Ophthalmology & Optometry/Chalazion

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QUESTION: Hi! Not sure if you will be able to answer this but I'll give it a try:)

In the middle of April I suddenly got this horrible stye in my lower eyelid in my right eye that became a chalazion. It was present for about 3 months, gradually becoming smaller until it was almost gone (at least not visible but if you touched it you could feel a little bit). Last week it became a little bit red/tender at the same place, but the Chalazion was the same small size. I read somewhere that a chalazion coming back in the same place could be cancer (or in my case it didn't go away completely just became really small) should I be concerned?

Second question, when it says that u should check it out when it reoccurs in the same place does that mean when u have treated it in some? Like surgically for example and it comes back in the same place? Because like I said, i didn't treat mine in any way, I just waited and it became smaller. A tumor doesn't come and go right, it would keep growing I suppose?

I'm 32 years old and have had trouble with styes from time to time, especially in my right eye. Hope u can give me some answer because this greatly worries me! Thanks!

ANSWER: Hi John,
While I cannot speak to your individual case, you likely due to inherited skin type have a predisposition for styes. So visit an eye doctor to find out what you can do to avoid them and address your worry about cancer.  The worry of cancer is generally about lesions that don't heal or partially heal but come back and bleed.  Not the typical chalazion you described.  It is probably a different gland that is now involved. so no real worries for now, but do investigate 'eyelid hygiene' or 'lid scrubs' to avoid the stye problem.
Best,
Mitch Axelrod, OD

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks for your answer, greatly appreciated! Just one more question, do you have a answer for my second question above?

"Second question, when it says that u should check it out when it reoccurs in the same place does that mean when u have treated it in some? Like surgically for example and it comes back in the same place? Because like I said, i didn't treat mine in any way, I just waited and it became smaller. A tumor doesn't come and go right, it would keep growing I suppose?"

Because my mother also have this problem with styes and chalazions and I'm wondering because she have had it come back on the same spot a couple of times (and she have not had it surgically removed or treated in any way). Thank you again!

Answer
Hi John,i thought I did address it by writing:
The worry of cancer is generally about lesions that don't heal or partially heal but come back and bleed.  Not the typical chalazion you described.  It is probably a different gland that is now involved.  Treatment is usually nothing or hot compresses, only surgery if it is bad and does not get small enough.  The cancer worry is when the lesion seems to heal, on it's own usually, but then gets worse again: the same exact lesion. Surgery would remove the lesion and it would not come back in the same spot.  Again, these are generalities and I think you should be examined and have a discussion with a local eye doctor.

Hope that helps clarify.
Mitch Axelrod,OD  

Ophthalmology & Optometry

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Mitchell Axelrod

Expertise

I'm happy to answer questions about eye exam findings and procedures, glasses and contact lens types/prescriptions/problems. I can also answer questions about general eye conditions/diseases. I do not answer questions concerning surgical techniques/procedures. Please state your age or within a small range when asking questions, as it is often important.

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Optometrist 19 yrs.

Education/Credentials
Doctor of Optometry, cum laude; Residency in Ocular Disease

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