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A chalazion (kah LAY zee on) is a lump that occurs when a small oil gland in the eyelid becomes plugged, enlarged and infected. It may last for weeks or months. It could occur in the upper and lower eyelids. A chalazion is not an infected eyelash follicle (stye).


Warm compresses and lid scrubs are the best ways to treat a chalazion. Warm compresses may help reduce the size of the lump and it may disappear. Sometimes, warm compresses make the lump larger and it pops (ruptures). Your health care provider may also suggest using eye drops or ointment. If after a few weeks warm compresses and medicines do not help, the health care provider may need to remove the chalazion with surgery. Do not squeeze or pop a chalazion.

  • Warm compresses: Apply warm, moist heat to the The compress should be warm, but not hot. Examples of warm compresses include:
    • Rice in sock: put 1 cup of dry, white rice in clean sock. Microwave it for 30 to 45 seconds. Wrap in clean towel. Hold on affected area for 10 minutes, 2 to 3 times a day.
    • Commercially available products include: Bruder® Mask, MediViz® Eye Mask, MEDCOSA® Heat Eye Bag.
  • Lid scrubs: Clean away excess oils and debris from eyelids and lashes. Options include:
    • Clean with warm wash cloth.
    • Dilute baby shampoo on a clean cotton ball.
    • Use OCuSOFT® medicated wipes or soap.

These treatments can be used to treat a new or an active chalazion. They can also be used to prevent them from occurring. If the whole eyelid swells and gets red, see your health care provider.

If you have any questions, ask your health care provider.

Chalazion (PDF)

HH-I-115 ©1989, Revised 2021, Nationwide Children’s Hospital