Bump on an Eyelid…What is It? 6 Important Questions About Styes

bump on an eyelid

Do you have a red bump on an eyelid that came out of nowhere? Chances are, it’s probably a stye. If it is, there’s no need to fret. Styes are generally harmless, and they can usually be treated from home with simple at-home remedies or easy recommendations from your medical provider. 

It’s important to know that if your kid gets a stye, they are are at higher risk of getting another. To keep your child from panicking every time they get one, learn about the causes, how to treat them, and when to see a doctor.

Bump on Eyelid? Here’s What You Need to Know:

1: What are Styes?

A stye is a bump on an eyelid caused by a blocked oil gland. It can appear on the upper eyelid, lower eyelid, the outside of the eyelid, or even at the edge of the eyelid where your eyelashes are. 

Styes at times can go unnoticed until they worsen. That’s why it’s best to inspect your child’s eyes every now and then, especially if they start to rub them more often, or complain of an itchy or painful sensation on their eye. 

2: What do Styes Feel Like?

Styes resemble a small pimple on the eye, right above the eyelashes.

The beginning stages of a stye can sometimes go unnoticed with just slight discomfort. When it first starts to form, the stye usually appears as just a red line of irritation on the eyelid. As it worsens or goes untreated, the red rash-like irritation will start to develop into a bump. 

Once the pimple lookalike forms, that’s when more irritation can occur—including light sensitivity, a constant feeling that something is stuck in your eye, itchiness that can be accompanied with some pain, and an excessive amount of eye discharge. As you can tell, this can be an unpleasant sensation, so let’s take a look at the causes, treatments, and preventative measures you can take. 

3: What Causes Styes?

Eyelids have oil glands that produce an oil that naturally blends with tears to keep your eyes lubricated. These glands can get clogged with anything from oil and dead skin cells to bacteria. This causes liquid to build up in the clogged gland, which forms a bump on an eyelid—kind of like a pimple.

Forming a stye can be, unfortunately, easy. The bump on your child’s eyelid could form from any of the following: stress, lack of sleep, or poor hygiene around their eyes. Although unlikely, it could be the result of Blepharitis—a chronic eye inflammation disease.  

4: What Can I Do to Treat a Stye at Home?

Now that you know styes are caused by a backup of oil, you can treat it accordingly. Start by applying a clean, warm washcloth to the eyelid for a few minutes. Repeat this process throughout the day. This should help loosen up the oil. If that doesn’t work, you can purchase a special eye-scrub soap at the pharmacy. 

Additionally, some affordable at-home remedies include: a warm tea bag on the eyelid, gently massaging the infected area to promote drainage, and antibiotic ointments. Make sure your child isn’t wearing contact lenses and continues to do so until the stye is gone. 

If none of these remedies work and if the stye and/or pain is increasing, it’s best to see a medical professional. The doctor will recommend the best treatment or if needed, they will refer your child to an ophthalmologist (an eye disease professional).

5: When Should I See a Doctor for a Stye?

Don’t hesitate to see a doctor if your child has any of these problems:

Styes on children's eyes can be hard to spot.

  1. If your child has pain in the eyeball or problems seeing
  2. If there is swelling or redness in any other part of the eye or face other than the infected area
  3. If the stye doesn’t disappear after a few day or if it gets worse
  4. An excessive amount of light sensitivity, resulting in difficulty keeping their eyes open
  5. The eye is swollen shut

The doctor can prescribe an antibiotic cream/drops. If necessary, a doctor can also make a small incision to drain the clogged-up material which will help with the swelling.

6: What Can Be Done to Prevent Styes?

  1. Clean their eyelids every day with baby soap.
  2. Disinfect contact lenses properly. If unable to disinfect, it’s best to order a new pair and dispose of the contaminated contact lenses. 
  3. Throw away old eye make-up and clean off any eye makeup before bed.
  4. Encourage your children to always wash their hands before touching their face
  5. Avoid sharing towels, pillowcases, etc. if someone has a stye. The residual bacteria could infect other individuals. 

Keep your eyes happy and healthy by regularly seeing your eye doctor.

If you or your children have a stye, make sure to educate yourself on easy at-home treatments, and when it’s important to see a doctor. If any of the above symptoms on when to see a medical professional relate to you, visit your nearest hospital or 24/7 emergency room care facility near you.

Always remember that annual eye exams can help your eyes be the healthiest they can be. As well as prevent any future issues. Lastly, keep in mind that styes are extremely common and can, usually, be easily and quickly treated. Here’s to healthy eyes! 

To learn how to treat more child-related medical conditions, read our blogs on Secondary Drowning and Hyperpyrexia (fever spikes). For notifications on when we post a new blog or what’s new at Hospitality Health ER, like us on Facebook and Instagram