored portion of your eye (iris) or the clear film around the eyeball (conjunctiva).

A brown spot around the eye is usually harmless. It is simply a mole within the eye. It could be a form of eye cancer called ocular malignancy.

This article will provide more information about these possible causes, as well as treatment options you may want to discuss with your eye doctor.

What does it mean to have a brown spot in the white of your eyes?

A brown spot on your eyelid or the white part of the eye is known as a nude (or nevi if more than one). It is also called a mole, an eye freckle. It looks just like freckles on your skin, but it is on your eye.

These freckles may be found in many places around your eyes, including:

  • The white part of your eye
  • Clear covering of your eyeball (conjunctival nussus)
  • Iris, or the colored part of your eyes (iris nevus).

The brown spot may be caused by ocular melanomas. According to the National Organization for Rare Disorders, this is a rare form of cancer. It affects 5 out of every million adults.

It may occur in the middle of the eye. This can be difficult to see when looking in a mirror.

Concerning your eyes

The sclera is the white portion of the eye. This is the outer protective layer of the eye. It houses the muscles that move your eyeball. The majority of the eye’s surface is made up of the sclera.


Melanocytes make up a nevus. These cells are responsible for producing melanin, which is the pigment that colors our skin, hair, eyes, and skin.

Melanocytes are usually distributed evenly throughout the body. If some melanocytes clump together, it can lead to nevi or freckles. You can get nevi at birth or later.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests that there could be a link between ultraviolet light exposure and the development of nevi.

Ocular melanoma starts in melanocytes. Although the exact cause of ocular melanomas is unknown, it is believed that multiple factors may be involved, including environmental and genetic ones. Cells can turn into cancer cells by acquiring DNA mutations and abnormalities.

Some risk factors include having fair skin and light-colored eyes.

Other symptoms of eye health you might notice

Nevi usually have no symptoms. One may not be apparent until you look in the mirror.

Ocular melanoma may not present with symptoms at first. Symptoms that you notice may indicate other eye problems. If you notice changes in your vision or eyesight, it is important to consult your eye doctor immediately.

Ocular melanoma can be characterized by the following:

  • Any changes in the size or shape of the pupil
  • Bulging eyes
  • Changes in the position of your eyeball in the socket
  • Dark spot in the iris that grows larger
  • Flashing lights and floaters
  • Vision blurry or loss of vision

When should you seek medical attention?

Consult your doctor immediately if you notice a brown spot in your eye.

Your eye care team will need to be vigilant if the brown spot is a freckle.

Although it is unlikely that a brown spot will be ocular cancer, an eye freckle could develop into cancer. Your doctor will help you develop a treatment plan if an eye freckle is found to be cancerous.

Seek medical attention if you have a vision or eye problems.

How can you remove a brown spot in the eye?

A harmless brown spot will not be removed by your doctor or eye care team because they don’t want to cause damage.

They may recommend different treatments if the spot is considered cancerous.

What is the best way to treat a brown spot under the eyes?

A doctor will usually take photos every year of a nevus. They can compare the images and make sure that there are no signs or growths.

Non cancerous nevus can only be removed if it is on the eye’s outside and does not affect the appearance of the eyes.

Treatment may be necessary if the spot is ocular melanoma. Some doctors recommend a wait-and-see approach for very small melanomas.

Radiation therapy and surgery are the main options to treat ocular melanoma. Brachytherapy is often used for radiation. The procedure involves placing a radioactive disk in the eye socket close to the tumor. After the disk has been secured, it is left in place for several days. Sometimes, external beam radiation therapy can be used in place.

The Food and Drug Administration(FDA) approved Kimmtrak in 2022 for the treatment of uveal cancer that cannot be surgically removed. To be eligible for this therapy, however, you will need to undergo a blood test to determine if you are positive for a particular human leukocyte antigen.

Depending on where the melanoma is located, a doctor may perform surgery to remove the affected eye or, in rare cases, the entire eye.


A brown spot around your eyes could indicate an eye freckle. Also known as a “nevus”, it is also called an eye freckle. Eye freckles can be caused by melanocytes or pigment-producing cells. Most of the time, there is no need to treat them. Your doctor and eye care team will just monitor for changes in your eye freckles.

If the spot is a form of cancer called ocular melanoma, treatment will be required. This rare form of cancer is treated with radiation, surgery, or immunotherapy.

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