Eyelid Bump (Chalazion)

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While an eyelid bump, or chalazion, isn’t often serious, it can be painful or unsightly. Eyelid bumps occur when an eyelid gland that secretes oil to lubricate eye margins becomes blocked. When that happens the oil builds up and hardens, creating a bump.

Fortunately, these hard bumps are easy to deal with. Unfortunately, they are often recurring.

Treatment of Eyelid Bumps at UVA Health

Before anything, you can try treating your eyelid bump at home. Use a warm compress and some gentle massage to try to clear the oily blockage. You can also use diluted baby shampoo to clean the surface. Often, these bumps will clear up on their own.

If that doesn’t work, it’s time to see the ophthalmologist, or eye doctor. They can inject a corticosteroid to try to get rid of the bump. They can also check you for related infections and treat those with antibiotics.

If the bump is very large the eye doctor may drain the bump. To do this, they use a local anesthetic to numb the area before making a small incision. Rarely, they may take a sample of fluid drained to send to the lab.

Surgery may be done if the chalazion doesn’t respond to other treatments. Doctors will also consider surgery if the bump is very large, growing rapidly, or causing vision problems. For eye surgery, it's good to be at a center with a high level of expertise. UVA Health's eye care team has access to advanced technology and cutting edge surgical techniques. 

Complications of Chalazion

Eyelid bumps aren’t associated with many serious complications. Sometimes a localized infection can develop. They can also cause vision problems if they’re too close to the eye itself.

Who Gets Eyelid Bumps?

There are a few items that can increase your risk of developing a chalazion.

  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Acne rosacea
  • Inflammation of the eyelids— blepharitis

If you have any of these risk factors, then it’s a good idea to start washing your eyelids regularly. Use diluted baby shampoo and apply a warm compress at the first sign of trouble.