General Illness Information

Common Name:


Medical Term: None Specified.

Description: Chronic inflammation of the meibomian gland in the eyelid.  Meibomian glands are long thin oil glands found in the eyelid, and serve to lubricate the lid margins.

Causes: Blockage of a duct leading to the surface of the eyelid from the meibomian gland. The blockage may be due to infection (usually staphylococcal) around the duct opening.

Prevention: If you have a tendency to get chalazions, wash eyelash area daily with water and baby shampoo applied with a cotton swab. At the first sign of eye irritation, apply warm compresses several times a day.

Signs & Symptoms

  • Painful focal tenderness of one eyelid.
  • Mild redness of the white of the eye (conjunctivitis).

Risk Factors

Skin conditions such as acne rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis.

Diagnosis & Treatment

General Measures:

  • Use warm-water soaks to reduce inflammation and hasten healing. Apply soaks for 20 minutes, then rest at least 1 hour. Repeat as often as needed.
  • If the chalazion does not heal spontaneously in 6 weeks, surgical removal under local anesthesia in the doctor’s office may be a recommended treatment.


  • Topical antibiotic ointments or creams, such as erythromycin or bacitracin may be prescribed. Apply a thin layer of medication to the lid edges 3 or 4 times daily. A heavy layer wastes medicine and is no more beneficial than a thin layer.
  • Antibiotic eye drops to prevent the spread of infection to other parts of the eye. Oral antibiotics or antibiotic injections usually are not needed.


No restrictions.


No special diet.

Possible Complications :

None expected.


A chalazion may heal spontaneously. If not, it is usually curable with surgical removal.


Nothing specified.

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