Eyelid Cyst

A guide to understand why cysts develop on the eyelid, how they are treated and most importantly, how they are prevented.

There are many forms of eyelid cysts. An eyelid cyst needs to be examined and removed if necessary. Sometimes painful and sometimes not, eyelid cysts can be infectious at times and can alter a person’s appearance, or if infected long enough, it can alter one’s vision. Most types of eyelid cysts go away on their own over time, while others need antibiotics or surgery to get rid of them.

Symptoms include:

  • Lumps on eyelids or around eyes
  • Redness
  • Eyelid swelling
  • Tenderness
  • Discoloration
  • Discharge
  • Eye crust
  • Pain
  • Discomfort when blinking
  • Itchiness

Many people can feel the eyelid cyst forming or “coming on” while others have no clue one is about to spring up. If you begin having any of these symptoms, try your best not to touch or rub your eyes. One of the biggest reasons for eyelid cysts is bacteria.

Causes of Eyelid Cysts

As mentioned before, one of the biggest causes for eyelid cysts is bacteria. The transfer of dirt, debris, bacteria, etc. into or around your eyes can create these unsightly lumps or cysts. More causes of eyelid cysts are:

  • Staph bacteria
  • Eye duct blockage
  • Poor hygiene
  • Dirty contacts
  • Chronic Blepharitis
  • Out-of-date cosmetics
  • Leaving make-up on overnight
  • Unwashed hands, touching/rubbing eyes

Types of Eyelid Cysts

There are many different types or forms of eyelid cysts, including:

Styes – Styes, or abscess at the oil glands are one of the most popular forms of eyelid cysts. The infected area causes the cyst to become red, swollen and tender. It usually lasts 1-3 days, however, styes lasting longer than that should be attended to immediately.

Chalazions – Also known as meibomian cysts, they are a lump on the eyelid. Normally the result of debris that is left after an infection, chalazions usually last 8-16 weeks. They may or may not be painful, and if they last longer than the 8-16 weeks, surgery may need to be performed for removal.

Sweet Gland Cysts – These are very common too. The appearance of them tends to be round, shiny and transparent lumps that rest near the tear ducts.

Keratosis – These cysts are a combination of keratin and tissue, and are found in various forms.

Inclusion Cysts – These cysts are white and cause a painless swelling of the eyelid. Although they are said to be harmless, it’s not a bad idea to have one checked out by your eye care professional.

Nevus – These cysts are usually flesh colored growths found in the eyelid.

Treating Eyelid Cysts

If you are dealing with a cyst on your eyelid, the best treatment you can do for yourself starts with better personal hygiene. Keep your hands and fingers, as well as the area around your eyes clean at all times. Try your best not to touch or rub your eyes at all. This can help prevent the spreading of the bacteria. If you use cosmetics, it’s important you throw away your old cosmetics or your current cosmetics until the cyst is gone. This too will prevent the spreading of the bacteria that could be infecting your eye make-up. Avoid sharing your eye make-up, even with those closest to you. Unfortunately germs and bacteria do not discriminate.

If your eyelid cyst is out of control, too painful to deal with or has lasted longer than the time it’s supposed to, please seek medical attention. Your doctor can either put you on antibiotics or perform surgery to remove the cyst. Your doctor can also teach you other prevention steps you can take to keep the cysts from being a reoccurring problem.

This article was last updated on 01/2013