Navigate Up

Seniors Center - A-Z Index

#
Q
Y
Z

Print This Page

Chalazion

A chalazion is a small bump in the eyelid caused by a blockage of a tiny oil gland.

Alternative Names

Meibomian gland lipogranuloma

Signs and tests

An exam of the eyelid confirms the diagnosis.

Rarely, skin cancer  of the eyelid may look like a chalazion. If this is suspected, you may need a biopsy .

Treatment

A chalazion will often disappear without treatment in a month or so.

  • The first treatment is to place warm compresses over the eyelid for 10-15 minutes at least four times a day. Use water that is no hotter than you can leave your hand in comfortably. This may soften the hardened oils blocking the duct, and promote drainage and healing.
  • Do not push or squeeze the chalazion.

If the chalazion continues to get bigger, it may need to be removed with surgery. This is most often done from the inside of the eyelid to avoid a scar on the skin.

Steroid injection is another treatment option.

Expectations (prognosis)

Chalazia usually heal on their own. The outcome with treatment is usually excellent.

Calling your health care provider

Call your health care provider if lumps on the eyelid continue to get bigger despite treatment, or you have an area of eyelash loss.

Prevention

To prevent chalazia or styes, it may help to gently scrub the edge of the lid at the eyelash line nightly. Use eye cleansing pads or diluted baby shampoo.

Apply antibiotic ointment prescribed by your health care provider after scrubbing the eyelids.

References

Jackson JL. Chalazion and Hordeolum. In: Pfenninger JL, Fowler GC eds. Pfenninger and Fowler's Procedures for Primary Care, 3rd ed. Philadelphia, PA:Mosby Elsevier; 2011:chap 65.

Marr BP, Shields CL, Shields JA. Tumors of the Eyelids. In: Tasman W, Jaeger EA, eds.Duane’s Ophthalmology. 2012 ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2012:vol 4; chap 3.

Neff AG, Carter KD. Benign eyelid lesions. In: Yanoff M, Duker JS, eds. Ophthalmology. 3rd ed. St. Louis, MO:Mosby Elsevier; 2008:chap 12.9.

Papier A, Tuttle DJ, Mahar TJ. Differential diagnosis of the swollen red eyelid. Am Fam Physician. 2007;76:1815-1824.

Updated: 11/20/2012

Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.


©  UPMC | Affiliated with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Supplemental content provided by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions. All rights reserved.

For help in finding a doctor or health service that suits your needs, call the UPMC Referral Service at 412-647-UPMC (8762) or 1-800-533-UPMC (8762). Select option 1.

UPMC is an equal opportunity employer. UPMC policy prohibits discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, sex, genetics, sexual orientation, marital status, familial status, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected group status. Further, UPMC will continue to support and promote equal employment opportunity, human dignity, and racial, ethnic, and cultural diversity. This policy applies to admissions, employment, and access to and treatment in UPMC programs and activities. This commitment is made by UPMC in accordance with federal, state, and/or local laws and regulations.

Medical information made available on UPMC.com is not intended to be used as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should not rely entirely on this information for your health care needs. Ask your own doctor or health care provider any specific medical questions that you have. Further, UPMC.com is not a tool to be used in the case of an emergency. If an emergency arises, you should seek appropriate emergency medical services.

For UPMC Mercy Patients: As a Catholic hospital, UPMC Mercy abides by the Ethical and Religious Directives for Catholic Health Care Services, as determined by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. As such, UPMC Mercy neither endorses nor provides medical practices and/or procedures that contradict the moral teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

© UPMC
Pittsburgh, PA, USA UPMC.com