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Alternative namesBump on the eyelid; Stye
Most bumps on the eyelid are styes. A stye is an inflamed oil gland on the edge of your eyelid, where the lash meets the lid. It appears as a red, swollen bump that looks like a pimple. It is tender, especially to touch.
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
A stye is caused by bacteria from the skin that get into the hair follicle of the eyelash. Hair follicles contain oil glands that become inflamed from the bacteria. Styes are similar to common acne pimples that occur elsewhere on the skin. You may have more than one stye at the same time.
Styes usually develop over a few days and may drain and heal on their own. A stye can become a chalazion -- this is when an inflamed oil gland becomes fully blocked. If a chalazion gets large enough, it can cause trouble with your vision.
If you have blepharitis (see eye redness ), you are more likely to get styes.
Other possible eyelid bumps include:
In addition to the red, swollen bump, other possible symptoms include:
Signs and tests
A doctor can diagnose a stye just by looking at it. Special tests are usually not necessary.
Styes often resolve on their own. However, they may recur. The outcome is generally excellent with simple treatment.
Calling your health care provider
Call your doctor if:
Always wash your hands thoroughly before touching the skin around your eye. If you are susceptible to styes, it may help to carefully clean off excess oils from the edges of your lids.
Update Date: 11/14/2003Jacqueline A. Hart, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Boston, Ma., and Senior Medical Editor, A.D.A.M., Inc. Previously reviewed by Raymond S. Douglas M.D., Ph.D. Department of Ophthalmology, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, CA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network (12/22/2002).
Last updated: Tue, 06 Jan 2009 00:20:03 GMT