A lump on the eyelid can occur on the edge, lower, upper, inner or outside the eyelid. It can be hard, soft and in most cases painful. Eyelid bumps tend to form a red lump and mostly occur at the edge.
Presence of bacteria and blocked hair follicles are the two most common causes of bumps on the eyelid. Most of them do not require special treatments. A bit of self-care measures will have them clear with time. Serious cases should however be treated in a hospital. Severe eyelid bumps can interfere with vision, be very painful and spread signs of infection to other parts of the body. This article covers Small, Painful and Hard Lump under eyelid: How to get rid of, Symptoms and Treatments.
Causes of lump in inner or outside eyelid
Styes are perhaps the most common types of eyelid bumps. They in most cases develop on the edge of the eyelid but can also appear in form of a lump in inner eyelid. Styes are forms of bacterial infections. They form when oil glands on the edge of the eyelid become infected by staphylococcus bacteria.
Chalazion or meibomian cyst
A chalazion develops when sebum secreted by oil-producing glands under the skin of the eyelid is too thick that it cannot flow. With time and more production, the oil will accumulate inside follicles and grow into a lump. It is very rare to see a lump in lower eyelid caused by chalazia. Most of them develop on the upper eyelid.
Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis
Individuals who wear contact lenses may notice a hard lump under the eyelid. This could be due to Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis. Patients will experience sensitivity to light or pain when not wearing their contact lenses.
Yellowish lumps on the eyelid that are not painful are most likely due to Xanthelasma. Xanthelasma describes fat deposits that occur under eyelid skin and appear in form of yellow lumps. The lumps are not harmful and rarely painful.
Cysts of moll
Diagnosis for a ‘small lump on my eyelid’ could identify cysts of moll as the causes. These are tiny cysts that occur on the edge or on the inner side of the eyelid. Cysts of moll do not increase in size. They originate from the eccrine glands. Lumps due to cysts of moll are not common.
A lump on outside of eyelid can be caused by benign growths. Warts and skin tags are good examples. Warts are viral while skin tags are caused by friction on the skin. Lipomas can also occur on the eyelid but are very rare.
Cancer of the eyes is fairly rare. If it occurs, it can start in the eyeball or on the outside regions such as the eyelid. Cancer lumps are mostly not painful and continue to grow in size with time.
Symptoms of lump in or outside eyelid
An itchy lump that develops next to eyelashes, appears as a red bump, feels sore and makes your eyes water or sensitive to light is most likely a stye. Styes are in most cases tender and painful. Most of them break open after about 3 days and heal on their own after a week. Due to pain and presence of bacteria, it is common for styes to be accompanied by a painful small lump behind ear, which is basically a swollen lymph node.
A chalazion is characterized by slow growth, skin redness and warmth. At first, the lump will mostly be painless. It will however hurt once the oil gland has ruptured and started getting inflamed.
Presence of a yellow lump on your eyelid indicates Xanthelasma. While the condition is not harmful, it could be a sign of high cholesterol and diseases such as diabetes.
A small lump on the eyelid that doesn’t grow and is not painful is a symptom of cysts of moll. They mostly form in the inner side of the eyelids.
Benign tumors rarely cause any symptoms, especially if they are not due to an underlying infection. Some like warts may form an itchy lump. Lipoma lumps feel soft and rubbery to touch. They form under the skin. Lipoma can form anywhere on the skin, including formation of soft lump on top of foot.
A hard lump on eyelid could be a sign of cancer. Cancer of the eyes is fairly rare but possible. It is characterized by symptoms such as:
- Hard, fixed and painless lump
- A lump that continues to grow in size
- Changes in the color or appearance of affected skin
- Swollen lymph nodes, such as hard painful lump under armpit, in throat and in the groin region
- Appearance of lumps in other body regions
- Voice hoarseness
- Weight loss
Diagnosis and treatment for lump on or under eyelid
A lump on the eyelid can be diagnosed based on symptoms, where it occurs and the effects it is causing to the eye. A doctor will also perform physical examination. In some cases, blood tests, ultrasound and biopsy may be considered to confirm diagnosis. X-ray imaging is considered when cancer cells are suspected to be present and to have spread to other body parts. Another diagnosis tool that uses transillumination light can be used but is popular with testicular lump pictures.
Mild styes can be left to heal on their own. This will not take more than a week. Recovery can be encouraged by applying warm compress or bathing with hot water. Warm compress draws trapped oil towards the surface of the skin.
Painful and severe styes require treatment with antibiotics. Some painkillers can also be administered to ease the pain.
Chalazia lumps can be left to clear on their own. This can take up to months however. A better approach is to encourage recovery thorug by warm compressing on the affected eyelids and using antibiotic eye drops. In some cases, chalaziua lumps become very hard and very persisntent. This is common with cysts. Such lumps can be removed surgically in a clinic.
Itchy lump due to allergic reactons or irritations can be treated with anithistamines and anti-inflamatory topical medications. It is good to consult a doctor before using any medication in this case. This is especially true for kids, where other symptoms such as a lump on the neck in a child symptoms may have developed.
Xanthelasma bumps are best removed surgically, but only if they are causing discomfort. Otherwise, they are not harmless and will probably disappear even without treatment.
Benign tumors such as warts and skin tags can be removed with home remedies or in a clinic. Your doctor may also consider surgically removing them where necessary.
Cancerous tumors are treated through chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. The tumors are more treatable if noted early.
How to get rid of bump on eyelid at home
Soak a fine piece of cloth in warm water and hold it on the affected eyelid for about 10 minutes. Ensure that the water is not too hot as to increase pain or cause discomfort. Repeat this treatment about 4 times in a day.
First, ensure that the affected eyelid is well cleaned. Rub a cotton ball soaked in warm water over the chalazia bumps while the eye is closed. Remove the scales that may have formed on the surface of the lumps.
A bit of sodium bicarbonate can be added to the water. It may help dry the lumps and increase chances of recovery.
Always ensure to use water that has been boiled. This will prevent introduction of bacteria in the chalazia lumps.
Approach your doctor for prescription antibiotics. In most cases, eye drops will be prescribed, since not all patients respond well to tablets.
Skin tags and warts can be removed with remedies such as tea tree oil and aloe Vera. Tea tree oil is to be added to bath water and then used to rinse the face. Aloe Vera can be applied directly for a lump on the outside of the eyelid. Salt water can also be used to rinse the face. It helps dry out a lump and encourage healing. Avoid using home remedies for lumps occurring in the inside of the eyelid. They can lead to complications and possible loss of vision.
When to see a doctor for a lump on eyelid
In most cases, you will not require to see your doctor for treatment regarding a lump on eyelid. However, the eye is a very sensitive body organ. Not only can infections in the eye lead to loss of vision, they can also spread infections even into the brain. See your doctor if:
- You are experiencing vision degradation, including being sensitive to light
- A white lump develops inside your eyeball
- You feel pain in eyes often
- The lump becomes increasingly painful
- The lump continues to gain mass
- You experience symptoms such as fever, chills, a lump in the throat when swallowing and headaches
- The color of your eyes change
- A lump on eyelid forms sores, pus or becomes crusty.
Eyelid bumps such as styes can be prevented by observing good hygiene practices. Such practices include washing your hands with clean water and soap. Unnecessary touching of the eyes introduces bacteria to the eyelids and will most likely encourage styes and chalazia.
If you notice early signs of blocked hair follicles on the edge of your eyelids, ensure to rinse your face with warm water on daily basis. Warm water helps unclog follicles and will prevent formation of styes and chalazia.
Healthy lifestyles such as healthy diets, exercises, not smoking and weight management may in long-term help prevent complications such as eyelid lumps. You can also consider learning more on how to identify harmful and harmless lumps on skin.