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Don't Pop that Eye Pimple! Easy Tips to Heal Eyelid Blemishes

By Essilor News

If you have noticed a small white bump or pimple on your eyelid, you might be concerned. In most cases, these pimples are either a stye or chalazion, which are both caused by a blocked gland. While a stye can be painful and lead to redness and swelling, a chalazion isn't usually tender or painful at all - though it can last longer than a stye.

Another difference between the two is that a stye is an infection of an oil gland in the eyelid while a chalazion is generally not the result of aninfection but rather a blockage of an oil gland called a Meibomian gland, which is located near the eyelashes and produces a fluid that lubricates the eye.

Chalazia are most common in adults ages 30-50, and those who are most at risk for developing these bumps fit the following:

  • Have previously had chalazia or styes
  • Have a skin condition such as acnea rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis
  • Have a systemic medical condition such as diabetes
  • Consistently don't remove eye makeup completely
  • Use old or contaminated cosmetics

How to Treat a Chalazion
Chalazia tend to go away on their own, though it can take up to a month. If you're hoping to speed up the healing process, follow the steps below - but remember to never pop the pimple as this could spread infection.

Here are a few home remedies:

  • Apply warm compresses to the eyelid for 10-15 minutes up to 4-6 times a day for several days. The warm compresses may help soften the hardened oil that is blocking the ducts and promote drainage and healing.
  • Lightly massage the eyelid for several minutes each day to help with the drainage process
  • Remember to avoid rubbing, touching, or applying makeup to the affected area. Try to keep the entire eye area as clean as possible.

If the chalazion does not drain and heal within a month, contact your eye doctor for an exam. Below are a few treatment options your doctor may recommend:

  • An antibiotic ointment may be prescribed if your doctor determines that bacteria have infected the chalazion.
  • A steroid (cortisone) injection may be recommended to reduce the swelling of a chalazion.
  • If the chalazion grows large and does not heal after other treatments, or if it affects your vision, your eye doctor may suggest surgery to drain it.