Bumps on Eyelids, White, Red, Tiny, Causes, Types, Get Rid

What is eyelid bump? Eyelid bumps appears red, white, swollen at the edges of eyelids or eyelid rim. The area around the eye is very sensitive, infections can cause swelling, itching and redness of eye. Bumps on eyelids are often harmless, although some may become increasingly painful and itchy due to mild or severe causes.

Eyelid bump
Eyelid bump

On rare occasions, pimples on eyelid may not go away resulting to watery eyes, discharge or end up affecting your vision. Eyelid bumps may be chalazion, styes or xanthelasma. They may appear due to allergic reaction, Milia, cyst, herpes, bruise and surgery.

Most eyelid bumps go away on their own or with just basic home remedies. Simple home remedies like warm compress can provide relief and get rid of styes, xanthelasma or chalazia as discussed below.

Causes an eyelid bumps

What could be going wrong with my eyes making me nervous? What is the meaning of the little bump on my eyelid? These are some of the questions going through your mind. Outlined here are various reasons you might have eyelid bumps or pimples.

1. Blockage of oil glands

Red painful lumps may appear where the lash meet the lid due to bacteria and blockage of the oil glands of the eyelids causing eyelid pimples. Combination of bacteria and blockage of the oil glands forms styes bumps on eyelids.

blocked duct eyelid lump
Blocked oil gland eyelid lump

2. Milia

Milia are white or yellowish cysts that appear like “oil seeds or milk spots clusters”. They may also affects other larger areas on face. Rarely do milia become inflamed or swollen. Babies are more prone to milia although they may also affect teenagers and adults.

Eyelid milia
Eyelid milia

It develop as a result of keratin or dead cell skin getting trapped under the skin surface forming an inflammation or whitehead bumps. Sun burn make you skin rough and leathery making it difficult to shed off dead skin cell and thus make you prone to milia.

Skin infections, injury and medications may also make you prone to milia. This condition may at times disappear without any treatment. However, at times they may be persistent until diagnosed to remove them.

3. Skin cancer

Styes and chalazia that bleed and do not go away even with treatment may be skin cancer. Skin cancer may occur on eyelid forming inflammation on eyelid. If you have such a bump or pimple seek medical attention from your doctor.

Benign lumps on skin
Benign lumps on skin

The dermatologist may refer you to Mohs micrographic surgeon for eyelid cancer removal. According to National Cancer Institute, 10% of skin cancer involve the eye.

4. Allergic reaction

Conjunctivitis(allergic reaction) is the redness and swelling of the clear or mucus membrane that covers the white surface of the eyeball and the inner fold of the eyelids. Allergic response causes large bumps due to irritation on the eyes called giant papillary.

Allergic reaction inflammation on eye
Allergic reaction inflammation on eye

Giant papillary conjunctivitis may occur due to:

  • Chemicals that comes to contact with your eyes. The irritation may occur immediately or after months or years of coming in contact with that chemicals.
  • Old eye scar, eye Surgery or any other foreign bodies coming to contact or rubbing on the inside of the upper eyelid.
  • Air allergens like pollen and small particles on the eye may build up on contact lens.
  • Family history of atopic dermatitis and allergic rhinitis. The symptoms appear before the age of 30 years.
  • Pink eye may occur due to viral infection.

What are Symptoms of allergic reaction?

  • Water and pus discharge.
  • Changing vision.
  • Abnormal blinking than usual.
  • Photophobia or sensitivity to light.
  • Itchy, swollen red scratchy.
  • Matting of eyelashes.
  • Drooping eyelids.

5. Cholesterol

Cholesterol deposits may form yellow deposits around the eyelid as a side effect of having high levels of fat or lipids in your blood (xanthelasma). The yellow spots may not be destructive initially, but they can slowly degenerate and cause aching.

White lumps on the edge of the upper and lower eyelid
White lumps on the edge of the upper and lower eyelid

Xanthelasma may be a symptom of a more severe underlying health issue. It is caused by genetic and lifestyle factors. Some medication may increase the risk of developing cholesterol deposits around the eye. These medications include; corticosteroids, retinoids, oral contraceptives, thiazide diuretics and medication containing estrogen.

blocked tear duct
Blocked tear duct

6. After waxing pimples

Waxing is one of the great method of removing hair from your body. After waxing you may develop inflammation, irritation or bacterial infection, if not done correctly. You may need to reconsider how you wax your body. The following may help prevent pimples breakouts caused by waxing

  • Exfoliate the area or the eyebrow with an exfoliating scrub before you wax it.
  • Use fresh, sterilized and clean items every time you need to wax. Avoid sharing the waxing equipment’s with any one.
  • Apply an astringent on the part of the body after waxing. This help to reduce inflammation on the waxed area after waxing. If the area swells apply a hydrocortisone cream on the inflamed area immediately.

7. Crying lumps

Crying swollen eyes
Crying swollen eyes

Swollen eyelids may occur if you have been crying and can result to fluid retention thereby increasing blood flow to the eyes and areas around.

This may lead to rapture of tiny blood vessels in your eye especially if it is forceful or long lived. Drinking water, rest and cold compress may help to prevent vessel rapture.

8. Eye infections

Eyes infections may cause deep itchy and painful zits on     your eye. some of these infections include:

  • Orbital cellulitis– it is an infection in the deep tissues of the eyelid. A bruise or tiny cut may introduce bacterial that trigger orbital cellulitis that can spread quickly and very painful. This is a very serious infection, painful, red, swollen and streaked that need medical attention.
  • Grave’s disease- it is an endocrine disorder that causes over reactive thyroid. This condition causes thyroid to release cells to fight nonexistence infection in the eye. The released antibodies cause inflammation and swelling. The condition can be treated through surgery and various range of medications.
    Eye infection pimples
    Eye infection pimples
  • Blepharitis- this is a chronic condition caused by presence of more bacterial around the eyelids. This make you to have oily eyelids and dandruff like flakes on the eyelashes. Blepharitis has no cure and develop a painful, inflamed lumps. Visit you doctor in case of more severe infection.
  • Dacryocystitis- this is an infection and inflammation of the tear sacs. The tear ducts as a pathway of carrying away the tears that have washed away dirt on the eye surface. As they move away tear may occur interfering with the process leading to bacterial accumulation and blockage. This may lead to pus or thick discharge from the eye.

9. Fatigue

Fatigue or exhaustion may make your eyelids swollen and puffy. If you miss a good night sleep, it may trigger water retention making your eyes look puffy and swollen in the morning. Drinking water and applying cold compress may help reduce fluid retention and swelling.

10. Make up products

Skin care products and make ups may end up in your eyes. This can irritate your eye and surrounding tissues developing a red swollen painful lumps. Allergic reactions to the cosmetic products and make up may trigger swollen and inflamed eyes.

Cosmetic and make up pimples
Cosmetic and make up pimples

You make consider using artificial eye drops (tears) to soothe the discomfort of allergic reaction. Avoid using eye whitening drops and any other products to relieve pain without visiting your doctor.

11. Contact lens

Contact lens may cause allergic reaction even after you have used it for some months or eyes.

12. Herpes

Ocular herpes infection in and around the eyes may lead to lump formation. This condition affects children commonly. It looks a lot like pink eye, but does not produce distinct lesions. The virus has no cure it remains in the body, however antiviral medication may help relieve the pain and symptoms.

13. Pregnancy and hormonal fluctuation

Cystic acne on skin have hormonal component. This explains why bumps flare up on predictable times as a result of cyclical nature of hormones. Females are prone to bumps on eyelid and eye brow during phases of their menstruation cycle. These pimples may appear a week before the menses, during pregnancy and due to use of birth control pills.

The size, shape, appearance and sensation relating to hormonal fluctuation tend to be deep, cystic and sensitive to touch. However, at times birth control pills may be used as a remedy for skin bumps.

14. After blepharoplasty or surgery

A small lump, rice grain like, may appear along the incision after surgery. The appearance of the lump is normal occurrence due to fibrosis or focal swelling during the healing process. Lymphatic fluid retention or a small amount of scar tissue are the main reason for small lumps after blepharoplasty.

The eyelid skin is quite thin and this make it easier to see and feel the lump. However, the scar matures and soften over 2-4 months. No intervention is required and the scars respond well to moisturizing cream and silicone gel.

What are the symptoms of eyelid bumps?

Eyelid bumps like styes may start by appearance of red bump on the edge of the eyelid. The eye gets painful and watery. The eyelid gets swollen as the bumps keep on growing. Styes bumps swells for 3 days, break and drain.

Chalazia eyelid bumps do not hurt but grown more unlike styes. Chalazia bumps get big enough to a point of affecting your vision. The swelling and inflammation caused by chalazia to the surrounding area may go on for months without treatment unlike styes that clear out in a week.

Types of bumps on eyelids

What are the types of eyelid bumps? Eyelid bumps can be classified into the following categories;

1. Styes

Styes develop when bacteria enter and inflame your oil glands in the eye. This is the most common type of eyelid bumps. Sties are round, tender to touch reddish bumps that form near the eyelashes. If the infection become severe, sties resembles cysts or boil on eyelid.

Styes (hordeolum) may make you be sensitive to light, eyelid feel sore, or itchy and your eye watery. They are caused by staphylococcal infection which causes red, swollen pus filled bumps on your skin around the blocked gland or hair follicles.

sties and chalazia
Sties and Chalazia on eyelid

2. Chalazion

Chalazion develop when the oil glands become totally blocked. What the difference of styes and chalazion? Styes that do not drain may end up forming chalazia. Chalazia are usually painless, tender to touch and bigger than styes.

They only become painful when infection develop on swollen eyelid. Chalazion may interfere with your vision depending on size and where they have grown. Incase home remedies such as warm compress doesn’t get rid of chalazia, you should visit your doctor.

3. Xanthelasma

Xanthelasma our when you have collections of fat under the surface of your skin. These bumps indicate the underlying condition that triggers high cholesterol like diabetes. In other hand xanthelasma may form without any connection to a medical condition.

Xanthelasma are generally harmless, yellow bumps that tend to form in older adults more.

4. Cysts

Cysts on eyelid are small fluid filled sacs that may affect your vision

5. Papilloma

Do you have pink or skin colored pimples on eyelid? If so they may be Papillomas. Papillomas are pink, skin colored harmless lumps that grow slowly but may affect your vision. Mostly, Papillomas are surgically removed.

Cyst on eyelid

Meibomian cyst may form in the upper or lower eyelid due to chronic inflammation of the Meibomian glands. These glands produce thick liquid (mixture of oil and mucus) that act as lubricant of the eye surface.

The inflammation is a chalazion usually mistaken for a styes. Normally, it is harmless and resolve if given enough time unless it is acutely infected. The most common causes of lumps are:

  • Poor hygiene
  • Cosmetics
  • Staph bacteria
  • Leaving make up overnight
  • Rubbing eyes with unwashed hands
  • Gland blockage

The risks factors of developing cysts, include:

  • Meibomian gland dysfunction
  • Poor personal hygiene
  • Family cysts history
  • Chronic skin problems and blepharitis.

What are these eyelid glands?

These glands are known as Meibomian. Sometimes referred as tarsal glands or tarsoconjunctival glands, palpebral glands. There are 30-40 glands in upper and lower lids.

What is the purpose of these glands? How can I distinguish them?

These glands release thick liquid secretion called sebum (mixture of mucus and oil) that help lubricate the surface of the eye. The liquid is released through tiny openings found just behind the eyelashes of both upper and lower eyelids.

Itchy and flaky eyelids

Itchy and flaky eye
Itchy and flaky eye

Itchy and flaky eyelids may be caused by dry eyes, blepharitis (inflamed eyelid edge), conjunctivitis or contact dermatitis. This condition may make your lids stick together making it difficult to open especially when you wake up.

This condition can be irritating, although rarely a serious health problem. Keeping your eye clean, avoiding irritants may help you address this condition. However, if the condition persists seek help from your doctor.

Small red bumps under the eye

Several conditions may cause appearance of small red lumps under the eyes. Some of these conditions while others may be severe if accompanied by symptoms like pain, itchiness or swelling getting bigger with time.

Generally small red bumps may be caused by dermatitis, acne, styes, rosacea and keratosis pilaris. If you have oily skin, lumps may be caused by acne, but if you have dry skin it may be keratosis pilaris. Allergic reactions to cosmetic or allergen may be the cause of itchy lumps under your eye. Visit your doctor to determine the cause by examining your skin and symptoms.

Red itchy watery eyes
Red itchy watery eyes

Itchy spot under the eye

What is the meaning of red itchy spot under your eye? Red itchy skin under the eye is a common problem especially if your transverse through different climate condition. Do you have sensitive skin or have excessive dryness that make you itchy and inflamed?

Cosmetic products, climate changes like using heated air, washing our face and bathing too often may cause itchiness and skin inflammation under the eye. You may consider using mild soap, moisturizers and applying cream under the eye. Drinking water, minimizing dryness and applying cold compress may help alleviate itchiness and pain.

What are the treatment of eyelid bumps?

Homemade remedies and medical care may be used to get rid of outbreak.

A. Homemade care

Are you tempted to squeeze or pop your stye and chalazion? This may increase the risk of infection and spread the infection to other parts of the eye or other eye. Xanthelasma do not require a home care remedy.

Here are some of the effective methods you can use to get rid of styes and chalazion.

1. Applying warm compress

Warm compress helps to dissolve the pus and oil such that the pimple can drain naturally.

  • Take a clean towel and soak in warm water or a microwavable eye pad. It should be warm but not hot.
  • Hold a warm compress on the eyelid for about 5 minutes, as you lightly massage.
  • Repeat regularly, you should experience improvement within a week.

2. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is good on any type of inflammation developed due to any infection.

  • Take a cup of hot water
  • Add a few spoons of apple cider vinegar in it.
  • Using a cotton ball. Dip it in the solution and apply over your eye lid.
  • Repeat regularly for effectiveness.

3. Tea bags

Tea bag has antibacterial properties and anti-inflammatory.

  • Boil water and measure one cup.
  • Drop the teabag in the mug and stir as if you are making tea to drink.
  • Let it steep for about 1-2 minute before removing tea bag.
  • Allow the teabag to cool and place it on the affected eye for 5-10minutes. Use teabag for each eye.
  • Repeat regularly until the eye improves.

4. Breast milk

Breast milk is rare if you don’t have breast feeding lady in your home. However, if you add few drops of breast milk in your eye it is a wonderful treatment procedure.

5. Milk.

If you wash your eye with cold milk it gives a soothing effect to your eyes. The evaporated milk helps in healing the eyelid cysts quite faster.

6. Onion juice

Cut a few onions and squeeze in a mixer to extract juice. Get the juice on your eyelid especially if you want to avoid cysts before they occur. Alternatively, you can consume diets rich in flax seeds oil, vegetables and fruits.

7. Guava leaves

Soak the leaves in hot boiling water. Wrap them in a dry clean cloth and place it over the eyes. The redness, swelling and itching will instantly reduce

B. Medical care

Do you have large styes? You doctor may need to puncture it in order to drain the fluid or pus. In case you have stubborn styes that won’t go away you doctor may prescribe antibiotics creams.

Do you have large chalazion that won’t go away? Surgery may be an option. However, you doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops before e and after surgery to prevent and treat infection.

Xanthelasma may also be surgically removes if it became a nuisance, however, no treatment is necessary. Cyst generally get cured on its own, but may be removed surgically if large, uncomfortable and disrupts your vision.

What are the preventive measures of eyelid bumps?

  1. Good personal hygiene: Washing your hands with mild soap, using fresh and clean towel to clean your eyes may help to treat and prevent pimples outbreak.
  2. Washing or rinsing your eyes daily: you can prevent chalazia and blepharitis through rinsing your eyes daily. In case your eyes get irritated you may also use hot compress as discussed above.
  3. Healthy eating: taking balanced diet, losing weight and controlling cholesterol levels may help prevent chalazia outbreak.
  4. Avoiding squeezing and popping: avoiding scratching and draining liquid in the cyst.
  5. Throw away old make up: you may have a habit of using single make up for years or longer time. Consider throwing it away and adopt newer varieties.
  6. Avoid wearing contact lenses and using make up: make up worse your styes. Throw away eye products that are more than 3 months old. If you have styes use glasses until they heal.

Sources and References

E-Medicine health: What are chalazion?

Healthline: What are the symptoms of eyelid bumps?

Livestrong: What causes of Red itchy skin under the eyes?

WebMD: What the difference between chalazion and styes?