Eyelid lumps, bumps, cysts and tumours

There are many conditions that cause cysts, lumps and bumps on the eyelids. In most cases these are benign such as styes, chalazia and cysts. Occasionally they can be a sign of something more serious such as a tumour.

Over the last 25 years Mr Uddin has provided excellent care for many patients with eyelid swelling, lumps, bumps and lesions. He will rapidly reach an accurate diagnosis in order to offer an effective treatment plan.

“Many eyelid lumps & bumps are amenable to medical treatment, some need a simple excision...but one must careful to identify and treat the more sinister lesions”


A stye also known as a hordeolum is caused by a bacterial infection and inflammation affecting the eyelash follicle or oil gland in the eyelid.


A chalazion is an eyelid cyst which is a more chronic inflammatory response within a meibomian gland.

What is Blepharitis/ Meibomian gland disease (MGD)/ “acne of the eyelids”?

Blepharitis is chronic inflammation and infection of the eyelids, centred around the meibomian glands at the base of the eyelashes. It predisposes to the development of styes and chalazia.

Treatment for Styes

Most styes will disappear after a few days using a warm compress and careful cleaning of the base of the eyelashes. Chronic or recurring styes can be treated with a course of antibiotics and lubricant eye drops.

If very swollen and painful, antibiotic tablets may be indicated.

Treatment for chalazia

A chalazion usually last a few weeks and normally disappear without any medical intervention. Similar to styes, a chalazion can be treated using a warm compress with a light massage. This reduces the swelling by softening the oils in the blocked glands and allowing them to drain. In some cases a steroid injection or a short course of antibiotics may be needed.

What are other causes of cysts, lumps and bumps?

There are many benign cysts and growths, usually slow growing and painless, which can affect the eyelids. They may cause a nuisance or eye irritation.

It is important to identify and exclude malignant growths (skin cancers), which tend to affect older people, people with sun damaged skin and people with other skin cancers

Benign Eyelid Tumours

Can an eyelid lump be a sign of cancer?

A tumour is a growth or lump. A tumour can be benign, meaning it will grow but not spread to other parts of the body. It can also be malignant or cancerous, meaning that it may grow and spread. Sometimes a condition may be precancerous, meaning although it is not cancer, there is a chance of developing cancer within it in the future.

If in doubt the lesion can be removed or a small part removed by taking a biopsy and the tissue sent for histology (examined under a microscope to make a diagnosis)

The symptoms of a malignant tumour may include

  • no symptoms, just a growth or distortion of the eyelid
  • irritating eyelid lump
  • progressive growth of a lump
  • skin/eyelid ulceration destruction and inflammation
  • abnormal blood vessels near the lump
  • loss of eyelashes (madarosis)
  • whitening of eyelashes (poliosis) over the bump
  • increased pigmentation/new dark spots
  • Proptosis (protrusion of the eye), double vision, reduced vision, numbness or neck swellings are potentially serious signs

These signs can be quite similar to other benign conditions affecting the eye such as conjunctivitis, chalazion or blepharitis and therefore need very careful and expert consideration.

Eyelid Tumours

This are usually slow growing and do not “destroy” tissue

Management of malignant eyelid tumours

Full examination of the eyelid, skin and orbit should be carried out (including examining the underside of the eyelids). Checking for loss of sensation loss, additional lesions and for local and systemic signs of disease should be undertaken.

Photography is also helpful

Treatment of malignant eyelid tumours

The treatment plan is dependent on whether the tumour is cancerous, and the type of tumour which is established with a biopsy. Mr Uddin works alongside a team of accomplished oncologists, radiologists, dermatologists and head & neck surgeons to provide compassionate, holistic, complete care.

Oculoplastic surgeons are trained to look after the eye and further training relating to the eyelids, underlying orbits and periocular tissues. They also to understand the importance of the delicate anatomy, specifics of each layer and reconstructive options to provide excellent form and function around the eye.

Reconstruction techniques and outcomes

It is important to have optimal functioning eyelid reconstruction for the health of the eye, as well as excellent cosmesis.

Contact us

Moorfields Private Outpatient Centre

9-11 Bath St EC1V 9LF
London (Central London)

Moorfields Private Practice

8 Upper Wimpole St W1G 6LH
London (Central London)

Parkside Hospital

53 Parkside SW19 5NX
London (Wimbledon)

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