How to get rid of eyelid bumps like styes

Advertisement
How to get rid of eyelid bumps like styes
You can treat styes and chalazia by avoiding makeup and using a warm compress. RuslanDashinsky/Getty Images
  • A pimple on your eyelid usually isn't acne - it's probably a stye, chalazion, or xanthelasma.
  • A stye is a round, red bump that can be treated with a warm compress to drain the pus.
  • A chalazion is similar to a stye, but it's usually larger and takes longer to go away on it's own.

Though a bump on your eyelid may look like a pimple, it probably isn't acne-related.

Eyelid bumps are often caused by a small infection like a stye or a medical condition like xanthelasma.

While most eyelid bumps aren't dangerous, you may need to see a doctor to get rid of them if you find them unsightly.

Advertisement

Here are three conditions that can cause eyelid bumps and when you should see your doctor.

1. Stye

How to get rid of eyelid bumps like styes
A stye heals in about a week. apomares/Getty Images

Styes happen when the oil glands along the edges of your lid - next to your eyelashes - become clogged and infected.

Related Article Module: 5 home remedies to treat styes naturally, according to eye doctors

A stye looks a lot like a pimple - it shows up as a round, red bump and may even feel irritated and sore. It can also make your eyes tear up or feel more sensitive to light.

Advertisement

How to treat it: In many cases, styes may drain and heal on their own in about a week. But to find relief in the meantime, you can use a warm compress to open up clogged glands and drain infected pus.

To make a warm compress, soak a washcloth in warm water and apply to your eyes for five to ten minutes. You can repeat this up to six times per day until the stye heals.

Important: Be sure to wash your hands before making or using a compress to prevent bacteria from spreading. Also, avoid very hot water or heating the cloth in the microwave which can burn the eyelid.

Advertisement

When you have a stye, you should avoid:

  • Squeezing or "popping" it, because this can spread the infection and slow the healing process.
  • Wearing contact lenses or makeup, as these can carry bacteria.

2. Chalazion
How to get rid of eyelid bumps like styes
Chalazia are usually larger than a stye. RapidEye/Getty Images

A chalazion is a red bump which forms when a gland under your eyelid becomes completely blocked and inflamed. While similar to styes, chalazia are usually bigger and painless as they aren't typically infected, says Debra Jaliman, MD, a board certified dermatologist and professor at Mount Sinai.

In some cases, a stye can turn into a chalazion if it doesn't drain properly. But unlike styes which heal in about a week, a chalazion can take months to heal.

Advertisement

How to treat it: You can treat a chalazion the same way as a stye, by avoiding makeup and using warm compresses. If your chalazion doesn't go away, or becomes painful and swollen, you may need to see your doctor to get it drained.

3. Xanthelasma

How to get rid of eyelid bumps like styes
You have to go to a doctor to remove xanthelasma. Phynart Studio/Getty Images

Xanthelasma occurs when small deposits of cholesterol form on or around your eyelids. Xanthelasma are yellowish and sometimes look like pimple bumps, but may also look like raised lines around your eyes.

They are relatively rare and usually show up in middle-aged and older people. About half the time, xanthelasma is linked to high cholesterol levels in the blood, but it can also be caused by conditions like hypothyroidism, obesity, certain types of liver disease, and more.

Advertisement

How to treat it: Xanthelasma aren't painful and aren't harmful to your health, but you may choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons. You'll need to go to the doctor who can either:

  • Remove the growths surgically
  • Use a laser to remove the outer layers of skin
  • Freeze the growths with liquid nitrogen

When to see a doctor

"If the bump doesn't go away in a few days or is painful it is important to see an ophthalmologist," Jaliman says. That's because in some cases, eyelid bumps can lead to painful infections that spread throughout your eye and potentially cause vision damage.

You should also see an ophthalmologist if you have any of these symptoms:

Advertisement
  • An eyelid bump becomes very swollen or painful
  • Your eye or entire eyelid turns red
  • Your eye is sensitive to light or is constantly tearing
  • An eyelid bump bleeds
  • Your eyelid blisters or develops crusting
  • You have changes in your vision

Insider's takeaway

Related Article Module: How to know if you have high cholesterol and the best ways to lower it

Eyelid bumps are usually caused by a minor infection like a stye or may be a sign of high cholesterol.

"Most of these bumps are benign and are not a major problem and will go away on their own," Jaliman says."[But] if they don't resolve on their own, or are painful, seek medical attention."

{{}}