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"I have a bump inside my eyelid that is itchy and has lasted a few weeks, what could it be?"


I am a 25 year old female with a slight history of eye infections. I had a small stye in my eye that popped, and caused two more. This was a few week ago, and still I have one rather large white bump inside my lower eyelid. It is sometimes painful and often very itchy. My doctor told me that they will go away on their own, but I am a little bit concerned. Can this cause complications?


Styes (hordeolum, as they are known to doctors) are annoyances caused by blocked ducts or hair follicles, and usually go away by themselves, and are often treated symptomatically with warm, moist compresses, which also usually help them to resolve quicker. While your doctor is correct in stating that they will go away on their own, you should be concerned if they keep coming back again and again. The repeated injury and inflammation that this will cause can then cause scarring that can lead to more of the same in the future.

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Usually this is not a problem, but you should speak with your doctor if the spots that you have currently either do not resolve soon, or give rise to new styes in the coming weeks. Also, the cooling off of the inflammation can occasionally become a chalazion, which is the Greek word for hailstone. As the name implies, these are firm nodules that can form in the area of the original sty, and these can then be excised (removed) by an ophthalmologist or ear-nose-and throat surgeon (aka otolaryngologist) who is comfortable with the procedure. For that reason, please continue to follow up with your doctor if they recur or do not resolve soon.

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