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What are eyelid lumps and bumps?

Lumps and bumps on the eyelids can range from benign lesions such as skin tags (papillomas), benign intradermal naevi, xanthelasma, warts and moles, to more sinister causes such as small skin cancers, which can present in the peri-ocular region.

Tagged: Facial Treatments

What are eyelid lumps and bumps?

Lumps and bumps on the eyelids can range from benign lesions such as skin tags (papillomas), benign intradermal naevi, xanthelasma, warts and moles, to more sinister causes such as small skin cancers, which can present in the peri-ocular region.

It is important to have an accurate diagnosis before proceeding with any treatment.

Once a diagnosis has been confirmed, our expert surgeons here at the Cadogan Clinic can easily remove eyelid lumps and bumps by surgical excision and biopsy.

What is a lump on the eyelid called?

There are several different types of lump which can be found on the eyelid.

  • Stye (a painful pus-filled lump)
  • A meibomian cyst or chalazion (a hard lump, but not painful)
  • Xanthelasma (yellow lumps or patches)
  • Shingles or chickenpox (blisters or scabs with a rash on the body)
  • Skin cancer (mole, freckle of patch which has changed shape, colour or size)

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What does a chalazion look like?

A meibomian cyst is more commonly known as a chalazion. This is a common condition in which a small lump or cyst develops in the eyelid due to a blocked oil gland.

The chalazion will often vary in size over a few weeks and can disappear following hot compresses and lid cleaning. However a small proportion of the chalazia will remain for weeks or months in the lid, as a non-tender lump. This can be left to get better by itself, but sometimes a large, persistent lump will need to be cut and drained. This treatment is no longer routinely offered on the NHS.

This procedure is performed on the inner surface of the eyelid and can be carried out here at the Cadogan Clinic by a qualified ophthalmologist. The surgery is short, scarless and is carried out under a local anesthetic.

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What causes lumps on the eyelid?

A stye is usually the result of an infection in an eyelid oil gland or eyelash follicle. Styes can also be caused by stress and hormonal changes.

As previously mentioned, a chalazion is caused by the blocked oil gland. However, you can also get it from a stye that is no longer infected but has left hardened material stuck in a gland.

Blepharitis, a condition that causes your eyelids to become inflamed, often is linked to styes and chalazia.

Xanthelasma can be a sign of cholesterol problems and are common in people who have a liver disorder called primary biliary cirrhosis. They may also be seen in people who have skin conditions.

How to treat lumps and bumps on the eyelid?

Some lumps and bumps can be treated with repeated hot compresses while others will naturally drain and disappear on their own. However, sometimes this is not the case and surgery is required. Some patients would rather opt for surgery in the first instance.

Due to the proximity to the eye, careful excision and reconstruction are necessary to maintain eyelid function and optimise the aesthetic result. The Cadogan Clinic will always send the lesion to histology for analysis and diagnostic confirmation.


Treatments mentioned in this article

Skin cancer occurs when the genetic material inside the cells changes, causing an alteration in how cells behave. They increase in size and number, leading to the development of a tumour.

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