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A pinguecula is a type of conjunctival degeneration in the eye. It is extremely common and is seen as a yellow-white deposit on the conjunctiva adjacent to the limbus (the junction between the cornea and sclera). It is to be distinguished from pterygium clinically, which is a wedge shaped area of fibrosis, that appears to grow into the cornea. It is most prevalent in tropical climates and is in direct correlation with UV exposure.
Histologically it shows degeneration of the collagen fibres of the conjunctival stroma with thinning of the overlying epithelium and occasional calcification.
They may enlarge slowly but is a benign condition requiring no treatment. If cosmesis is a concern surgical excision is sometimes done.
A pinguecula is one of the differential diagnoses for a limbal nodule.