OasisEye Specialists

Eyelid Growths

What are Eyelid Growths?

The eyelids play a crucial role in protecting the eyes and ensuring their proper function. However, various growths can develop on or around the eyelids, causing concern and potential discomfort. In this article, we will explore the different types of eyelid growths, their potential causes, and the available treatment options.

Common Types of Eyelid Growths


  • Description: A chalazion is a painless, non-infectious, and slow-growing lump that results from the blockage of an oil gland in the eyelid. It typically appears as a small, firm nodule on the eyelid.
  • Causes: Blockage of the meibomian glands, which produce oil to lubricate the eyes, is a common cause of chalazion. These glands can become obstructed, leading to the accumulation of oil and the formation of a lump.
  • Treatment: Warm compresses, eyelid massage, and antibiotic ointments are often recommended to promote drainage. In some cases, surgical drainage may be necessary.

Stye (Hordeolum):

  • Description: Styes are red, painful lumps that appear on the eyelid and are usually caused by bacterial infection, often involving the hair follicles.
  • Causes: Staphylococcus bacteria commonly contribute to the development of styes. Poor eyelid hygiene, makeup contamination, and using expired cosmetics can also increase the risk.
  • Treatment: Warm compresses, antibiotic ointments, and maintaining good eyelid hygiene are typical conservative measures. In some cases, incision and drainage may be necessary.

Stebaceous Cyst:

  • Description: Sebaceous cysts are fluid-filled sacs that develop beneath the skin, including on the eyelids. They are usually slow-growing and painless.
  • Causes: Blockage of sebaceous glands, which produce oil for the skin, can lead to the formation of cysts. Trauma or inflammation may also contribute.
  • Treatment: Surgical excision is often performed to remove sebaceous cysts, especially if they become recurrent or symptomatic.


  • Description: Xanthelasma appears as yellowish, fatty deposits on the eyelids. These growths are usually soft and can be associated with elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Causes: Xanthelasma is often linked to lipid metabolism disorders and can be indicative of underlying cardiovascular risk factors.
  • Treatment: Surgical removal may be considered for cosmetic reasons, but addressing the underlying lipid abnormalities is essential for long-term management.

Basal Cell Carcinoma:

  • Description: Basal cell carcinoma is a type of skin cancer that can occur on the eyelids. It often presents as a pearly nodule or ulcer that may bleed.
  • Causes: Prolonged exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiation, genetic factors, and a history of skin cancer increase the risk of basal cell carcinoma.
  • Treatment: Surgical excision is the primary treatment for basal cell carcinoma. Mohs micrographic surgery may be employed to ensure complete removal while preserving surrounding healthy tissue.

Squamous Cell Carcinoma:

  • Description: Squamous cell carcinoma is another type of skin cancer that can affect the eyelids, often appearing as a red, scaly lesion.
  • Causes: UV exposure, chronic inflammation, and immunosuppression contribute to the development of squamous cell carcinoma.
  • Treatment: Surgical excision is the mainstay of treatment, with additional interventions such as radiation therapy or topical chemotherapy in certain cases.


Eyelid growths can vary widely in their nature and causes, ranging from benign and common conditions like chalazia and styes to more serious issues such as sebaceous cysts and skin cancers. Early detection and appropriate management are crucial to ensure the best possible outcomes. If you notice any changes or growths on your eyelids, it is essential to seek prompt evaluation by an eye care professional or dermatologist for a comprehensive examination and tailored treatment plan. Regular eye examinations and maintaining good eyelid hygiene can contribute to the prevention and early detection of eyelid growths.