Although it doesn’t rhyme with the word ‘calzone,’ the first thing that probably popped inside your head after hearing the word ‘chalazion’ for the first time is this all-time favorite oven-baked stuffed and folded pizza.
Well, we don’t blame you. They both start with the letter ‘C,’ have a letter ‘Z’ in the middle, and they have three syllables. Moreover, they kind of look eerily the same. You know, like the bump and the shape. If you didn’t know any better, you would probably mix the two up. However, don’t worry. Many people are guilty about that, too. So your secret is safe with us.
Kidding aside and it’s about time to differentiate the two, calzone is food and chalazion is not. Unfortunately, we’ll not be talking about food. Instead, we’ll be talking about that small bump that has been bothering your line of vision and weighing your eye down since you woke up this morning. However, don’t worry. As soon as you find relief from that bothersome eyelid cyst with these homemade remedies, you’ll be able to go out and order calzone pizza.
What Is Chalazion?
The chalazion is the medical term for an eyelid cyst. It is a small bump or lump that appears beneath the skin of an eyelid. A blockage often causes this in the oil gland. The upper eyelid is commonly affected, but a chalazion can also appear in the lower eyelid.
Eyelid cysts are not contagious and commonly affects adults ages 30 to 50 years old than children. Most chalazia (plural form of chalazion) are not serious, and they only cause discomfort because of blocked vision and that icky feeling of having something in your eye that wouldn’t go away.
The symptoms of chalazia vary from one person to another. However, there are common symptoms to help you determine if you do have a chalazion and these are:
- A lump, usually hard, on your upper eyelid that you have probably never noticed or seen before. A chalazion can also appear in the lower eyelid, though this happens rarely.
- Blocked or blurred vision especially if the size of the chalazion is large enough that it presses against your eyeball.
- Mild irritation or tearing because of the obstructed glands where fresh tears need to come out.
- Light sensitivity
- A small tender swollen spot in the area that later changes into a painless lump the same size of a pea after a few days.
What Is the Difference Between Chalazion and Stye?
Because both of them almost look the same and appear in the same area, in the eyes, a chalazion is often confused with eye stye. However, you can almost immediately know whether you have a chalazion or stye if you know where to look.
One of the most apparent differences between the two is that an eye stye usually hurts while a chalazion usually doesn’t. In addition to that, you’ll also want to take a look at the area where the bump is situated. An eye stye is commonly found on the right side of the eyelid edge while a chalazion almost always appears in areas away from the eyelid edge.
Of course, the symptoms of a chalazion may differ from one person to another so it’s always best to get a correct diagnosis by seeing an eye doctor as he will take into consideration different aspects during his or her evaluation, including medical history, external eye examination and evaluation of the eyelid margins. Only then will the eye doctor be able to determine whether that lump on your eye is a stye, a chalazion or something else.
What Are the Causes of Chalazion?
Before diving into the different treatment options for chalazion, let’s first take a look at what causes a chalazion. By identifying them, you’ll be able to prevent getting a chalazion. Although total prevention is not always possible, especially if you are susceptible to getting this eye problem, you can reduce your chances of getting one.
The leading cause of a chalazion is poor hygiene. It is the result of dirty hands touching the eyes, causing a bacterial infection. Individuals who had a chalazion in the past are more likely to get it in the future.
Aside from that, there are also risk factors that increase the chances of an individual getting a chalazion. Individuals who have seborrhea, tuberculosis, acne rosacea, viral infection and chronic blepharitis (which is an eyelid inflammation often caused by too much bacteria in the area). Although this is very rare, a chalazion may also be a sign of infection or a symptom of skin cancer, according to the American Optometric Association.
How Can I Get Rid of Chalazion Naturally?
Unless an underlying illness causes it (see the risk factors above), most eyelid cysts will go away on their own. This usually happens around two to eight weeks. You can also use these home remedies to treat chalazion and speed up the healing process. Using natural treatments can also give you relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of chalazion.
Some words of advice before you proceed in treating chalazion on your own. Never touch the eyes with unclean hands. Also, never try to ‘pop’ a chalazion like you would when popping a zit and never scratch it. If the eyelid cyst burst, the contents inside may infect the surrounding tissues, causing further infection. Always put in mind that a chalazion is almost always caused by bacteria trapped inside. So popping the cyst will only worsen it instead of treating it.
In addition to that, if a chalazion does not show any signs of disappearing and instead continues to grow after using treatments, it’s best to have it checked by an eye doctor. A thorough eye examination could reveal a different type of eye infection that is outside the scope of these homemade treatments.
Okay, now that we got that out of the way, it’s high time to start treating your eyelid cyst. Here are the eight commonly used natural remedies for a chalazion.
One of the best ways to treat eyelid cysts is using warm compresses. As you know, heat opens up the blood vessels, increasing blood circulation. The same principle is applied to treating eyelid cysts. Heat allows the reduction of swells and lumps. By applying a warm compress to the affected eye, it dilates the circulation in the affected area. This allows that trapped fluids inside the glands to drain, causing the bump to reduce in size.
Because warm compress doesn’t need any specialized equipment or skill, consider this as your first aid treatment in ridding chalazion. To treat that pesky eyelid cyst, here’s you should do:
- Grab a clean washcloth and soak it in warm water. Apply the warm cloth on to the affected area. Be sure to test the cloth first with the palm of your hand before applying it on your eyes so as not to burn your eyelids. Let it cool for a few seconds if the cloth is scorching hot.
- When the cloth has cooled down, re-soak the cloth in hot water again. Repeat this process three to four times a day for five to 10 minutes. You may also do this treatment before you go to bed every night.
- If you find the pre-soaking of washcloth tedious, use a heating gel pad. You may also use hard boiled eggs since the eggshells tend to retain heat longer than a washcloth. In addition to this, you may also gently massage the affected eyelid for several minutes after each compress to help loosen up blocked fluids.
According to Livestrong.com, using guava leaves may be useful in treating eyelid cysts as they contain anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce inflamed tissues and reduce swelling. In addition to that, guava leaves also contain healing properties that help shorten the recovery time.
Moreover, guava leaves are rich in antioxidants that can help eliminate free radicals found in the skin tissues as well as antibacterial agents that aid in eliminating bacterial microbes that are causing your chalazia. To use guava leaves as a remedy, here are the things you need to do:
- Gather five to six guava leaves and wash them thoroughly.
- Warm the leaves by putting them in a pot of boiling water for around five minutes. You may also use a microwave to warm them for a few seconds.
- Pick one warm guava leaf and place it on the affected eyelid. Be careful not to scorch your lashes or burn your skin by touching the leaf first to see if it’s safe to use. For optimum result, you may also place a warm damp cloth on top of the leaf.
- When the guava leaf becomes cool, replace it with a new warm guava leaf and repeat the same process.
- Repeat this homemade treatment at least two times a day for several days until you see improvements.
Guava is a tropical tree so you may not find guava fruit and leaves in your local grocery store. You might want to check Asian stores or specialty stores that sell tropical fruits such as guava.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This go-to ingredient is one of the most popular home remedies known to man. For thousands of years, apple cider vinegar has been used to treat many different ailments, like lowering blood sugar levels, constipation, and infection. Also, there’s a good reason for that.
Apple cider vinegar is rich in vitamins and minerals and is loaded with anti-inflammatory properties. So using this is truly beneficial in treating eyelid cysts as it can reduce the bumps that are blocking or blurring your vision. Apple cider vinegar also contains pure compounds to fight bacterial infections, which is the common cause for most chalazia. To use apple cider vinegar effectively, follow these instructions:
- Heat up one cup of water and add two teaspoons of unfiltered, organic and raw apple cider vinegar. Mix well.
- Grab a cotton ball and soak it into the mixture and place it on the affected eyelid for a maximum of one minute.
- Repeat this treatment three times a day lasting a few days until you see the reduction of the swell.
- Another option you can try is to add one tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar to a cup of water. Stir and drink the solution two times a day.
This soothing plant is not only great for the hair and skin but is also an effective remedy for chalazion. Aloe vera is loaded with powerful antioxidants called polyphenols.
These compounds, together with other natural healing components, can help in stopping bacterial growth in the affected area. Additionally, aloe vera contains natural anti-inflammatory properties. So when applied to the infected eyelid, the swelling will reduce significantly. To extract the gel from the aloe vera leaf, do the following:
- Wash the leaf thoroughly. Make sure it’s clean and free of any dirt.
- Using a knife cut open the aloe vera leaf horizontally at the side and slowly peel the top leaf, opening it up for the gel.
- Using a clean finger, apply the aloe vera gel directly to the area where the cyst is located.
- Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes before rinsing it off using lukewarm water. Do this several times a day for seven days.
- You can also use a cotton ball and soak it with the gel for five minutes before applying it on the cyst. Repeat after two hours and reapply again for one week.
Green Tea Bags
Don’t throw your green tea bags just yet. When it comes to treating chalazion naturally, you’ll find green tea is an effective remedy. As you already know, green tea is rich in anti-inflammatory compounds, so it can aid in reducing the eyelid’s cyst as well as treating inflammation. In addition to that, green tea is loaded with tannic acid, which is a compound that helps curb infection – just what you need to treat that pesky cyst in the eyelid.
- Let a green tea bag steep in a cup of warm water for five minutes.
- Pull the tea bag out and squeeze excess water out.
- Apply the bag on the chalazion-infected eyelid and hold it there for five minutes.
- Repeat several times daily.
- Make sure that the water is not too hot or it might burn your skin.
You’re probably surprised to see parsley here on this list. We were, too. Thank goodness parsley is not just for topping in pasta. Now, there’s a good reason to store parsley as it can help eyelid cyst. What parsley can do is that it draws out the toxic substances that are causing the lump, so it heals completely. Parsley also contains mild antibacterial agents to curb further infection. To use parsley, do the following:
- Grab a handful of fresh, organic parsley and place inside a bowl.
- Boil one cup of water and pour it over the leaves. Let the water cool.
- Grab a clean face towel or washcloth and dip it in the parsley water. Wring the cloth to remove excess water.
- Place the warm, damp cloth over the affected eyelid and let it stay for 15 minutes.
- Do this treatment three times daily for seven days.
Rich in anti-inflammatory agents, castor oil is known to be an effective remedy in reducing inflammation and swelling caused by eyelid cysts. In fact, it’s been used in Ayurvedic medicine and considered one of the most potent oils that have curative properties. By using castor oil regularly, the eyelid cyst will reduce in size and fast healing will ensue. To use castor oil effectively, keep these tips in mind:
- Apply a warm compress over the eyelid cyst for five minutes to help open up the pores for better absorption.
- Using a cotton swab, apply castor oil onto the affected eyelid.
- Do this twice a day for one to two weeks top.
- Another technique you can use is to mix castor oil with at least one-half teaspoon turmeric powder to form a thick paste. Wash the eyelid with warm water and apply the paste. Leave the turmeric-castor-oil paste on the affected area for 15 minutes. Rinse with warm water. Do this thrice daily until you see improvements.
This is the last but most crucial remedy you should do if you want your chalazion to heal quickly. Maintaining personal hygiene can also curb any further infection in the eye. Here are the things that you should always remember:
- Keep your hands clean especially before you touch your eyes.
- Don’t share hankies or towels with anyone, even family members.
- Don’t use cosmetics for a while. Replace makeup every six months. So don’t share eye makeup.
- Wash your eyes regularly using baby shampoo with warm water.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses for a while.
- Protect your pretty peepers from pollution and dust.
And that’s about it. These remedies can help cure chalazion. Just remember to see an eye doctor if eyelid cysts don’t improve or worsen after one month
Chalazia form when lipid ‘fatty’ breakdown products, maybe from bacterial enzymes or retained oily secretions, leak into surrounding tissue and cause an inflammatory response. Another name for chalazion is conjunctival granuloma.
Mild topical steroid drops may be sued or a steroid injection may also be used. Antibiotics are usually unnecessary but should be considered in cases of possible primary or secondary infection.
Updated: September 8, 2018 by Dr. Kimberly Langdon M.D. All medical facts and points stated on this page are correct as of this date. Please be aware that new content and additional references were added in this last update. All the content and media has been uploaded by Lily Greene our webmaster, who is also in charge of page design.