Raising children brings plenty of joy — and lots of worries, too. Certainly, anything affecting your child’s eyes or their vision can be a cause for concern. If your child has an eyelid growth, you’re probably wondering what to do next.
With offices on Manhattan’s Upper East Side and in Great Neck and New Rochelle, New York, Rand Rodgers, MD, helps parents understand the causes of childhood eyelid growths, along with treatment options. If your child has an eyelid lesion, here’s what you should know.
Eyelid growths or lesions can form at any age, including during childhood. And as with adults, these growths can have different underlying causes. Two of the most common types of childhood eyelid lesions are chalazia and styes.
A chalazion is one of the most common types of benign eyelid lesions. Chalazia occur when an oil gland on the eyelid is blocked. The gland forms a lump along the edge of the eyelid, and sometimes this lump can grow as big as a pea.
It may look red and swollen, but typically no infection is involved. The lump itself isn’t painful.
In most cases, a chalazion can be treated with topical ointment, warm compresses, and improved lid hygiene. If a chalazion grows large or becomes infected, additional treatment might be needed.
Even though chalazia are benign, when they occur in kids, they still need to be evaluated and monitored by Dr. Rodgers.
A stye is another common cause of eyelid bumps or lumps. Also called a hordeolum, a stye is an oil gland infection, usually involving staph bacteria.
Styes are red and swollen, just like chalazia. But because infection is occurring, a stye can be painful to touch. Styes also tend to occur closer to the eye surface on or near the edge of the lid.
Most styes can be treated with topical ointment and oral antibiotics to keep the infection from progressing. If the stye persists, it may need to be drained. Prompt treatment is essential to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of the eye.
Styes and chalazia are among the most common childhood eyelid lesions, but they’re not the only types of growths. Other types of growths can cause similar symptoms, like:
If your child has any of these signs, call the office to schedule an exam right away.
Like styes and chalazia, other benign growths typically can be treated with topical medications and improved lid hygiene, along with monitoring to ensure the growth doesn’t become larger.
Sometimes, Dr. Rodgers may recommend a steroid injection into a lesion to help it heal faster, especially if it’s not responding to medications.
Less commonly, a growth may need to be surgically removed. In these instances, Dr. Rodgers uses the most tissue-sparing approaches combined with advanced restoration techniques to repair the eyelid so it looks natural and functions normally.
Most eyelid lesions are benign, but they can still interfere with vision and make blinking uncomfortable. When a growth is caused by an infection, that infection can spread to other parts of the eye, threatening your child’s vision. In rare cases, the growth could be eyelid cancer.
Bottom line: Any type of eyelid growth or unusual change in your child’s eyelid needs to be evaluated as soon as possible. If your child has an eyelid bump, lump, or other abnormality, call the office nearest you to book an appointment today.