Bump on the Eyelid

Most bumps on eyelids are either an infected oil gland (stye) or a blocked oil gland chalazion, which may appear in or on the edge of your eyelid. You should see a healthcare provider if the bump on your eyelid affects your vision or doesn't improve after a week of home care.

This article discusses the types, symptoms, causes, and treatment of a bump on the eyelid.

Close up image of bump on eye

apomares / Getty Images

Symptoms of a Bump on the Eyelid

The lower and upper eyelids help protect your eyes. A bump on the eyelid can appear on either the lower or upper eyelid. It may look like a pimple, or it may appear swollen. Common symptoms associated with a bump on the eyelid are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Feeling as though there's something in your eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pain
  • Redness
  • Itchiness in or around the eye
  • Some irritation in the area around the bump
  • Tearing

These symptoms will vary depending on the type of bump you have. Some cause pain, while others may have no symptoms.

Types of Bumps on the Eyelid

The most common types of bumps on the eyelid are:

  • Stye (hordeolum): These painful, red bumps are caused by an infected oil gland and often resemble a pimple on the base of your eyelash or inside the eyelid.
  • Chalazion: This is a swollen, hard bump on the eyelid that may develop after a stye. It can press on your eye and affect your vision. Like a stye, a chalazion is also associated with a clogged oil gland. It can be hard to tell the two apart.
  • Eyelid papilloma: A noncancerous tumor more common in middle-aged or older adults, an eyelid papilloma may resemble a skin tag (a small, soft growth on the skin). If it’s large and bothersome, it can be surgically removed.
  • Cyst: Cysts are small sacs filled with fluid that may impact your vision.
  • Xanthelasma: These are harmless, fatty, yellow patches on the eyelids that can indicate high cholesterol.

Causes of a Bump on the Eyelid

 The most common causes of a bump on the eyelid include:

A clogged oil gland in the eyelid is one common cause of a bump on the eyelid. The clogged gland may contain bacteria that grow inside it. Clogged oil glands may start as a stye and become a chalazion.

Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids that causes them to be itchy and red. It is often accompanied by crusting on the eyelids. Blepharitis is associated with bacteria or certain skin conditions like dandruff or rosacea.

An Infection is another common cause of a bump on the eyelid. An infected eyelash
root is often the cause of a stye.

How to Treat a Bump on the Eyelid

Many bumps on the eyelid, including styes and chalazia, will go away on their own in a couple of weeks. There are some things you can do at home to help treat them. If at-home measures don’t work after a week, you should set an appointment with a healthcare provider, such as an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor specializing in diagnosing and treating eye conditions).

Treatment options may include the following:

  • Use a warm compress: Place a washcloth soaked in warm water against the bump for 10 to 15 minutes, up to five times daily. With a chalazion, this will help a clogged oil gland to open and drain.
  • Gentle massage: You can gently massage the outer eyelids twice daily to help the area drain.
  • Antibiotics: If a healthcare provider recommends, antibiotics can help clear up a stye caused by a bacterial infection and blepharitis.
  • Steroid shot: A healthcare provider may recommend a steroid shot to reduce swelling caused by a bump on the eyelid.
  • Surgery: A healthcare provider may opt to drain the stye or chalazion if it’s affecting your vision, growing rapidly, or is very large. This surgery is often done in an eye specialist’s office with a local anesthetic.

Use Caution

Try to avoid eye makeup and contact lenses until the bump has healed. Don’t attempt to pop the bump.

Complications and Risk Factors Associated With a Bump on the Eyelid

You can avoid complications from a chalazion or stye with prompt treatment. However, the bump can recur. Let a healthcare provider know if you get bumps on your eyelids frequently.

The risk factors for developing a bump on the eyelid include the following:

Are There Tests to Diagnose the Cause of a Bump on the Eyelid?

You probably will not require any testing to diagnose the cause of a bump on the eyelid. However, if bumps recur regularly, a healthcare provider may decide to perform a biopsy. This involves taking a small tissue sample from the bump and testing and analyzing it. A biopsy can help identify more serious underlying causes, such as skin cancer.

When to See a Healthcare Provider

It's OK to try to treat a bump on the eyelid at home; however, certain circumstances should prompt a visit to a healthcare provider. If you experience any of the following, make an appointment with a healthcare provider:

  • The bump is affecting your vision.
  • The bump is very painful.
  • The bump continues to redden and swell, even after using warm compresses.
  • You've become very sensitive to light since developing the bump.
  • Your whole eyelid is red.
  • The bump is bleeding.
  • You have a bump that goes away but then returns.


A bump on the eyelid is often a chalazion or stye. Other bumps on the eyelid could indicate a papilloma, xanthelasma, or cyst. Symptoms associated with a bump on the eyelid include redness around the bump, swelling, and tearing. Treat a bump on the eyelid with a warm compress up to five times daily. If the bump doesn't go away after a week of treating it at home, visit a healthcare provider for further treatment.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. UF Health. Eyelid bump.

  2. Boyd K. What are chalazia and styes?

  3. Kaiser Permanente. Styes and chalazia.

  4. American Optometric Association. Blepharitis.

  5. American Academy of Ophthalmology/EyeWiki. Chalazion.

By Vanessa Caceres
Vanessa Caceres is a nationally published health journalist with over 15 years of experience covering medical topics including eye health, cardiology, and more.