An Iris Freckle (Liz Sandler)

Photograph by

Medical Group

About this image

A photograph of a small well-demarcated and long-standing naevus on a hazel coloured iris. Freckles on the iris (the colored part of your eye) typically appear after age six. The majority of adults have iris freckles although many may be too small to be seen with the naked eye. The technical term for a freckle is a nevus (plural, nevi). Iris nevi vary in shape, size and color, and are typically benign for a lifetime. However, researchers believe that some iris nevi (less than 5%) are melanomas (cancerous tumors). Less than 1% of all iris nevi require medical intervention, so an iris freckle should not cause much concern. However, iris nevi are just one more reason why regular, dilated eye exams are important.