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What is the reason for recurrent boils on the eyelid?

Answered by: Dr. Mahipal S Sachdev
Senior Consultant Ophthalmologist,
Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals,
New Delhi

Q. I am a 37 years old man who has been developing boils on the lower eyelid of both the eyes since last year. Currently one big boil is on the left eye and not getting cured since last 2 months. I consulted an eye specialist who said is was due to bacteria. He has given me eye drops and tablets and also asked me to wash my eyes with warm water twice a day. But still there is no improvement. Please advise.

A.  Boil or a stye of the lid is a localised infection or inflammation of the eyelid margin involving hair follicles of the eyelashes or the oil secreting glands of the lids. The problem of recurrent boils/stye/infection in lids usually arises from a blockage and infection of the glands of the lids and is sometimes a lid hygiene related issue. Also, you must get your blood sugar levels checked as recurrence may be an indication of undetected diabetes. Untreated, the disease may spontaneously resolve or it may progress to chronic granulation with formation of a painless mass known as a chalazion. It appears from the history that the swelling in your left side which is not responding to conservative treatment could actually be a chalazion. Warm soaks and antibiotic eye drops do help, but often chalazia need to be drained surgically. So, we suggest that you take a proper ophthalmic consultation so that the condition can be treated appropriately.

A.  Boil or a stye of the lid is a localised infection or inflammation of the eyelid margin involving hair follicles of the eyelashes or the oil secreting glands of the lids. The problem of recurrent boils/stye/infection in lids usually arises from a blockage and infection of the glands of the lids and is sometimes a lid hygiene related issue. Also, you must get your blood sugar levels checked as recurrence may be an indication of undetected diabetes. Untreated, the disease may spontaneously resolve or it may progress to chronic granulation with formation of a painless mass known as a chalazion. It appears from the history that the swelling in your left side which is not responding to conservative treatment could actually be a chalazion. Warm soaks and antibiotic eye drops do help, but often chalazia need to be drained surgically. So, we suggest that you take a proper ophthalmic consultation so that the condition can be treated appropriately.

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