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One day, you wake up with a swollen eyelid without further symptoms, no pain, no itching, which makes you feel really uncomfortable and confused about is appearance. Well, in this case, that cyst must be a chalazion – a blocked oil gland at the eyelid.
So, how to get rid of a chalazion? Is there any natural remedy to remove the ugly cyst without invasive methods?
Here you will find very useful information about chalazion and possible treatments in both conventional and natural methods, as well as the tips to prevent it.
What is a chalazion?
When any symptoms related to lump and swelling appear in your body, most people will consider it as a sign of infection. However, a chalazion is nothing more than a small bump on your eyelid, which caused by a blocked oil gland (or in medical terms, a meibomian gland).
What causes a chalazion?
A closer look at the eye anatomy reveals that the human eyelid has four layers, from superficial to deep: skin and its related tissues, muscles, tarsal plates, and conjunctiva. Hiding inside the eyelids are the large sebaceous glands – or meibomian glands – which secrete the lipid for the free lid margin. This oil substance protects and keeps your eyes moist .
Due to its special function, some problems may occur in the meibomian glands. Sometimes, the lipid becomes thicken thus creates an obstruction, or the path turns too narrow to drain the oil. These conditions form a cyst in the middle of the eyelid. As there are no bacteria enter the gland, a chalazion is not an infection.
What are the symptoms of a chalazion?
Before getting further information about how to get rid of a chalazion, you must realize the very first symptoms of it.
It is easy for you to recognize the initial signs of a chalazion. Unlike other ophthalmological diseases that cause itching or painful eyes, the symptoms of chalazion do not cover those. You might have chalazion if you feel:
- A painless lump on the eyelid
- Tenderness eyelid (possibly)
- Increased tearing
- Blurred vision (when the chalazion distorts the shape of the eyes)
- Red conjunctiva
A chalazion usually appears underside of the upper eyelid or eyelashes. Based on the symptoms above, your doctor can diagnose clinically whether you have chalazion or not. No further tests are needed. In people with a history of blepharitis, there is a higher risk for a chalazion to develop.
How to differentiate a chalazion with other diseases?
Stye – What is the difference between stye and chalazion?
To get rid of a chalazion, you must know that chalazion and stye both share similar symptoms, but they have different causes. While chalazion results from the lipid obstruction, stye is an inflammatory condition caused by Staphylococcus. The glands along the edge of the eyelid were clogged, sometimes they are filled with pus. If you want to know how to get rid of a chalazion, firstly, you have to differentiate it with a stye.
You are likely to have a stye if:
- A swelling and red bump full of pus develops on your eyelid (the size of the bump is often smaller than the one in chalazion)
- Painful and itching eyelid
- Tears increasing
- Crust around the eye
The risk factor for stye is sluggish drainage of oil from the eye glands, combining with the appearance of bacteria. Sometimes, stye can develop in people who do not remove their makeup layers carefully – which encourages the growth of bacteria.
Sebaceous gland tumor
Clinically, a lump-like lesion on the eyelid could become dangerous if the physicians do not eliminate the diagnosis of a tumor, especially a malignant one. In fact, some studies have shown that the rate of misdiagnosis of malignant tumor in the eyelid as chalazion is 20% . This wrong diagnosis could delay the proper treatment in the early stage of the disease.
So, how to differentiate a chalazion with a sebaceous gland tumor?
There are two common signs of the tumor inside the eyelid:
- Solid nodule, sometimes the whole eyelid thickens
- Chronic blepharitis and conjunctivitis
The tumor lesion could spread to regional and distant positions, results in high risk of mortality if there is no proper control. To confirm the diagnosis or in suspected cases, your doctor will indicate a biopsy or non-invasive meibography .
Another skin disease that needs to be distinguished with chalazion is cellulitis – a bacterial skin infection. How to get rid of a chalazion if it is not a real chalazion? Unlike the stye, cellulitis affects many parts of the body (which mostly on the legs) including the face. The infection in cellulitis is much more severe than a stye as it can attack the bloodstream and threaten your life .
The symptoms of cellulitis on the eyelid include:
- Redness and swelling mass which increases the size gradually
- Painful from moderate to severe level
- The skin around the lesions becomes warm and dimpling
- Blister or rash develops
This condition was caused by a type of bacterial called Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which appears on the surface of your skin lesions by MRSA swab screening . Cellulitis may spread rapidly through the bloodstream to many organs; thus it requires an emergency and intensive care.
A swollen eyelid is also a sign in dermatitis – an inflammation of the superficial skin around the eye. There are numbers of diseases contributing to the inflammation of the skin: herpes, contact dermatitis, or atopic dermatitis. Each condition has its own signs and requires different control . Here are some common symptoms of dermatitis in terms of causes:
In ophthalmic zoster
You may observe vesicles gathering along the distribution of the trigeminal nerve, or as known as Hutchinson’s sign. The trigeminal nerve has a branch which runs along the eye and nose, so a cluster on the eyelid can possibly be the first sign. Other symptoms include rash, itching, and skin irritation.
In contact dermatitis
The skin irritation develops after a direct contact or being exposed to a foreign agent. The skin lesion includes a center of ulceration, surrounded by small blisters and red rash. You may feel extremely uncomfortable due to the burning and itching sensation.
In atopic dermatitis
In atopic dermatitis or atopic eczema (which is most common in children), the dry and scaly patches are the primary signs.
Other types of cysts
Actually, all of the above eyelid-related diseases consist of cysts as the first symptom. But there are still some other reasons of eyelid cysts which have no connection with inflammation of malignancy. Here are some possible conditions:
Blocked sweat gland
A cyst may be a consequence of a sweat gland blockage. If there is any obstruction of the hair follicle (due to dust, sebum, or bacteria), skin reaction will form a cyst there. The lump should be round in shape and shiny, which locates next to the tear ducts.
It is very common in the elderlies, although the reason for keratosis has been yet unknown. As people get older, they may notice small dots on face including the eyelid, which is light tan to dark color and has scaly surface. The number of these cysts increases over time but there is no other symptom combining.
Or as known as epidermoid cysts, they grow up from the outermost layer of the skin and are covered by squamous epithelium. Some people may feel it a little bit painful when touching, or pus releasing from the cyst.
Last but not least, a chalazion must be differentiated from an insect bite, including lesions from mosquitoes, bed bugs, gnats, or spiders (although spiders are not insects entirely). The local reaction of each person is different, but most people experience small and itchy lump. In a few cases that the lesion becomes infected or poisoned (because of the toxin in the insect secretion), there are several complications combining, such as:
- Redness and warm lump
- The skin around turns tender
- Pus is formed inside the lump
If you scratch the lesion, it will form a leathery skin after the injuries heal.
How to get rid of a chalazion
There are numbers of methods to get rid of a chalazion, including medications, invasive treatments, natural remedies, and even traditional medicine. Depends on the severity and the patient’s response, doctors will pick the most proper method.
The length of recovery time in each method varies, but all of them target at reducing the symptoms rather than treat the root of the disease. But combined with a good prevention, chalazion will have no chance to develop again.
You will find all possible ways on how to get rid of a chalazion below, but remember to consult an expert if you decide to take drugs or use invasive treatments.
How to get rid of a chalazion by using prescribed medications
Although most of the chalazion indications do not require medicines as non-invasive intervention or home remedies could treat the disease, there are still cases that your doctor may indicate drugs for you.
This medical treatment is prescribed only when there is evidence of infection, or to be more precise when bacteria enter the chalazia. The proper antibiotics for chalazion are available in oral and topical forms.
Doxycycline is the first option when choosing antibiotics for infected chalazion. Standing in the second position is tetracycline or minocycline (which belongs to the same antibiotics family), but doxycycline is considered better tolerated than the others.
Traditional medicine – How to get rid of a chalazion
In Eastern medicine point of view, the lung channel takes responsibility for the body protection on the skin barrier. If this “bodyguard” is weak, or the harmful agents from the environment outweighs the protected barrier, you are in the imbalanced condition thus catch disease easily.
Besides, using channel system for the treatment is one of the fundamental theory of traditional medicine. Based on the theory, there are 12 channels and hundreds of points running across the human body. If the lesion position belongs to one channel, ancient doctors will use the points in that channel to treat the disease. The urine bladder is associated with the eye as the first point of the channel lays on the eye corner.
That is why in how to get rid of a chalazion, ancient people chose the Lung Shu point (Feishu) in urine bladder channel for the treatment. It is the 13th point on the channel, so the popular name for the point is Urine Bladder 13 (or UB.13).
Locate the point
There are two ways to locate the Feishu point:
- First, locate the point between the third and fourth thoracic vertebra on the back, then measure 1.5 cun lateral to that point. Cun is a unit to measure length in traditional medicine, which is equal to the width of the knuckle at the thumb.
- Or put your hand over the head toward the back at the opposite side, the UB.13 should be the furthest point where the tip of your middle finger reaches.
Perform the traditional procedure
So, how to get rid of a chalazion using traditional method? If the chalazia develop on the left side, the right Feishu should be used, and vice versa. You should ask a traditional expert to perform the procedure to remove 1-2 drops of blood from the Feishu point. Basically, the procedure requires local sterilization and a needle, with or without a vacuum cup.
- First, the traditional doctor will use an alcohol swab to clean the area around the Feishu point.
- Then, he uses a sharp needle to insert into the skin at the point, remove it, and uses two fingers pressing the skin to remove a few blood drops. Sometimes, a vacuum cup which is made from glass is very useful at this step to “suck” the blood quickly. According to the traditional theory, the harmful agents will be removed from the body through these blood drops.
- Finally, a light pressure should be applied to the area using a clean swab to hold the blood.
It is amazing, isn’t it? But this traditional treatment has been used for thousands of years and shown its incredible effectiveness. The lump will reduce in size and disappear within a few days. You should not perform this procedure at home but consult a traditional expert first.
Natural remedies on how to get rid of a chalazion
Of course, you must not forget the home remedies when thinking of how to get rid of a chalazion! In most cases, a chalazion is not a severe condition that requires medications, so these household treatments are worth trying.
Here are the best natural remedies for chalazion.
The whole idea of the warm compress is to accelerate the blocked oil gland to drain thus heal the lesion. The heat is an effective treatment to soften the hard structure when it supports the blood flows and acts as the muscle relaxant. If you want to know how to get rid of a chalazion, then this method is one of the most effective treatment.
There are many ways to make a warm compress, in which the simplest way is to use a towel. You can follow these steps to make a towel compress:
- Prepare a clean and dry towel.
- Heat the water up to 70 Celsius degrees, then pour onto the towel.
- Soak the towel and squeeze gently, be careful not to burn yourself.
- Place the towel on the lump. Repeat the process if the towel cools off within 10 minutes.
This method should be applied daily until the symptoms of chalazion disappear.
Massaging the lump on the eyelid also supports the blood flow through the lesion area and helps drainage the oil. Try applying this treatment and you will see it shortens the healing period.
So how to massage correctly to get rid of a chalazion?
- Clean your hands gently by washing it with soap. Dirty hands might aggressive the symptoms as they create a chance for bacteria to enter the lump.
- Close your eyes, use two fingers to massage the upper and lower eyelid from inside out. Perform slowly and gently not to hurt the lesion.
- Repeat the process for 3-4 minutes daily and see how the lump could improve.
Give your eyes break
Whether you have chalazion or not, it is highly recommended that you give your eyes break to relieve the tension. There are some ways to reduce eye strain that you can apply at home:
Do not work with computer or smartphone for too long
Take a short break (5-10 minutes) every 45 minutes then come back to your work. Not only the eye disorders are prevented, but your mental health will improve significantly.
Do eye exercises
- There are numbers of physical exercises that you can do to improve the eyes and visions, such as:
- Place an object 10 inches in front of your eyes and focus on it for about 10 seconds, hold your head still. Then place it 10-15 feet further, focus on it. Keep moving the object further and look at it, before returning it to the first position.
- Move your eyes following an imaginary “eight” figure for one minute, then move them in the opposite direction.
- Move your eye in different directions: left to right, up and down. Repeat the exercises a few times.
- Finish the exercise by palming. Warm up your palm by rubbing them together, then place them on your closed eyes for one minute.
If you are wondering how to get rid of a chalazion by using natural remedies, then potato is a reasonable option. It is usually used to solve skin problems like acne and cyst. The great anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties are attributed to choline and quercetin – two compounds found in potato and its skin. It helps you reduce the swelling and boost the healing speed.
How to use the potato to get rid of a chalazion? You can apply two methods below:
- Peel a small potato and wash it with clean water.
- Grind the potato finely (you can cut it into small pieces first).
- Put the potato in a clean cloth, then apply on the chalazion.
- Let it sit for 5-10 minutes then wash your face with warm water.
- Peel a small potato and wash it with clean water.
- Slice the potato
- Apply the slices on your eye and leave it 5-10 minutes
- Repeat the process 2-3 times per day.
Apple cider vinegar
Yes, the wonderful effects of this home remedy is endless. It contains tons of anti-inflammatory agents and antiseptic properties. Apple cider vinegar can help you solve the problem of swollen eyelid and ease the symptoms of a chalazion significantly.
Here are two ways to use this nature remedy to get rid of a chalazion:
- Mix two tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into one cup of hot water. Then dip a cotton ball into the mixture and put on the affected eyelid. Leave it for a few minutes and wash your eye with warm water. You can repeat the process twice a day.
- Combine apple cider vinegar and hot water with the similar ratio, then drink the mixture once a day.
Please take a look at this video to see how apple cider vinegar help you get rid of a chalazion:
How to get rid of a chalazion by maintaining good hygiene
Similar to other non-infectious skin conditions, the bacteria can totally attack and turn it into a secondary infection if there is no proper care, especially eye hygiene. Here we will guide you gradually how to get rid of a chalazion by taking care of your eyes every day.
- Start your day by washing the face thoroughly with clean water. After eight hours sleeping, some of us might feel rheum at the corner of the eyes – make sure you wash it off! Not only the risk of infection is prevented, but you will look professional at work.
- Do not use anything to rub your eyes, including the hands or the handkerchief. Many people tend to wash the eye and face with a wet towel, but they do not know that their cloth contains tons of bacteria! The same thing happens when you rub the eyes with your hands – they might create small damages and scratches on the lump.
- Remove the makeup layer every day. This step is by far important as the eyeshadow or mascara tend to stick and cling at the edges. It is the potential risk of bacterial infection if you have already had a lump on the eyelid.
- Clean the eyes using cotton wool balls and dip them into boiled water or sodium liquid. Wipe the eyelid gently, avoid hard touching.
- If you have already had chalazion, do not attempt to squeeze it. Avoid touching the lump as much as possible if you can.
Corticosteroid injection – How to counteract chalazion
If you are seeking how to get rid of a chalazion and have home remedies do not help, another option for you is performing corticosteroid injection. Corticosteroid belongs to anti-inflammatory drug group, which could relieve the swelling.
Some of you might consider about the negative effects of corticosteroid. In fact, despite its wonderful effectiveness, corticosteroid could cause various adverse effects on human organs if you abuse it. But for corticosteroid injection, the needed amount is not that much to cause the unwanted effect.
Please remember to ask an ophthalmologist before this decision, he/she will explain the benefits and the risks for you.
How to get rid of a chalazion by surgery: Incision and drainage
If you have a small chalazion, then don’t worry, it will go away most of the time. However, sometimes a severe blockage causes chalazion that remains still on your eyelid, or become larger through time. You have tried everything you could, but it is still there.
So, how to get rid of a chalazion that doesn’t go away?
In this case, your doctor has to consider incision and drainage if the chalazia get bigger and affect your vision. An incision seems to be the last but most effective method every time.
You need to consult an eye surgeon, then he or she will create an incision to the chalazia and remove the content inside. A local anesthesia may be essential to numb the skin first. This invasive method, however, does not leave behind noticeable scar; so you don’t need to be worried.
The procedure requires only half an hour and one night stay in the hospital (not all the times, some of the patients only need 2-3 hours staying at the Surgery Ward).
Long-term following up
As chalazion itself is not a complicated issue, maintaining a good eye hygiene and performing natural remedies could help you in how to get rid of a chalazion, as well as prevent its reoccurrence. However, since the eyelids symptoms are related to many other diseases, you still need to look after your eyes even when chalazion has far gone, to make sure they are in healthy condition. Your eyes are the windows of your soul, aren’t they?
If you notice any abnormal signs around the eyes (for example, swelling, tender, painful, discharge, or redness), check it carefully. If they make you feel uncomfortable, try some of those remedies above. If the symptoms still remain or become worse, consult your doctor immediately to have an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
People with a history of chalazion or stye often develop this condition again and again. There hasn’t been any sufficient explanation for this, but according to anatomical theories, the structure of the meibomian glands and the oil production process may play a role in forming an obstruction.
As a consequence, there is a higher chance for the chalazion to develop on people who have suffered this eye disorder previously, in compared to other people. That is why people with chalazion history need to perform eye screening every six months to make sure everything is under control. It is also essential for them to follow eye-care procedure strictly.
What are the complications of a chalazion?
There is nothing to be worried about if you have known how to get rid of a chalazion. But if left untreated, chalazion could lead to some possible complications, including:
Among eye disorders that cause blurred vision, astigmatism is one of the most common reasons. As the chalazion get bigger, it creates the mass effect and covers part of the cornea (the transparent outer layer of the eye).
The healthy cornea receives the light and focuses it at the back of the eye – which makes us see everything clearly. Thus, an irregular cornea prevents the light from focusing at one point, instead, multiple points. If this problem is not solved, you will have blurred vision .
As the name implies, hypopigmentation refers to a skin condition that has lost its natural color. The amount of melanin decides whether the skin is dark or light, so a reduction of this element causes discoloration on the skin. A large chalazion could leave behind a lighter patch as a scar after it disappears.
There are not many options for the treatment of hypopigmentation due to chalazion. Light therapy, such as the laser, could be useful. But luckily, you can use some layers of eyeshadow to hide the patch.
To make sure you will not catch the unwanted complications of chalazion, it is important to follow the directions on how to get rid of a chalazion above.
Frequent ask questions
What are the risk factors for chalazia?
You will be more likely to develop chalazia if you have a history of chalazion (as mentioned above, the meibomian gland anatomy plays an important role here). Besides, people with poor eye hygiene also have a high risk of chalazion.
How does my doctor diagnose my chalazion?
Your doctor will perform clinical palpation and ask about patient history to diagnose a chalazion. Sometimes, a further test will be indicated to eliminate other diseases.
Do chalazions go away on their own?
Yes, small chalazion can totally disappear within a few days. But you still need to take a good care of your eyes by applying some useful tips above.
How to prevent chalazion?
After finding ways to get rid of a chalazion, you must wonder how to prevent it, right? Despite the fact that some people have higher chance to develop this uncomfortable skin disease, there are possible ways to prevent its recurrence. Please maintain good eye hygiene and take care of your eyes, as well as long-term follow up, you will limit the risk of chalazion.
Ok, so there is everything you need to know about chalazion, as well as its treatment and prevention. The key issue here is to have an accurate diagnosis based on the symptoms, then by following our instruction, you will know how to get rid of a chalazion effectively and safely. Please make sure that you are doing well in keeping your eye health to prevent chalazion and other ophthalmological issues.
How to get rid of a chalazion is no longer a challenge for you, isn’t it? We hope that after reading this article, you have gained much useful knowledge about this common condition.
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