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Ask Dr. Rick Your Own Question

Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8049
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I have a small white lump inside my lower eyelid. I treated

Resolved Question:

I have a small white lump inside my lower eyelid. I treated it with hot compresses a few days ago and thought it was better but today it started itching and swelled a bit. When I feel it from the outside I can feel a hard lump under my eyelid. Is this something I should see a doctor for, and if so, can it wait until Monday?
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 3 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Are you available to chat?

Customer:

Yes

Dr. Rick :

First off....yes it can wait until Monday.

Dr. Rick :

I think there are things you can do at home before going to see the ophthalmologist.

Dr. Rick :

The most common cause for swelling or bump on the eyelid is a chalazion or a stye. These bumps form when a gland in your eyelid gets plugged up and possibly infected. It is very often associated with a condition called blepharitis.


 


The treatment for this condition, however, is not antibiotics but rather cleaning the eyelids with baby shampoo. Buy some unscented baby shampoo and, in the shower, put the shampoo on your index fingers. Close your eyes, and raise your eyelids (to get skin out of the way) and scrub back and forth along your EYELASH margin. This is where the gland openings are located. The warm water will soften the gunk in the plugged glands, the friction and pressure of your fingers will massage the glands, forcing the gunk out and the shampoo will wash it away. You can also use warm compress to the affected lids during the day as your schedule allows.



This treatment will help to treat the bump on your eyelid while at the same time solving your underlying blepharitis. The lump may take many weeks to go away but you should notice some improvement in a few days or so.


 

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Customer:

That's good. Is it something I could see my GP for, or would I need to find an ophthamologist if the home remedies don't work?

Dr. Rick :

I'd go to an ophthalmologist. GPs always like to give out oral antibiotics for these things an that never works :)

Dr. Rick :

But, I bet this will respond to the above treatments.

Dr. Rick :

The most common cause for swelling or bump on the eyelid is a chalazion or a stye. These bumps form when a gland in your eyelid gets plugged up and possibly infected. It is very often associated with a condition called blepharitis.


 


The treatment for this condition, however, is not antibiotics but rather cleaning the eyelids with baby shampoo. Buy some unscented baby shampoo and, in the shower, put the shampoo on your index fingers. Close your eyes, and raise your eyelids (to get skin out of the way) and scrub back and forth along your EYELASH margin. This is where the gland openings are located. The warm water will soften the gunk in the plugged glands, the friction and pressure of your fingers will massage the glands, forcing the gunk out and the shampoo will wash it away. You can also use warm compress to the affected lids during the day as your schedule allows.



This treatment will help to treat the bump on your eyelid while at the same time solving your underlying blepharitis. The lump may take many weeks to go away but you should notice some improvement in a few days or so.


 

Dr. Rick :

Oops...hit the wrong button. You don't have to read that twice if you don't want to lol!

Dr. Rick :

And, now, the obligatory word from our sponsors: :o)


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Customer:

What is blepharitis? Also, the lump/itching/swelling isn't right at my lash line. It's down further at the bottom of my lashline. Will the washing still help?

Customer:

(I thought I was just seeing double from the swelling. ;)

Dr. Rick :

Blepharitis is plugging up of the meibomium glands, it can cause these lumps to form. And, yes, these things can be located anywhere on the eyelid. The lid scrubs and the warm (hot actually is better) will help.

Dr. Rick :

Now, don't expect it to be gone in a day....it will get better, less tender etc but the lump may take weeks to go away and you could even have a small, pea sized hard lump that may take months to go all the way away....nothing to worry about.

Dr. Rick :

:)

Customer:

How long should I hold off on make-up for? And do I need to worry about contamination?

Dr. Rick :

No. You do not have to either stop or throw out your makeup. It is not the cause of this problem.

Customer:

Good - I don't have to worry about scaring the children. :)

Dr. Rick :

Unless you are from the Tammy Fae Baker school of makeup, that is....

Dr. Rick :

truth

Customer:

And re: unscented baby shampoo - I assume you just me artificial fragrances, right? (I have some fancy-schmancy organic stuff and the babies to go with it. It has a smell, but it's all herbal.)

Dr. Rick :

that will be fine. Don't let the kids see you stealing their baby shampoo ;)

Dr. Rick :

How many babies?

Dr. Rick :

I've got 5; youngest is 15

Customer:

And I should ask... any medication, underlying conditions, blah blah blah that could have caused this? (Two. They're actually 3 and 5 but they're getting baby shampoo for as long as they'll take it.) Five? Wow - your wife must be a saint!

Dr. Rick :

You know, and after having 5 kids, I don't know what all this hype is about the difficulty of childbirth. It didn't hurt at all lol1

Customer:

:)

Dr. Rick :

no, not really in a otherwise healthy mom.

Dr. Rick :

Ya, I guess I'm gonna keep her for a bit longer.....

Customer:

One more thing - could this possibly be related to headaches? (A stretch, I know, but I just want to be sure.)

Dr. Rick :

nope. Not at all. Headaches, if you were to do a survey of folks who ask questions on this site, are always from fatal brain tumors =)

Customer:

Nah. There's too much crazy is my head to allow for a tumor. Just ask all of the voices rattling around in there.

Dr. Rick :

Ya, voices are protective against brain tumors lol!

Customer:

Thanks for all your help. Go do something nice for your wife for Mother's Day. :)

Dr. Rick :

I plan on it. I was thinking of buying her either a new pickup truck or a new pistol.....

Dr. Rick :

Happy mothers day to you too! I was just thinking about those gifts because I know how much seeing my happy makes her happy...what 'cha think?

Customer:

You're all heart, but I think I'd go with something she can't turn on you. There are very few floral fatalities. Pistols not so much.

Dr. Rick :

That is a very, very good point.

Dr. Rick :

Have a great weekend. Take care and I hope you feel better soon.

Dr. Rick :

Bye.

Customer:

Tx!

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 8049
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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