PurposeTo determine the association of maternal factors and exposure during pregnancy with the incidence in newborns of epibulbar dermoid (ED), a congenital ocular surface benign tumor.Patients and methodsThis is a retrospective, paired case-control study in which 121 children with ED (case group) and 121 children without ED (control group) were recruited. Questionnaire-based interviews with mothers of participants were performed and maternal medical records during pregnancy were reviewed. The questionnaire investigated basic information, personal history, environmental exposure, exposure to maternal diseases, symptoms and corresponding medical treatments during pregnancy, and parental socioeconomic status. The case and control participants were matched for sex, birth weight, gestational age, and parental socioeconomic status level. Univariate and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted with ED as the main outcome variable.ResultsFactors significantly associated with ED were: history of maternal inevitable miscarriage (odds ratio (OR), 2.59; 95% confidence intervals (CI), 1.13-5.90), common cold in the first trimester (OR, 3.94; CI, 1.74-8.93), and paternal smoke exposure >half a pack per day during pregnancy (OR, 4.81; CI, 1.74-13.28).ConclusionHistory of maternal miscarriage, common cold exposure in the first trimester, and paternal smoking (>half a pack per day) during pregnancy could result in significant risk factors for ED of newborns. These data also imply that paternal smoking delivers nicotine to maternal respiratory system and uterine microenvironment that may both affect microvascular development and predispose the fetus to future ED.