There are some common spots on our bodies that acne often targets, including our cheeks, backs, and noses, but what about pimples on our eyelids?
While pimples on the eyelids may not be as noticeable as some other types of acne, they are actually quite common. Sometimes they are disguised by surrounding skin that is inflamed, red, irritated, or swollen, which can possibly be symptoms caused by the pimples themselves.
Pimples on the eyelid can cause pain, burning, and itching, and in some instances they may even impact your vision. However comfortable you are with acne, pimples on your eyelid are one thing you want to put a stop to.
3 Main Types of Eyelid Pimples
Even if you’ve figured out you have a pimple on your eyelid, there are a number of different types of eyelid bumps that you could be suffering from:
- Stye: One of the most commons types of eyelid bumps is referred to as a stye. If you have watery vision and feel a bump around your eyelashes, you may have stye eye. Like pimples, they often appear as small, red bumps that are sore to the touch.
- Chalazion: If you feel pimples on your upper eyelid, then you may actually have a chalazion, which is a type of cyst. These pimples on the top eyelid are filled with fluid. Unlike styes, they typically do not cause any pain, but they can interfere with your vision.
- Xanthelasma: Yellow or clear bubbles on eyelids can be something known as xanthelasma; they are common with older adults and usually harmless.
While these are the three most common types of eyelid pimples, there are many other types that can occur. For instance, a white bump on the eyelid of a newborn or child could be something called milia, but it’s rare in adults who have not experienced trauma to their eyelids.
Causes of Pimples on Eyelids
Like with other types of acne, clogged pores and bacterial infections are common causes of pimples on the eyelid.
Styes are caused by bacterial infections. There is a bacterium present on our eyelids at all times, and often by rubbing our eyes, we can transfer more bacteria. When pores become clogged and bacterial infections occur, the result is inflammation in the form of a red, sore pimple. An easy way to tell a pimple that has resulted from a bacterial infection is by pus, crustiness, or discharge.
However, clogged pores can result in pimples on the eyelid even without an underlying bacterial infection. With cysts, blocked oil glands lead to the trapped fluid resulting in a small cyst. While these are not due to bacterial infections, they can often occur in combination with or after the removal of styes.
Sometimes, pimples on the eyelid are due simply to aging. Xanthelasma appears with age and there’s no known cause, although it seems to have a correlation with high cholesterol levels. Luckily, these types of pimples do not pose much harm.
Symptoms of Eyelid Pimples
No matter the cause, most types of eyelid pimples have the potential to cause discomfort and annoyance.
Any pimple that becomes enlarged can begin to affect the eyesight. If an enlarged pimple is rubbing against your eyes or making your eyelid swell, it can interfere with vision. If you notice that you have sudden blurry vision, it could be due to an eyelid pimple.
However, styes can cause much more discomfort than that. Styes often cause symptoms like swelling, redness, itchiness, and irritation. They can also make your eyes watery and teary, and you may feel a gritty or scratchy sensation in your eyes. It’s also not uncommon for styes to be painful, in the same way that inflamed pimples can often hurt. When left untreated, styes can cause a lot of discomfort and pain.
Treatments for Eyelid Pimples
If you notice a red or white pimple on your eyelid, you should have it treated. For acne on our faces, there are a range of creams and natural oils that can help control our symptoms, but how do you go about treating acne when it’s on your eyelids?
Luckily, pimples on the eyelid can often be treated quite simply. In most cases, you can treat your eyelid pimple at home without any costly medical intervention or medication:
- First, you should never squeeze an eyelid pimple or attempt to pop it as it can lead to even worse infections.
- You should avoid using eye makeup and skin creams, and avoid wearing contact lenses. These can irritate pimples on your eyelid and cause them to get worse.
- If you are suffering from a stye, the easiest way to treat it is to apply a warm compress on the affected area a few times every day. Wet a cloth with warm water and hold it over your eyelid for 10 minutes. This will help drain the stye and open up clogged oil glands. Use a warm compress four times a day until your stye is no longer a problem.
If you have particularly bad acne that doesn’t respond to home treatment, you may need to see a physician. Your doctor may lance and drain your pimple, prescribe an antibiotic cream, or surgically remove a growth on the eyelid, depending on the type of pimple you have and how bad it is. Never attempt to drain a pimple at home. Only a doctor can do this safely.
How to Prevent Eyelid Pimples
Preventing pimples on eyelids is also fairly easy:
- First, try to stop the spread of bacteria to your eyelids. This means that you should avoid rubbing your eyes, unless you have washed your hands.
- Good eye hygiene will also help you avoid pimples on your eyelids. Rinse your eyelids or apply a warm compress to the eye area twice a day. This will help loosen up oil glands, remove excess oil, and stop the risk of bacteria.
When to See a Doctor
Most of the time, pimples on the eyelids are not serious, but there are circumstances where you should see a doctor. Signs that a pimple could be seriously infected or require medical attention include pimples that are crusty or scaly, ooze pus or discharge, cause severe swelling or redness of the eyelid, or pimples that cause blisters.
Furthermore, if there is any vision loss or tearing of the eye, that is a sign of a stye or a pimple that likely requires medical attention. As well, if a pimple is causing a lot of abnormal pain, it should be checked out by a doctor.
If a pimple does not clear up within a couple of weeks, then that is another sign that you should have it checked out by a professional.
If you have a pimple on your eyelid rim, there is usually no need to worry. Most of the time, pimples on your eyelid are not a serious problem. However, while they may not cause serious health problems, eyelid blemishes can be annoying, painful, and uncomfortable. Preventing and treating eyelid pimples is simple in most cases. Using a warm compress a few times a day can help stop those white pimples and clear bubbles from appearing on your eyelid.
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Sources for Today’s Article:
Dahl, A. A., “Sty (Stye),” eMedicineHealth web site, September 16, 2015; http://www.emedicinehealth.com/sty/article_em.htm.
Delgado, A., “Eyelid Bump,” Healthline web site, July 17, 2012; http://www.healthline.com/health/eyelid-bump#Overview
“Eyelid Bump,” Medline Plus web site; https://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001009.htm, last accessed December 3, 2015.
“Pimple on Eyelid,” Just-Health.net web site; http://www.just-health.net/Pimple-On-Eyelid.html, last accessed December 3, 2015.
“White Bump on Eyelid,” Med-Health.net; http://www.med-health.net/Pimple-On-Eyelid.html, last accessed December 3, 2015.