Specific Management: Chalazion

Chalazia often resolve spontaneously, although application of warm compresses four times a day and gentle eyelid massage may speed this up. As a chalazion is a granulomatous condition, antibiotics are of no benefit.

Persistent chalazion can be referred to an ophthalmologist for elective incision and curettage. This is not an urgent intervention, and can be arranged as an outpatient referral or via the patient’s GP.

A presumed chalazion can be misleading; tumours, including basal cell carcinoma, sebaceous carcinoma and keratoacanthoma can occur on the eyelid. These can be locally invasive, and sebaceous carcinoma had a 30% five year mortality in one study [9]. If in doubt, an ophthalmology or dermatology opinion should be sought.

Learning Bite

Eyelid lesions with atypical appearance or behaviour should be referred for urgent outpatient ophthalmic or dermatological review.