Small Bump on Eyelid

Question:

I am in my mid-20s and from time to time I couldn't help but notice little bumps on eyelid that come and go. They usually appear right between the eyes and the edges of my eyelid, and they can be irritating as they sort of rub against the eyes. They are usually small (no bigger than half a pea size), red in color, and when I feel reckless enough to pop them, pus or bloody water bursts out. What are these things? Other than the eye irritation that I experience when they emerge, I don't really feel anything untoward. But does that mean I should put them off and not be bothered by them?

Answer:

By way of your description, it sounds pretty much like a stye. Styes refer to certain bacterial infections that cause a blockage in the oil-producing glands around your eyelashes. They are generally perceived as harmless and they come and go, as you observed. In that sense, most people choose not to do anything about them (most medical practitioners would frown on your habit of popping them, as it runs the risk of contamination; if you have to keep doing that, make sure that your hands or whatever apparatus used are clean).

But some styes do grow in size, to the extent that they can no longer be ignored. In this case, surgical intervention may be necessary to drain the pus off. However, before they develop into an unmanageable stage, there are things that you can do at home:

  • Use a warm compress (place it on the stye at 8 hour intervals).
  • Do not be tempted to rub the affected spots.
  • If this doesn't work, go to your doctor.

Question:

My condition is similar to the earlier posting by another reader. The lump on eyelid in my case tends to focus on the top eyelid, and occasionally on the bottom half. Yes it is irritating, but there are several things which I observed to be different from the earlier reader. It is not red in color (usually white instead), it is small (really small like a dot on the screen) and it is not filled with pus or blood (rather, it is more like clear liquid). So from the above description, I have concluded for myself that they are not styes. Am I right?

When it comes, it is indeed irritating. My solution is to scrape it. It is like a flick and the irritation is gone in seconds. I notice from the earlier post that you don't necessarily approve of this method, but are there other ways that can get rid of this easily and comprehensively?

By the way, the compress suggestion does not work in my case.

Answer:

Your description matches that of patients suffering from blepharitis. It is actually a result of our body mechanisms reacting to the build up of foreign objects in that vicinity (e.g. dust, dirt, bacteria, etc.). Make a habit of washing your eyes before you go to bed. It is also good practice to wash your eyelashes and eyelid with mild shampoo or facial cleanser every night. But do pay attention that there are various types of blepharitis, and for certain variants like ocular rosacea and the bleph bumps, it may be necessary to seek help from an eye specialist.