What are eyelid lacerations?
Eyelid lacerations are cuts to the eyelid. They are caused by trauma.
What causes eyelid lacerations?
The most common causes in children include dog bites and handlebar injuries. They
also include collisions with sharp objects while running. Sharp objects can include
sticks, thorns, retail display hooks, and nails.
In teens, the most common causes include trauma from fist fights, eye gouging, and
Who is at risk for eyelid lacerations?
Males are more likely to get this injury than females.
What are the symptoms of eyelid lacerations?
Symptoms can happen a bit differently in each child.
Some lacerations only affect the eyelid. Your child’s only symptom may be bleeding.
Other lacerations may affect the eye itself.
Your child should see a healthcare provider right away if he or she has any signs
of an eyelid laceration.
How are eyelid lacerations diagnosed?
Your child's healthcare provider will look closely at your child’s eye to check for
damage. Your child may need to see an eye healthcare provider for further evaluation.
How are eyelid lacerations treated?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also
depend on how severe the condition is.
If your child’s healthcare provider says the laceration is simple, he or she will
stitch (suture) it. Before your child gets stitches, he or she may need local numbing
medicine (anesthetic drops) in the eye. The anesthetic may also be injected into surrounding
tissue. Younger or uncooperative children may need medicine to calm them (sedation)
or general anesthesia before getting stitches.
If your child has a large laceration, he or she will need to be checked by an eye
healthcare provider. Your child may also need to see an eye healthcare provider if
the laceration affects his or her eye.
If your child has a full-thickness lid laceration, he or she may need plastic surgery.
This is done if the laceration affected your child’s eye muscles or other parts of
What are the key points about eyelid lacerations?
- Eyelid lacerations are cuts to the eyelid. They are caused by trauma.
- The most common causes in children include dog bites and handlebar injuries. They
also include collisions with sharp objects while running.
- Your child may need stitches.
- If your child has a larger laceration or if it affects his or her eye, your child
may need to see an eye healthcare provider.
- In severe cases, your child may need plastic surgery. This is done if your child has
a full-thickness lid laceration.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments,
or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child.
Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose
for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important
if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.