Chalazion in Children

What are chalazions in children?

A chalazion (kuh-LAY-zee-un) is a slow-growing, painless lump in the eyelid that forms because of the swelling of an oil gland. It’s more common in adults between ages 30 and 50 than in children.

What causes a chalazion in a child?

A chalazion is caused by a blocked oil gland in the eyelid. This can occur after a viral infection, or with a skin problem such as seborrhea or acne rosacea.

Which children are at risk for a chalazion?

A child is more at risk for a chalazion if he or she has any of these:

  • Viral infection
  • Seborrhea
  • Acne rosacea
  • Chronic blepharitis
  • Tuberculosis

These risk factors are more common in adults than children.

What are the symptoms of a chalazion in a child?

Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:

  • A small bump in the eyelid that can be felt
  • Swelling of the eyelid over time
  • Pain or trouble seeing if the chalazion is large

The symptoms of a chalazion can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.

How is a chalazion diagnosed in a child?

The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your family’s health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Tests are not usually needed to confirm the diagnosis.

How is a chalazion treated in a child?

Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.

A small chalazion may go away on without treatment in a couple of months. A large chalazion or an infection caused by it may need to be treated. Treatment may include:

  • Applying warm, moist compresses to your child's eyes for 15 minutes at a time several times a day
  • Telling your child not to rub his or her eyes or squeeze or rub the chalazion
  • Having your child wash his or her hands often
  • Antibiotic eye drops

If symptoms don’t get better, surgery may be needed to drain or remove the chalazion.

What are possible complications of a chalazion in a child?

If the chalazion becomes infected, the entire eyelid may become swollen and painful.

Key points about a chalazion in children

  • A chalazion is a slow-growing, painless lump in the eyelid that forms because of the swelling of an oil gland. 
  • It’s caused by a blocked oil gland in the eyelid.
  • If the chalazion becomes infected, the entire eyelid may become swollen and painful.
  • A small chalazion may go away on without treatment in a couple of months.
  • A large chalazion or an infection caused by it may need to be treated with warm, moist compresses and antibiotic eye drops.
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