Dealing With A Pimple On The Eyelid
Is that a pimple on the eyelid you see in the mirror? Or is it a stye, a cyst, or maybe a chalazion? Perhaps it's just a bump that defies explanation. Whatever it is, it can be a source of discomfort, either because it has become inflamed, it is getting larger, or because of its location.
As small as a pimple, stye, or cyst on an eyelid might be, it can sometimes be hard to ignore, and at times should not be. For one thing, eyelid skin is rather sensitive. For another thing, any kind of a disorder, no matter how tiny, that is in close proximity to the eyeball should probably not be ignored or left untreated if it doesn't go away on its own.
Stye Or Pimple? - Most bumps that appear on the eyelid are styes, which form when an oil gland in the skin becomes inflamed. A stye looks something like a pimple, but it is not quite the same. Pimples are caused by acne, and usually appear elsewhere, although they can appear wherever there is skin, and the eyelid certainly qualifies on that count.
Whereas a stye results from a blocked or inflamed oil gland, a pimple has its origins beneath the surface of the skin. A pimple is a vesicle, or a small sac that is located just beneath the dermis, the outer layer of the skin. Dead cells and fluid fill the sac, and eventually turn into pus. The formation of pus, as it grows, causes a bump to form, typically a small white bump.
The white bump, or pimple, usually does not require treatment unless it becomes irritating, or begins to affect one's vision. In normal circumstances, the contents of the vesicle are reabsorbed into the body, and the pimple simply goes away.
Just as is the case with acne, there are many things that can cause a pimple on the eyelid, and none of them are well understood. Some will point to the use of cosmetics, others point to a skin disease, such as rosacea, and still others will tell you that if you wash you face regularly you shouldn't have the problem.
When A Pimple On The Eyelid Can Cause Problems - If the pimple, or pustule as it is sometimes called, becomes inflamed, a rash, or what resembles a rash, may appear on the eyelid. Almost all rashes are in themselves harmless, and this rash would be no exception. The only real danger a pimple on the eyelid might pose is if it were to burst, and in doing so, create a tiny wound in the skin which could possibly become infected.
A single pimple on the eyelid that comes, and then goes away, is no reason to visit a doctor or a dermatologist. If however, a pimple appears, and does not go away, or grows larger over time, a dermatologist should probably have a look at it. The same would apply if the formation of pimples on the eyelid occurs regularly, as it may be due to some underlying condition that should be looked into, and possibly need treatment.
When To See An Ophthalmologist - If pimples are appearing regularly on the eyelid, and they have a tendency to burst, causing small lesions to appear, the risk of infection could become significant. Also, whatever is causing the pimples could conceivably be a threat to one's vision. The person to see in this case would be an ophthalmologist An ophthalmologist is a physician who specializes in eye care and medical conditions affecting the eye, and is not to be confused with an optometrist, who specializes in eyeglasses.
Pimples are rarely if ever malignant, but if they are forming together with lesions, the possibility of a malignancy or skin cancer of the eyelid exists, although it should be noted that such a possibility is somewhat small. What a physician is most apt to look for during his diagnosis is unusual cell growth, which is the usual sign of a possible malignancy. If there is no unusual cell growth, treatment will usually be directed towards healing of any lesions that may be present, and the prevention of recurring pimples, assuming their cause can be determined. It's important that any disorder that does not go away, or appears in any way to be worsening, should always be brought to the attention of a doctor or a specialist.
A stye on the eyelid, like a pimple, will usually go away in a few days, and like a pimple, one can sometimes become infected. An infection on the eyelid definitely needs to be treated, and treated soon, as such an infection can quite often spread to the eye itself, and possibly affect one's vision. The bottom line is this: When you get a small bump on your eyelid, if it's red, it's a stye, if it's white, it's a pimple. If it does not go away in a few days, or if it becomes infected, it's important to see a doctor, a dermatologist, or an ophthalmologist, post haste.
Copyright 2006 Eyelid Problems. All rights reserved.