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Chalazion and Stye (Hordeolum)

By

The Manual's Editorial Staff

Last full review/revision Feb 2020| Content last modified Feb 2020
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What are chalazions and styes?

Chalazions and styes are painful lumps on your eyelid. Chalazions and styes start out with similar symptoms and look a lot alike.

  • A chalazion is a pimple caused by a blocked oil gland in your eyelid—it isn't infected

  • A stye is a staph infection at the base of an eyelash

  • Chalazions usually go away on their own in 2 to 8 weeks

  • A stye usually breaks open after about 2 to 4 days, and then it goes away on its own

  • Putting a hot compress on your eye may help a chalazion or stye go away faster

  • Doctors sometimes have to let the pus out of a stye by making a small cut with a tiny scalpel blade

What are the symptoms of a chalazion or a stye?

Your eyelid will have a small lump that is:

  • Red

  • Painful

  • Swollen

  • Irritated or tender

Chalazion symptoms usually go away after a few days, but there may be a lump for up to 8 weeks.

A stye usually breaks open after 2 to 4 days, letting some pus out and then going away.

How can doctors tell if I have a chalazion or a stye?

Doctors can tell if you have a chalazion or a stye by examining your eyelid.

How do doctors treat a chalazion or a stye?

Chalazions and styes usually go away on their own. To ease the pain and help them heal:

  • Put a clean, warm, wet compress on your eyelid for 5 to 10 minutes, 2 or 3 times a day

  • Don't try to pop it

  • Clean your eyelids with mild soap and water

  • Don't use your contact lenses or eye makeup until they heal

If your chalazion lasts longer than 8 weeks, your doctor may:

  • Drain the fluid

  • Give you a corticosteroid shot in your eyelid

If your stye doesn't go away on its own, or is very painful, your doctor may:

  • Give you antibiotics

  • Let the pus out by making a small cut with a tiny scalpel blade

NOTE: This is the Consumer Version. DOCTORS: Click here for the Professional Version
Click here for the Professional Version
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