Eyelids are one of the most delicate parts in human body. Hundreds of glands open in the eyelids, to keep the eye lubricated. Naturally, this area is quite prone to all sorts of infections. Eye stye is the most common type of eye infections, which leads to red, swollen eyelids. Apart from eye stye, there are also other infections which lead to crusty, white bump on eyelids. Although, all the bumps may appear to be more or less the same, there can be different causes behind them.
Causes of White Bump on Eyelid
White bumps on eyelid can be painful or painless depending upon the underlying cause. Given below are some of the common causes.
Eye infection or eye stye is mostly the work of bacteria called Staphylococcus. These bacteria live inside the eyelids and are usually harmless. When their number grows out of control, they infect any of the oil producing glands. The infection often causes the eyelid to become red, tender and swollen. Small bump may develop on the eyelid. Often, this bump is filled up with pus, which may appear like small white bump on eyelid. Warm compresses and antibiotic eye drops may help to reduce the infection.
Chalazion or a meibomian cyst is a condition that arises due to clogging of meibomian gland. Meibomian gland is the gland which produces a sticky substance that helps to keep the eyelashes moist. At times, the duct of meibomian gland may get obstructed and cause the sebum to clog the gland. As a result, small, painless whitish bump may appear on the eyelid. Chalazions are often mistaken for eye stye, but unlike stye, they do not have bacterial origin. Chalazions can also be treated in a similar way as stye, however, they may take quite some time to disappear completely.
Milia is a condition that affects mostly newborn babies and small children. However, adults may also acquire this condition. Milia results in tiny hard white bump on eyelids that is absolutely painless. In children, the cause of milia is inability of the skin to shed dead cells properly. While bad sunburn or an injury to eyelid may be a cause of milia in adults. Bumps due to milia are very tiny, thus can be distinguished from stye or chalazion. They can be only treated by a dermatologist, as none of the home remedies work for milia.
This is a chronic condition in which the eyelids swell persistently. Besides, you may get frequent bouts of eye stye. An impairment in the function of oil glands in eyelids is mainly responsible for blepharitis.
Prevention and Treatment
Most of the eye infections are caused due to poor hygiene. People who rub their eyes with dirty hands are most likely to develop all sorts of infections. Thus, it is necessary to keep the contact between your eyes and hands to bare minimum. If you must, always wash your hands with antibacterial soap before touching your eyes. Contact lenses should also be handled with similar hygiene measures. Avoid sharing cosmetics and other eye makeup products.
If you already have an infected eye, it is better to not use any product on your eyes, until the infection subsides. Warm compresses help relieve the inflammation due to infection. Soak a clean cloth in warm water and put it on infected eye. Replace the cloth and repeat the procedure 3 - 4 times a day. Mostly, the white bump on eyelid is painless, therefore may not cause any discomfort to you. However, if you think that it hinders your appearance, you may see a doctor to know what can be done to get rid of it. Often, medications are sufficient to treat the bump, however, surgery may be required if the bump persists for too long. Rarely, a biopsy is performed for definite diagnosis if the bump resurfaces on the same spot.
Since, children are most prone to eye infection due to their unawareness about hygiene practices, it is important to protect them by teaching them the importance of hygiene in our life.