Chalazion 101: Understanding and Managing Eyelid Bumps

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Have you ever noticed a mysterious small bump on your eyelid?  

Well, it’s most likely that you have a Chalazion scientifically know as meibomian cyst.  

But don’t worry; most of the time, they’re painless and like to stay in your eyes for a few weeks.  

Keep reading if you’re curious about the triggers and how to prevent them. You’ll get an insight into what they are, preventing tips and treatments in case you already have one.

What is a Chalazion? 

Chalazion is a small cyst or lump developed because an eyelid's oil gland, also known as the meibomian glands, has been blocked. They’re very common on the upper eyelid and are sometimes called meibomian cysts or tarsal cysts.  

It's good to note that it’s not painful nor a stye but can form because of one.  

Duration: they can heal in a week but if left untreated, it can take four to six weeks to heal. 


The main reason why chalazia form is because of inflammation that is caused by the blockage in the glad, which can tend to be thicker depending on the person, and specific skin conditions.  

These are some of the conditions that can cause a chalazion: 

  • Rosacea: a skin condition that causes redness and acne
  • Chronic blepharitis: a serious common eye condition that causes the eyelid inflammation, redness, swelling and irritation 
  • Seborrheic dermatitis: which causes red, dry, flaky and itchy skin
  • Tuberculosis (TB) 
  • Viral infections


Because a chalazion forms as a small red or pink bump, it can start with some mild pain or irritation but usually it settles.  

It also rarely gets infected, but it can become painful and swollen.

Your sight shouldn’t be affected, but it can become distorted due to a big enough chalazion to pressure the eyeball.  

Preventing Tips

Since some people are prone to have chalazia return, it’s good to know that having good hygiene is beneficial. 

Here are some tips to help prevent them: 

  • Handwashing: It’s good always to wash your hands thoroughly and often, especially before you touch your eyes.
  • Contact lens care: If you have contact lenses, wash your hands before removing them. Also, clean your contacts with a disinfectant and lens-cleaning solution. Don’t forget to always throw daily and limited-time contacts away on schedule.
  • Face-washing: Always wash your face daily to remove dirt and makeup before bed! A healthcare provider may recommend cleaning your eyelids with a unique scrub or baby shampoo, especially if you’re prone to blepharitis.
  • Makeup hygiene: Makeup can last a long time, but it’s crucial to throw away all your old or expired products. With eye make-up like mascara and eyeliner, it’s best not to share it with anyone and replace it every two to three months.


Usually, chalazia can be cured independently and without treatment, but if it is causing discomfort or aesthetics bothering you, the treatments below may help.  

Warm compresses 

This at-home treatment helps to ease the eye.  

  1. Moisten a cotton bud or a clean flannel in warm water.  
  2. Gently but firmly press it on the closed eye for five to ten minutes, three to four times daily.  

At times this is just enough to soften the contents of the fluid-filled swelling (cyst), helping it drain more quickly.  


Whether it’s with your clean finger or a cotton bud, massaging encourages the cyst to drain 

Eye Hygiene 

Following the prevention tips of good eye hygiene will also help the chalazia to be eased and heal faster.  

Medical Treatments 

If it becomes persistent and more uncomfortable, your GP can refer you to an ophthalmologist for this. 

It’ll usually be done under local anaesthetic, but if a child or adult cannot tolerate this, it may require a general anaesthetic. 

How does it work? -They numb the eyelid, and then a small cut is made on the inside to release the liquid inside the cyst. After scraping it, they will prescribe antibiotic drops or ointments.  

In a nutshell, a chalazion is a tiny distracting bump that appears when the oil gland in your eyelid becomes clogged. It’s not a real pain in the eye, but it can get irritated, and skin conditions don’t help.  

Hygiene is essential! Please wash your hands and toss your old makeup out to help prevent them from forming. And if they do form, warm compresses and gentle massages might do the trick. And if everything else doesn’t work, visit the doctor’s office.  


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