What is Chalazion(Red Bump Under Eyelid), and How to Treat It?

chalazion(red bymp under eyelid)
Medically reviewed by Dr. Mehvish Khan


A blockage in the Sebaceous (oil gland) causes a tiny lump on the eyelid known as a chalazion. It can be mistaken for a stye and is (brought) on by conditions like blepharitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and inflammation of the eyelids. In this article, we discuss the causes and treatment of chalazion.

What is Chalazion(Red Bump Under Eyelid)?

A chalazion is a small, painless bump that forms on the upper or lower eyelid, caused by a blockage in a Sebaceous  (oil gland) in the eyelid. It may appear as a swollen, rounded lump and can cause cosmetic issues, but it is not harmful and can be treated with warm compresses, antibiotics, or in some cases, minor surgery. Moreover, maintaining good hygiene, avoiding contact lenses, controlling underlying medical issues, avoiding eye rubbing, and keeping eyes moist are examples of preventative strategies. The risk of problems might be decreased with early treatment.

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What Causes a Chalazion in a Child and Adults? 

A chalazion occurs when a Sebaceous gland (oil gland) in the eyelid becomes blocked, causing a buildup of oil (sebum) within the gland. The sebum can form a small bump, which is called a chalazion. The exact cause of the blockage is not well understood, but it can be due to factors such as:

Inflammation of the eyelid due to infection: An infection, such as a stye (hair follicle on the eyelid) or blepharitis (an inflammation of the eyelid margins), can lead to the blockage of a Sebaceous gland (oil gland) and the formation of a chalazion.

Excessive production of sebum: An overproduction of sebum, which is the oil produced by the Sebaceous gland (oil glands) in the eyelids, can cause blockages in the glands, leading to the formation of a chalazion.

Hormonal changes: Hormonal changes, such as those that occur during puberty, pregnancy, or menopause, can cause an increase in sebum production and lead to the formation of a chalazion.

Use of certain medications: Some medications, such as oral contraceptives, corticosteroids, and androgens, can increase the production of sebum and lead to the formation of a chalazion.

Certain skin conditions: Skin conditions such as acne rosacea cause inflammation of the skin and increased oil production and may also lead to the formation of a chalazion.

Allergic reactions: Allergic reactions to certain substances, such as cosmetics or eye drops, can cause inflammation in the eyelid, leading to the formation of a chalazion.

It is important to note that the factors mentioned above cause chalazion. Additionally, multiple factors may be involved in forming a single chalazion. For example, some people may be more susceptible to chalazion due to genetics or other underlying health conditions.

What is the difference between a Stye and a Chalazion?

Stye and chalazion are small bumps that can form on the eyelid, but they have different causes and symptoms.

Additionally, a stye is caused by an infection in the eyelid, typically in a hair follicle or Sebaceous gland (oil gland). It appears as a red, painful bump on the eyelid and may be accompanied by swelling, redness, and tenderness. Staphylococcus aureus usually causes a stye and can be treated with warm compresses and antibiotics.

In contrast, chalazion is caused by excessive oil production (sebum) within the gland, leading to blockage. It appears as a painless, round lump on the eyelid and can cause cosmetic issues. Sometimes, it may not be harmful, but it requires treatment in severe conditions.

It can be challenging to tell the difference between a stye and a chalazion just by looking at them, but a doctor can examine the bump and determine the best course of treatment. 

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What are possible Complications?

While chalazion is generally not harmful, it can lead to certain complications in children and adults. Some possible complications of a chalazion include:

Complications In Child

Age of onset: Children can develop chalazion at a younger age than adults and are more likely to experience multiple chalazia.

Underlying causes: Children with underlying medical conditions such as eyelid abnormalities or tear duct issues are at a higher risk of developing a chalazion.

Impact on vision development: Chalazion in children can impact visual effects, particularly if the chalazion persistently interferes with vision in one eye, leading to amblyopia or “lazy eye.”

Anesthesia considerations: Surgical removal of a chalazion in children may require general anesthesia, which can carry its risks and concerns.

Inflammation and swelling of the eyelid: Chalazion can cause swelling and redness of the affected eyelid in children, which can be uncomfortable and painful for them.

Pain and discomfort: Children may experience pain or discomfort in the affected eye, affecting their quality of life and causing distress.

Blurred vision: If the chalazion is large or close to the cornea, it can cause blurred vision in children.

Reduced tear production: Chalazion can lead to decreased tear production in children, which can cause dry eyes and further discomfort.

Moreover, parents need to consult a pediatric ophthalmologist if their child has symptoms of a chalazion to determine the best course of treatment and minimize the risk of complications, especially regarding the potential impact on vision development.

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Complications In Adults 

Persistent swelling: If the chalazion does not resolve on its own or with medical treatment, it can cause long-term swelling of the eyelid.

Infection: In rare cases, a chalazion can become infected, leading to cellulitis, a condition of the deeper tissues of the eyelid.

Amblyopia: Chalazion that persistently interferes with vision in one eye can lead to amblyopia, also known as “lazy eye.”

Chronic chalazion: Adults may develop chronic chalazion, recurring or persistent chalazion that does not resolve with treatment.

Recurrent infections: Adults with chalazion may be at higher risk for recurrent infections in the affected eye, which can lead to further complications.

Disfigurement of the eyelid: Chalazion can cause scarring and disfigurement of the affected eyelid in adults, which can be permanent and lead to cosmetic concerns.

Interference with vision and daily activities: Chalazion in adults can cause interference with vision and daily activities, such as reading, driving, and working, affecting their quality of life.

Also, it is essential to consult a pediatric ophthalmologist if your child has symptoms of a chalazion to determine the best course of treatment and to minimize the risk of complications.

How to Diagnose a Red Bump Under the Eyelid?

A red bump under the eyelid can signify a chalazion, but other conditions, such as a stye or an abscess, can also cause similar symptoms. To diagnose, a doctor will follow some typical steps:

  • Conduct a visual examination
  • Ask about symptoms
  • Obtain medical history
  • Order imaging tests
  • Sit lamp Examination 
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What Happens if the Chalazion is Left Untreated?

If a chalazion is left untreated, it usually persists for several weeks or months before resolving independently. However, there are several potential risks associated with leaving a chalazion untreated, including:

Cosmetics issues: An untreated chalazion can cause the eyelid to look swollen or deformed, leading to cosmetic concerns.

Visual disturbance: A large chalazion can cause the eyelid to drop, leading to an eyesight issue or double vision.

Recurrence: Chalazion can recur, even after successful treatment, in some individuals, especially if the underlying cause of the blockage is not (addressed).

Spread of infection: If a chalazion becomes more infected, it can spread to other parts of the eye, leading to severe complications such as vision loss or orbital cellulitis (an infection of the tissue surrounding the eye).

If a chalazion is repeatedly traumatized, scarring of the eyelid can occur, which can cause long-term cosmetic issues and functional problems.

Finally, seeking treatment for a chalazion is generally recommended to reduce the risk of these potential complications and minimize the duration of symptoms. 

Can you Prevent chalazion?

A chalazion is preventable by the following precautions:

  1. Keep your eyelids clean by gently washing them with lukewarm water.
  2. Avoid touching your eyes and face with unsanitized hands.
  3. Manage medical conditions such as blepharitis or rosacea that can increase your risk of developing a chalazion.
  4. Avoid wearing contact lenses and eye makeup if you have an active chalazion.
  5. Get healthy nutrition support for overall eye health.

Furthermore, to manage already existing chalazion, it is essential to keep the affected area clean and not squeeze or pop it, as this can spread infection and worsen the condition. 

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Home Remedies for Chalazion

Here are some home remedies that may help relieve the symptoms of a chalazion:

Warm compresses: Apply a warm, moist compress to the affected eye for 10-15 minutes several times daily to help soften the Sebaceous gland (oil gland) and promote drainage.

Tea bag compresses: Soak a tea bag in hot water and place it on the affected eye for 5-10 minutes. The anti-inflammatory properties of tea may help reduce swelling and discomfort.

Castor oil: Apply a small amount of castor oil to the affected eye at bedtime. The oil has anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce swelling and promote healing. 

Hydration: Drink plenty of water and other fluids in order to flush out toxins from the body and promote overall eye health.

In addition, it’s important to remember that these remedies may not work for everyone and, in some cases, may not be enough to treat a chalazion. Moreover, if your chalazion does not improve after a few weeks or has concerns, see your doctor for proper evaluation and treatment.

How to Treat a Bump under the Eyelid (chalazion) by Medical Treatment?

Here are some treatments for a chalazion:

Antibiotic ointments: Your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment or eye drops to help prevent infection and promote healing.

Steroid injections: In some cases, a steroid injection directly into the chalazion can help reduce swelling and discomfort.

Chalazion excision: If the chalazion does not respond to other treatments, your doctor may recommend surgical removal.

When to Consult a Doctor for Chalazion?

It is essential to see a doctor if you or your child have symptoms of a chalazion so that a proper diagnosis can be made and appropriate treatment can be provided to minimize the risk of complications.

The provider will also ask about any recent infections, allergies, or other health conditions contributing to the formation of a chalazion and prescribe beneficial medications to treat it faster.

To get the best treatment, you can get treatment by staying at your home with our virtual doctor at your doctor’s online app.

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FAQs about Chalazion Answered by Your Doctors Online Team

How long does it take for a chalazion to go away?

The duration may depend upon the severity of the infection. Moreover, taking the proper medical assistance can take days or a month.

How to manage a chalazion at home?

There are several ways, but one of the famous remedies is applying warm compresses to your eyelid for at least 10 to 15 minutes after every 4 to 6 times a day for several days.

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