Most bumps on the eyelid are styes. A stye is an inflamed oil gland on the edge of your eyelid, where the lash meets the lid. It appears as a red, swollen bump that looks like a pimple. It is often tender to the touch.
Bump on the eyelid; Stye; Hordeolum
A stye is caused by bacteria from the skin that get into the oil glands in the eyelids that provide lubrication to the tear film. Styes are a lot like common acne pimples that occur elsewhere on the skin. You may have more than one stye at the same time.
Styes most often develop over a few days and may drain and heal on their own. A stye can become a
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Other possible eyelid bumps include:
Xanthelasma— raised yellow patches on your eyelids that can happen with age. These are harmless, although they are sometimes a sign of high cholesterol.
Papillomas — pink or skin-colored bumps. They are harmless, but can slowly grow, affect your vision, or bother you for cosmetic reasons. If so, they can be surgically removed.
Cysts — small fluid-filled sacs that can affect your vision.
In addition to the red, swollen bump, other possible symptoms include:
- A gritty, scratchy sensation as if there is a foreign body
Sensitivityto light Tearing of your eye
- Tenderness of the eyelid
Exams and Tests
Your doctor or nurse can diagnose a stye just by looking at it. Tests are rarely needed.
To treat eyelid bumps at home:
- Apply warm, wet cloth to the area for 10 minutes. Do this four times a day.
- Do NOT attempt to squeeze a stye or any other type of eyelid bump. Let it drain on its own.
- Do NOT use contact lenses or wear eye makeup until the area has healed.
If the stye is infection, your doctor may:
- Prescribe antibiotic creams
- Make an opening in the stye to drain it (Do not do this at home)
Styes often get better on their own. However, they may return.
The outcome is almost always excellent with simple treatment.
Sometimes, the infection may spread to the rest of the eyelid. This is called eyelid cellulitis.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your doctor or nurse if:
You have problems with your vision
The eyelid bump worsens or does not improve within a week or two of self-care
The eyelid bump or bumps become very large or painful
You have a blister on your eyelid
You have crusting or scaling of your eyelids
Your whole eyelid is red, or the eye itself is red
You are very sensitive to light or have excessive tears
A stye comes back soon after successful treatment of another one
Your eyelid bump bleeds
Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching the skin around your eye. If you are susceptible to styes, it may help to carefully clean off excess oils from the edges of your lids.