Sometimes, we see bizarre things appear on our bodies, but the scariest, most of the time is when it appears on any of our sense organs especially the eyes. Lumps or bumps on the eyelids can be painful and not so pleasant. However, they are mostly harmless and depending on the type, the treatment varies.
What is it?
Eyelid lumps and bumps appear as painful, red lumps at the edge of the lower or upper eyelid, usually where the lash meets the lid. It is mostly caused by a bacteria or a blockage in the oil glands of the eyelid. They are often harmless and don’t always require medical treatment. Most times, they go away on their own or with just some simple home care. Although, if an eyelid bump becomes unnecessarily painful, and is not responding to home treatments, or starts to interfere with your vision, you may want to see your doctor on ways to manage your symptoms or to look for signs of a more severe problem.
There are three most common types which include:
Styles: this is the most common type. They occur when a bacteria gets into the oil glands in the eyelids. A style is usually a round, red bump that appears close to your lashes. It can give an unpleasant feeling to your eyelids. A style can lead to light sensitivity, watering of the eye or make the affected eye itchy. It typically takes a few days for a stye to form, and may be more than one bump at a time.
Chalazion: this is an inflammatory lesion that occurs due to the blockage of the oil-producing glands or tears gland in the eyelids. A chalazion usually grows further on the eyelid than a style, but in most cases, it is usually painless. Its interference with one’s vision depends on the location of its growth and size.
It is somewhat hard for most people to differentiate a style from a chalazion, so here are a few pointers to look for:
- A style can be painful, while a chalazion is not.
- The growth of a style may cover the whole eyelid, but a chalazion most often stays small.
- A chalazion may be located on the eyelid or inside, while a style often fixes itself around the eyelashes.
- A style is usually always red, while a chalazion is not.
Xanthelasma: xanthelasmas are usually harmless, yellow bumps that occur when fat accumulates under the skin. These bumps most often appear in older adults. They are likely to indicate high cholesterol levels but not in all cases.
Other types include:
A cyst: this is an abnormal membranous sac or cavity in the human body, usually filled with fluid. It becomes a self-contained “balloon” and expands while the skin cell is shedding debris or even fluid. These, in most cases, enlarge gradually over time. They may resolve spontaneously but often will require an office visit for removal if it becomes too uncomfortable for the patient.
Solid lesions: they can be benign or malignant. Benign entities include nevi (usually starts in childhood and reaches its full size by adulthood), moles, sebaceous or oily cysts and inflamed growths. These are not malignant and are characterized by their progressive enlargement, the potential to become chronic (may be present for many years), with little or no eyelid distortion like loss of lashes, bleeding or crusting. In malignant, these symptoms will occur and may even be at a drastic rate.
Mostly, eyelid bumps appear as red or skin-colored lumps, and they almost always occur along the edge of the eyelid, more often than not. Sometimes, they are tender and have other symptoms like red, watery eyes, a gritty, itchy sensation in the eye and light sensitivity. Although the majority of them are mild or harmless, some of them can indicate a more serious condition. One should see a doctor if you start experiencing any of the following:
- Having trouble seeing
- Extremely watery eyes
- Profuse discharge from your eye
- The sclera (White part of the eye) changes color
- Pain in the eye even in low lighting
- Bleeding from the eyelid bump gets worse, grows very big, or is very painful
- Scaly eyelid, crusty, or red, which can indicate an infection
- The appearance of blisters which is an indication of an infection
A style is usually caused by a bacterial infection on parts of the eyelid. The most common place for it to occur is at the base of an eyelash or an eyelid gland. People with blepharitis are more disposed to getting a style.
A chalazion happens when bacteria on the skin cause the opening of an oil gland to be swollen and therefore become blocked. These bacteria are typically harmless, but most people are sensitive to them.
Xanthelasma is sometimes caused by high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It can also indicate an underlying disease such as diabetes.
Milia (also called milk or oil spot) occurs when a protein called keratin gets trapped underneath your eyelid. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including injury and medical conditions often in newborns and it can also be seen in adults.
Home remedies: Do not try to press or pop a stye or chalazion as it can increase your risk of infection and can also spread the bacteria to your other eye. You can treat a style at home by holding a warm compress on it for 10-15 minutes up to four times per day. Heat and compression can help in draining the style, loosen the blockage in the oil gland, and aid in healing.
Xanthelasma does not usually require home care.
Medical care: If a style is too large, your doctor might need to drain the infected fluid by puncturing it. If you keep getting styles or have one that just won’t go away, your doctor might prescribe an antibiotic cream to apply on your eyelid.
In case of a large chalazion that won’t go away, you may be looking at surgery to get it removed. Your doctor might give you an antibiotic eye drop to use before and after the surgery to treat or prevent any infections. This is often done in the doctor’s office.
Anti-inflammatory steroid injections can utilize to relieve the swelling. You can have a xanthelasma surgically removed if it appears bothersome to you. Otherwise, it does not necessarily require any.
Keeping an excellent hygiene will help to reduce the risks of getting a style. To prevent the spread of bacteria, avoid unnecessarily touching the eyes and face, unless after washing your hands with hot soapy water. If you have blepharitis, you can prevent chalazion by regular washing of the face or just eyes at least once daily and as soon as you feel any irritation, apply a warm compress directly to it.
Try to remove your make up before going to bed and avoid sharing towels. It will not harm anyone to keep a clean diet, to prevent xanthelasma that results from high cholesterol levels. Although having this bump can be sometimes irritating, it can be easily handled with simple home remedies and avoided with proper hygiene. Please see a doctor if you keep getting a stye or chalazion, or you have one that won’t go away even after your efforts to remedy the situation (it is usually supposed to leave within few weeks).
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