Pimple on Eyelid

There are many causes of pimples or bumps on the eyelid such as stye or milia. Typically, these conditions result in redness and swelling with a pimple that may be very tender to touch. You may also have the feeling that there is something in your eye with excessive tear production.  Treatments vary according to each condition.

Instant Remedy for Pimple on Eyelid

Most pimples on the eyelid can be treated using home remedies. Use a warm, moist compress on the eye 4 times each day for 15-20 minutes. Make sure the cloth is as warm as possible without burning your skin. This treatment will encourage the pimple to drain. Do not squeeze or puncture a pimple on your eyelid. Avoid wearing makeup or contact lenses until the pimple is gone.

Causes and Treatments of Pimple on Eyelid

Some of the major causes, symptoms and treatments of a pimple on the eyelid are outlined below:

1. Sty

Causes: A sty is a red bump that looks like a pimple at the edge of your eyelid. With a sty, you will have pain and swelling of your eyelid and may notice crustiness as the sty begins to drain. A sty is usually caused by bacteria that are carried on your hands and transferred to your eyes when you rub them. Sties can also be caused by other chronic eye infections.

Treatments: A sty will normally begin to go away on its own within 2 to 3 days. To decrease pain and allow the sty to drain, use a warm, damp compress on the eye for 15 minutes 3 or 4 times a day. If the swelling does not go away in a few days or if the swelling moves into your cheek, see your healthcare provider who may open the sty and give you antibiotics.

Watch a Video on How to Treat a Stye:

2. Milia

Causes: Milia are small white or yellow bumps on the eyelids and other parts of the body. They are cysts that are filled with keratin. The milia found on newborns are very common and usually disappear within a few months. Adults can also develop milia. This condition usually does not cause any symptoms but they may be itchy.

Treatments: Milia usually clear up without treatment. Occasionally, milia may spread and become a chronic condition. In this case, treatment by a dermatologist may be necessary. This treatment might include cryotherapy, laser treatment, chemical peeling or dermabrasion.

Here Are Some Instructions on How to Treat and Prevent Milia:

3. Blepharitis

Causes: Blepharitis is an inflammation of the eyelid around hair follicles. Typically, this condition is caused by an over-production of oil by the glands around the eyelid. Blepharitis is commonly seen with allergies, bacterial infections, rosacea, a sty, seborrhea, and chalazions. Usually, the eyelids will be burning or itching, swollen, and reddened.

Treatments: Treatment for Blepharitis includes cleaning the eyelids every day with no-tear baby shampoo. Warm compresses will also help. Apply a compress 2-4 times each day and then apply a small amount of baby shampoo to the margins of the eyelid.

4. Xanthoma

Causes: A xanthoma is caused by fatty buildup under the skin of the eyelid that often occurs in older adults. The xanthoma is typically yellow and soft to touch. These growths on the eyelid are not painful and are not cancerous so your healthcare provider will usually monitor them and only remove them if they begin to obscure your vision.

Treatments: On other parts of the body, a xanthoma may indicate high lipids commonly associated with diabetes or increased cholesterol. However, when the xanthoma only appears as a pimple on the eyelid, there may not be another medical condition causing the problem.

5. Chalazion

Causes: A chalazion is a pimple-like bump on the eyelid that is caused by oil glands in the eyelid being blocked. A chalazion may appear after a sty has resolved. The inflammation from the sty leads to blockage of the oil gland which results in a firm nodule that is not tender to touch.

Treatments: Treatment for a chalazion will include warm compresses 3-4 times each day and then gentle massage of the eyelid to encourage the softened oil to move out of the duct. Squeezing the chalazion will not help. If the chalazion begins to obstruct your vision, your healthcare provider may want to give you some steroids or surgically remove the growth.

6. Papilloma

Causes: A papilloma is a tumor on the eyelid that may look like a pimple and usually occurs in the elderly. This tumor does not usually cause any pain or other discomfort and may look like one or more “skin tags” on the eyelid.

Treatments: Since a papilloma does not usually grow into a cancer, your healthcare provider will usually recommend monitoring with no other treatment unless it begins to obstruct your vision. In that case, your provider may recommend removing the papilloma.

7. Cysts

Causes: Cysts on your eyelid may be caused by bacteria, blocked eye ducts, old or contaminated cosmetics, or chronic Blepharitis. The term cyst is often used to describe pimples on the eyelid that might more accurately be diagnosed as a sty, chalazion, or nevus. Symptoms may include redness, swelling, pain, eye discharge or crusting, or itchiness.

Treatments: Treatment of an eyelid cyst will depend on the cause of the cyst. Since one of the primary causes is bacteria, be sure to keep your clean hands away from your eyes. If you develop a cyst, throw away your eye makeup. Do not use anyone else’s eye makeup or medications. Warm compresses may help the pain and swelling. For a definitive diagnosis or if the cyst gets worse or obstructs your vision, see your healthcare provider.

8. Rosacea

Causes: Ocular rosacea is an inflammatory condition of the eye that occurs primarily in fair-skinned adults with skin rosacea. Symptoms of rosacea include dry, itchy, burning or stinging of the eyes. Redness and swelling of the eyelids and resultant sties often are one of the first signs of ocular rosacea. Photophobia and blurred vision are also sometimes symptoms. These symptoms can be increased by eating hot or spicy foods, drinking alcohol, being exposed to extreme temperatures or sunlight, or being stressed.

Treatments: There is no cure for rosacea but symptoms usually can be managed using a combination of oral antibiotics, artificial tears, and keeping your eyelids very clean to avoid infection. As much as possible, avoid those triggers that seem to make the symptoms worse.

9. Allergies

Individuals with allergies may develop a pimple on the eye that is not painful. You should suspect an allergy if you get the pimple after you begin using new makeup, medication, or other chemicals. Discontinuing the chemical causing the allergy will usually lead to resolution of this pimple.

10. Other Causes

There are many other conditions that can cause pimples on the eye. When oil glands stop producing oils, the eye can become dry leading to a pimple on the eye. Cellulitis, conjunctivitis, psoriasis, bacterial infections, and dermatitis can result in a pimple on the eye. Lifestyle choices such as lack of sleep, medications, and greasy or spicy foods can result in pimples on the eyelid.

When to See a Doctor

Most of the time, a pimple on your eyelid will go away within a few days without medical treatment. See your healthcare provider if any of these problems develop:

  • Your vision is affected;
  • The pimple does not begin to improve within a week;
  • The pimple gets much worse, begins to bleed, or the entire eyelid is affected;
  • The sensitivity to light or tearing become much worse;
  • The pimple comes back frequently or very soon after one disappears.