Springdale Mason Pediatrics

Chalazion (Lump on Eyelid)

Definition

  • A chalazion is a lump in the middle of the eyelid
  • It's caused by a blocked off oil gland

Call or Return If

  • Swelling becomes larger
  • Lump lasts for more than 2 months
  • Eyelid becomes red and swollen
  • You think your child needs to be seen
  • Your child becomes worse

 

About This Topic

Symptoms

  • The lump comes on and gets bigger slowly.
  • It can reach 1/4 inch (6 mm) in size.
  • More common in the upper eyelid
  • The skin overlying the lump is a normal color or pink.
  • The lump is usually not tender.

Cause

  • Caused by a blockage of a special oil gland called the meibomian gland.
  • The oil gland normally lubricates the inner surface of the eyelid.
  • When the gland is blocked, the oily material builds up. This causes a lump in the eyelid.
  • Usually, the cause of the blockage is unknown. Sometimes, the gland can become blocked by an infection of the eyelid margins. The infection also causes crusting of the lid margin.

After Care Advice

Overview:
  • Chalazions are common.
  • They are harmless but take a long time to go away.
  • Here is some care advice that should help.
Warm Compresses and Eyelid Massage:
  • The purpose of eyelid massage is to help open the blocked oil gland.
  • Put a warm wet cloth on the eyelid to soften up the lump. Leave it on for 5 minutes. Always do this first.
  • Then, using your clean finger or a cotton swab, gently massage the lump. Massage downward towards the edge of the eyelid.
  • Do this for about 1 minute. Repeat this process twice a day.
  • Continue this treatment for 1 month.
Eyelid Washes:
  • Do this only if there is crusting of the eyelid margins.
  • Put 2 drops of baby shampoo into a glass of warm water.
  • Wet some cotton balls in the solution. Use them to scrub the lid margins with the eyes closed. Do this for 2 minutes once a day.
  • Your goal is to remove the crusts.
Caution- Do Not Squeeze:
  • Do not try to open the chalazion. Reason: this will make it worse.
  • Avoid squeezing the chalazion. Massage is different than squeezing.
What to Expect:
  • If eyelid massage is started within the first month, it can be very helpful.
  • After the first month, it is less helpful. However, the lump will slowly go away on its own over 2 months.
  • Sometimes, the blocked gland will open through the inner lining of the eyelid. It then drains a little pus for a day or so and heals over.
  • If the chalazion is large and lasts over 2 months, it needs special treatment. It usually needs to be opened and drained by an eye surgeon. They drain it through the inside of the eyelid.
Return to School:
  • Children with a chalazion do not need to miss any child care or school.

Author: Barton Schmitt MD, FAAP
Copyright 2000-2020 Schmitt Pediatric Guidelines LLC
Disclaimer: This health information is for educational purposes only. You the reader assume full responsibility for how you choose to use it.
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