3 (+2) chalazion treatments that really helped

[UPDATED May 19, 2016: Have you been here before? I’ve added new stuff to this post. Scroll to the bottom for my favourite chalazion-busters yet.]

The title of this post is misleading. We tried many ways.

When our little guy got his first chalazions (one under each eye, ugh) around the age of one and a half, we naturally thought they were styes. I get them every so often from eye makeup, and figured that if they’re contagious, he may have gotten one from me that eventually spread by his rubbing his eyes. Eventually though, both ‘styes’ got so big that I started researching and learned about chalazions.

We visited several doctors who (as they don’t specialize in these things) weren’t quite sure how to help except to prescribe meds that unfortunately helped nothing.

When we finally got in with a pediatric opthalmologist (she’s in-demand so has a long waiting list) her suggestion was lots of warm baths, cleaning the eyes with baby shampoo a few times a day, and warm compresses.

Compresses would probably work wonders, in an ideal world where toddlers and babies don’t think you’re trying to murder them when you hold them in place with a damp rag over their eyeballs. I do not live in such a world, so I researched on, while we kept a strict routine of baby shampooing the poor kid’s eyes and failing to ‘compress’.

A chalazion (/kəˈleɪziən/; plural chalazia /kəˈleɪziə/), also known as a meibomian gland lipogranuloma, is a cyst in the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of a blocked meibomian gland, usually on the upper eyelid. Chalazia differ from styes (hordeola) in that they are subacute and usually painless nodules.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chalazion

Painless as they are, they look painful as a mother. Perhaps worst of all, they take a long time to go away. It took months for the bumps to subside and he now has little scars where they were. (From the amount of cleaning, maybe.)

Below are the methods that seemed to help most, opthalmologist-advised and through my own research.

[Note: Please do your own additional research and consult with your doctor if you’re unsure. I do not give exact dosages or distributions because every situation is different. These suggestions are based on our experience, not official medical research.  I compiled them because it took a lot of time and frustration to find 3 things that finally helped clear up his chalazions.]

Persistent cleaning with baby shampoo.

This was when a difference seemed to begin.

Do not be surprised if the chalazions become blood blisters, or actually secrete blood or pus. That is how they drain. The opthalmologist told us this would happen if we were cleaning right. :/ Thankfully we only saw it happen a couple of times because it looks pretty scary, especially on a kid.

Clean the eyes a lot, but be gentle. Baby shampoo (suggested by the opthalmologist) still stings a bit and scares a tiny kid.

LiveClean-Eco-Friendly-Baby-Wash

We typically use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo for his eyes because we have a lot of it on hand (we used to receive many Johnson’s sample coupons in the mail) but I also love Live Clean because it’s environmentally friendly and I trust it to make other things too, like homemade baby wipes! I’ve linked to the Tearless Shampoo & Wash version which we recently ran out of but which is a wonderful and safe multipurpose product. They make many delicious smelling shampoos for adults too, by the way.

We used cotton washcloths and eventually cotton swabs to apply it, using a different part of the cloth/swab for each eye. We used freshly wet parts of the cloth to rinse each eye clean. He is much better about it now, but it was difficult for a while. We did it 3-4 times a day when the chalazions were large, and 2-3 times daily now.

Be as consistent as possible. As our doctor said, keeping it clean even after it clears up is important to prevent recurrence.

Sulphur.

I found a post on ABCHomeopathy.com which reflected our situation in almost every way. In desperation, we followed advice given there by a naturopath which had worked for the original poster. Coincidence or not, this was around the time our son’s chalazions shrunk most dramatically.

The original poster on that thread says they still keep Sulphur pellets handy years later to use whenever they see one of these cysts beginning on their child. (Note: Liquid and pellet varieties are available. We used 30C pellets and dissolved into filtered water, first thing in the morning as suggested.)

Treating blepharitis or chalazions with homeopathic sulphur 30C pellets

These are the ones we’re currently using (available at a local health food store) but Boiron Sulphur 30C pellets also worked. We use these as soon as we notice the typical constant eyes watering he gets before eye issues arise.

Also! Try incorporating sulphur-rich foods like onions, eggs and broccoli. More info here on which sulphur rich vegetables to use, how to cook them, and sulphur benefits in general. I find that when we let our diets (and, subsequently, his) slip for a few days, that’s when problems arise again.

Organic unrefined virgin coconut oil.

Oooh, buzzwords! Right? Eh. In this case, I’d say wrong.

Nutiva-Organic-Unrefined-Virgin-Coconut-Oil

This image links to the huge version seen here. There are smaller sizes if you just want to test it out, but I love Nutiva’s quality for skin care, cooking, and making homemade wipes, so this big container has really gone a long way.

After some trial and error, we used Nutiva Coconut Oil (smaller version than shown in my photo above). It’s available in many sizes but the bigger one has lasted us for some time.

Try the run-of-the-mill coconut oil you get from your grocery store for $3.99 versus this stuff, even just for cooking. The difference in quality is noticeable. The consistency of Nutiva is infinitely better. The taste is much more delicious. It’s healthy all around and has an incredible number of applications.

More relevantly, it seemed to help our son’s chalazions shrink some, especially when compared with the results of the cheap stuff we had before.

[Again, I am not a doctor. If you’re allergic or reactive, don’t try it. Otherwise, it may give some relief, so read on.]

I read somewhere to try organic, unrefined coconut oil on the skin while the pores are still open to help soften a chalazion. They said to think of it in terms of oil dissolves oil. The hardened oil beneath the skin of the chalazion needs to soften in order to drain during cleaning/compress.

If you can’t use a warm compress for 10-15 minutes twice a day, apply the coconut oil immediately after cleaning with the baby shampoo and warm water. Coconut oil is anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory applied topically or ingested (see #2 here).

As you can imagine, it gets in the eyes a bit. It doesn’t sting though, and as far as I’ve read there are no ill effects of that happening other than the eyes blur a bit for a few seconds as they would with water in them. Do your own research on this to clarify, as I’m sure you will if you’ve landed on this page.

We started applying coconut oil after cleanings just before trying sulphur pellets and I think it did help to promote healing a bit as the chalazions gradually left. It seemed to help soften each one, even if it’s just in my imagination, and it didn’t bother him — bonus!

Other chalazion treatment suggestions I’ve seen from other people — I have no experience with any of these:

  1. Graphites
  2. Removing dairy from diet
  3. Massaging the chalazion to soften the oil in order to drain (kid wouldn’t let us) Edit: He eventually let us! (And hated it.) It may have helped a bit.

I’m happy to say that after our last visit with the opthalmologist, she says that he is 95% improved and will not need another follow-up appointment. She said this will be a recurring problem and that regular twice or three times daily cleaning will be needed on an ongoing basis.

Taken a week before this post was written.

Taken a week before this post was written.

I know how frustrating and time consuming it is to take care of and try to prevent this unsightly, seemingly hopeless cyst, and sincerely hope something that I’ve written here will work for you too.

For me, it helps to remember that consistent cleaning and immediate preventative measures at the first sign of a problem go a long way.

I’m so glad our little boy’s eyes have improved over time. My favourite recommendation: Sulphur. It seemed to make the greatest improvement once we found out about it and got some, and also seemed to take down a bout of persistent styes he had as recently as a month and a half ago.

Update +1: Salt water!

It might sound as if it stings. And it does for a quick second, if you have styes. I tried this on myself first because it sounded sketchy. Each time, my stye felt better soon after and was gone the next day. If it stings my son’s chalazions, he is not letting on. He just gets annoyed with all the eye stuff in general and runs away.

  1. Add half teaspoon to a teaspoon of salt in a small amount of very warm (not hot) filtered water. I currently use Mediterranean but have also used iodized and epsom salts with good results.
  2. Stir to dissolve all salt.
  3. Dip cotton ball in the solution, squeeze cotton ball so it’s not dripping.
  4. Apply lightly to the affected eye, running it gently over the chalazion. You only need to do this for about 30 seconds to a minute.
  5. Do not rinse, OR #6
  6. Do a warm compress after if you want to try and draw more of the pus out, then follow the cleaning routine above.

I’m so grateful to have read about this salt method recently. I don’t know if it works every time. The bigger sulphur pellets we bought recently at a health food store weren’t working as quickly with this new chalazion he’d had for a month and a half. We began this doing treatment once or twice daily. The pus was almost always brought to the surface, sometimes the cyst even opened up on the spot — at which point I’d always do the gentle warm compress, then clean and apply coconut oil.

It took a few times draining it over the course of about a week but each day we noticed improvement. It feels again like we’re on the road to recovery.

Update +2: Organic flax oil!

We buy this at our local drugstore for about $8/400mL bottle but health food stores will have it too.

Mix a teaspoon into the child’s diet daily, chalazion or not. Since we’ve incorporated this, not only has his chalazion been less inflamed, but his skin issues have improved wonderfully. (I had baby pimples and he seems to have inherited them.) I’m really not sure of the reason, but the person I read this from suggested it’s similar to the coconut oil method above.  I find flax oil has made an improvement much faster than coconut oil though, probably due to consuming it rather than using it topically.

Yeesh, I’ve said a lot here. I really hope it helps if you’re scouring the world for a solution though.

Have you had a chalazion? What have you found to be your most effective treatment? Leave a comment below!

About Nik

Writer, occasional photographer, common street juggler. I enjoy cooking, crafting, a clean house, animals, and senses of humour. Oh yeah and being the mom of my boy John.
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56 Comments

  1. Hello, how many sulphur pellets were you giving your son?

    • Hi Ileen!

      Thanks for your question! Please see this link for guidance: http://abchomeopathy.com/forum2.php/181907/
      I believe 3 pellets is usually considered one dose (may vary from brand to brand?), but we always diluted it into the half litre of filtered or spring water as recommended above. No tap water, especially because we’re on a well and use a water softener.

      Research “Sulphur 30C dosage” and child’s age or weight if you have a kid who is a different age, and check compatibility with any known health conditions before using.

      I remember I looked at every website I could and consulted with my naturopath friend once I stumbled upon this because you never know what’s safe for kids. Don’t use anything you’re not totally comfortable with. We were at a desperate point, having been prescribed Tobradex and other ointments that did nothing. Eye-cleaning was helping a bit but it was slow-going, and the naturopath confirmed she had seen Sulphur 30C work on various skin and eye issues without negative reactions so we went for it. Thankfully, it worked!

      When we added Sulphur 30C to strict eye-cleaning 3-4 times a day and using the coconut oil afterward, the biggest difference was seen, and he never appeared sick or adversely affected in any way by any of these. Thank goodness. We also tried to eliminate general ‘crap’ from our diets and his. Not as much breaded stuff, for example, and more broccoli, onions, and other sulphur-rich foods.

      It was not instantaneous, but you could see a difference within a week. We did this once more (for the 3 days recommended) a couple of weeks later. They went from the size of large Skittles to pretty much nothing a short time later.

      I hope whatever you’re dealing with clears up as soon as possible. It can be so frustrating. If you do try my suggestions, I’d be interested to know if you had the same results.

  2. Hi there! Maybe I missed it, and maybe this is a silly question… But did your son drink the sulfur, or do you rub the solution on his eye? My daughter has 2 chalazia right now. The doctor recommended warm compress and baby shampoo and prescribed an antibiotic ointment. It is slow going. The warm compress is pretty much impossible as she is 14 months old. Thank you for your post. I am going to get some sulfur today.

    • Hi! Thanks for your comment.

      Sorry for being unclear. We could only find the sulphur pellets (the tiny ones seem to work much better than the ones that are about twice their size, at least for us — both are 30C strength). We dissolve the pellets into filtered water as described in the post, then give him a tablespoon every 10 minutes for 30 minutes on an empty stomach. I know that’s tough though. Empty stomach is when my kid first wakes up and he kinda wants his food right away just like we all do.

      If you can find liquid sulphur, you won’t have to dissolve the pellets or get your kid to “keep them under their tongue” which is impossible at this young age. Liquid Sulphur 30C may have simpler directions which should be on the bottle. The pellets have directions too but they involve dissolving under the tongue.

      For a quicker result: I really, really advise the salt toward the end of this post. Either epsom or (in our case) Mediterranean sea salt. It has made such an incredible and speedy difference — I only learned of it recently and we’ve had a lot of luck with the new one that’s been trying to rear its head. It draws the oil up and sometimes even opens the chalazion and drains it entirely. Of course it fills back up little by little but I find if you do it daily it doesn’t allow the chalazion to grow and promotes such faster healing. If you’re unsure if it will hurt, test it on yourself first, and try to avoid it getting into the actual eyes.

      Your doctor’s advice was the same as mine. Compresses were impossible but have gotten easier (not by much) now that he’s 2. You get to a point where you feel like you’re torturing the kid trying to help, right? I hope my post can be of some assistance though.

  3. Thank you for your post. I have tried Sulfur also and made a huge difference. My daughter just started 2 new ones out of nowhere so will be buying some again. As for the warm compress. My eye dr sells homemade little rice bags wrapped in cloth. We microwave it and wrap the warm clothe around it. So my daughter can sit in front of the tv and the compress stays warm for 10-15 minutes. This has been a life saver for us! Makes doing compresses with little ones a bit easier. I did find removing milk and yogurt made a big difference also! She had milk 2 x the week before they surfaced again so now I’m convinced she needs to stay off of it.

    • Wow. Thanks for the rice compress advice! I’m going to see if I can make some of those. I’m glad the sulphur helped. We’ve tried switching the kid off milk onto almond milk and he absolutely hated it. He loves milk and yogurt but it’s one of those things I’ve been wondering about.

      Great results lately adding a teaspoon of organic flax oil to his breakfast each morning. Try it if you haven’t!

  4. Hey, thanks so much for your advice about the sulphur. I’m gonna try to buy it for myself as I’ve had this chalazion for 7 months now and tried all the home remedies.

    But one quick question if I can’t find flaxseed oil , will it be okay to take flaxseed oil tablets?

    • I hope it helps! Not 100% sure on the flax tablets as I haven’t tried them, but I can’t imagine they’d hurt! Liquid organic flax seed oil may absorb better — not sure. I found ours at the pharmacy in the vitamins section.

      Hope your chalazion bids you farewell soon.

  5. Hi thank you so much for your blog, we have been experiencing our own chalazion nightmare, my 3 year old little boy had one appear in each eye 3 months ago one popped and went with little effort but the other one was so difficult to get rid of and was getting bigger and bigger. So since finding your post I decided to give all of the above a go as I had been trying to do the hot compresses and it was just making it look worse I was worried it would harden and never go. I tried the Epsom salt, coconut oil and sulfur tablets last Saturday and by Tuesday a small white head had appeared I continued with the treatments and it popped on Friday it’s still there but fingers crossed it gradually is going away. We have been told by our consultant that my little boy has blepharitus which is why this happened in the first place so we will have to keep doing the warm compresses and washing to keep it from ever happening again.

    I just wondered how long you kept up the sulfur tablets as it hasn’t gone completely yet on my son I’m scared to stop them incase it comes back, do you know if they are bad for you if used too long? Thanks

    • Hi Sarah!

      You’re right, blepharitis is the cause of these horrible things.

      I’m happy to hear that some of this advice may have helped your son’s chalazion. The ones our son gets are always so persistent and seem to last months too. This has happened to us twice now, for a few months each time. We still clean his eyes with baby shampoo & a washcloth twice daily as a preventative measure.

      Each time, we kept up with the sulphur until even a week or so after it looked like it was ‘done’ (that is, while the redness still remained, but no more bump). As far as I remember, I don’t *think* it is harmful to keep up with it. Our son never experienced any ill effects thankfully. You may want to research that further though.

      Not sure if you’ve given this one a try yet, and I’m hoping not to jinx it for ourselves here, but we’ve had incredibly good luck since making sure he has a teaspoon (approximately 5 mL) of organic flax seed oil every day. I usually make him toast in the morning, so I put honey, then hide the smelly flax oil in the middle, then his peanut butter. You can mix it into just about any meal about once each day. We also make sure to do the “salty treatment” as he calls it (haha) whenever we see he has itchy eyes, as it tends to draw the moisture out of the eyelid.

      I hope your son is all better soon. It’s such a frustrating thing to deal with, and it feels like it will never go away, but it does.

  6. Hello! Im very glad to have found your blog! About a month ago my daughter whos 2 yrs and 8 months has developed chalazion on her right eyelid. Ive just been doing warm compresses as recommended by an optometrist (we havent seen a pediatric opthalmologist) but i havent seen any major difference. I will try your recommendations but may I just ask, how much water do you use to dissolve lets say a teaspoon of salt? I only have iodized salt right now but will try that first.

    • Hi Naddie!

      I generally do about 1/2 a teaspoon in roughly 3 or 4 tablespoons of warm water. Distilled or filtered water is best for us I find, as we’re on a well and you never know what’s in the tap.

      I hope some of the tips from my post can help your daughter! All the best!

  7. Hello Nik! I hope its no trouble I ask you a few more questions. How are your sons eyes now, does he still gets them? And how often do you do the “salty treatment” as your son calls it, with epsom salt? So far I have seen an improvement with daughter’s chalazion on her left eye which is good news. My husband refuses for us to try sulfur, but now that she has one on her right eye as well (lower lid this time) thats slowly growing in size, I really want to try the sulfur as Im getting desperate.

    Also, have you tried eyelid wipes? I have seen a thread online wherein an opthalmologist recommended to use the Ocusoft Lid scrub (pre-moistened pads) to keep the eyelids clean and there were responses that said it had worked wonders for their kids. There is a version that was made for babies and I ordered some from Amazon as Im in Canada and cant find them anywhere, and it may take another week or so before I get it, but I will let you know how it works!

    • No problem at all Naddie! I can understand the hesitance of trying something called sulphur. I guess eventually you just get to a breaking point. Sulphur is present in eggs, broccoli, and onions so even an increase in these foods would probably have a positive effect.

      We do the “salty treatment” (haha) when kiddo says his eyes feel itchy as a preventative measure. He gets itchy eyes maybe once or twice a week. When he actively had the chalazions (he doesn’t now, knock on wood) we would do it a couple times a day, gently, either with sea salt or epsom salt. Compared to all else I’d say it made the most immediate improvement, usually first noticed over the course of a few days.

      His eyes look great now, but I hope I’m not jinxing it to say so. I have a habit of doing that. 😉

      I’m interested in these eye scrub pads you mentioned. We’re also in Canada. I would love to know how they work out for your daughter. A relative of mine who claims to get chalazions (although I’ve never seen it) recommended an eye scrub pad once but said it was painful so we didn’t try them. Maybe these are gentler? I hope so!

      Edited to add: We have tried a witch hazel based eye wash which is very gentle but unfortunately did nothing.

      Hope your little one’s situation keeps improving! Please let me know how things progress.

  8. Hello Nik! Hope all is well! Im back to give you a few updates on our chalazion nightmare.

    Unfortunately we are still dealing with it. Since I last posted, our routine now includes consistent eye washing with the eyelid wipes (more on this later), baby shampoo, warm compresses with epsom salt, and castor oil. Around Christmas time, both her eyes looked better, you couldnt even see the lumps in our pictures. But on New Years, the one on her left eye started to get bigger again. So I gave in and started to give her sulphur on January 2. But today this is so far the biggest Ive seen it, that I booked an appointment to see her pediatrician (the last time we went he didnt want to refer us to the opthalmologist as it was so small he said it may be resolved with compresses and baby shampoo). Did your son’s get bigger as well after giving the sulphur, then later drained? The thing with my daughter’s is that they havent really gotten to a point where you can see its “draining”- no abscess, no pus etc, just the lumps.

    About the eyelid wipes – because it was taking forever for Amazon to process and ship the Ocusoft Baby wipes order, I cancelled it decided to order the regular Ocusoft wipes from well.ca. Ive been using them for maybe around 2 weeks now, and because I havent seen a major improvement, Id say if the baby shampoo is working well for you, might as well just stick with that. I use the wipes 1-2 times daily, during her bath time (since the regular Ocusoft needs to be rinsed) and before bedtime, then the baby shampoo in between, during the day. Ive also been using the castor oil, which I thought was working wonders too before the other lump got big again. If I see any coconut oil next time we’re out, I might try that too. I have also ordered some omega 3 supplements for toddlers (flax oil unfortunately didnt work well with her tummy), hoping that will help. Its getting tiring trying anything new though at this point though, as I feel like nothings really helping 🙁

    The only consolation, if theres any, is that the one on her right eye- the one that appeared first about 2 months ago, has not gotten any bigger for about 2 weeks now. It now just looks like a tiny pimple on her eyelid (I hope im not jinxing myself here though lol). I am wishing and praying they both go away on their own soon as this has been an extremely frustrating experience, not to mention time consuming. I also have a 6-month old that needs attention so you can probably imagine how stressful this has been for me 🙁 Im sorry for this lengthy post! If there is anything else I find in the future that helps, I will let you know 🙂

    • Oh, Naddie! I’m so frustrated for you! I remember how stubborn our son’s chalazions were before we finally found something(s) that worked. It takes up so much of your time, so I can imagine how stressful it is with another little one too. It’s too bad that the flax seed hurt her tummy, though I feel like omega supplements could help along similar lines! My doctor had been on vacation (every single time we planned to see him) but when we finally saw him, he was noticeably irritated that all the other clinic/urgent care doctors we had seen had not referred us to an opthalmologist. Our opthalmologist was wonderful but the best advice she could give was that we had to really get in there with a cotton swab and scrub with baby shampoo. You get to a point where you feel like you’re torturing your kid. 🙁 It’s important to keep with it though. We still do it twice daily, dabbing coconut oil on the eyes afterward, as a preventative. I never want to see a chalazion again but I know we aren’t that lucky.

      Thank you for the advice on the Ocusoft. It’s too bad it hasn’t had much effect either.

      You know what I find is when we go through a “lazy” week here, that is, my husband is on vacation and we eat more fast food, our son’s eyes tend to develop the lumps again. Since I noticed this the second time, I’ve tried hard to give him balanced meals. He’s in the picky toddler stages now though, so I’m expecting if my theory is correct that we’ll see a new bump soon. 🙁

      Have you tried (or will she allow you) to do light, circular massage over the chalazion to help ‘break it up’? In my desperate hours when I was trying just about everything to help my kiddo, I would do that. He of course hated it, but I imagine moving oil around would help it start to flow again instead of sitting there congealed, which is what I’ve read it is.

      I wouldn’t lose hope with the sulphur just yet. It’s not instantaneous (though I wish so much that it was) and I don’t think it would be what is making her chalazion bigger. I remember the last time we used sulphur for a few days his bumps first appeared less ‘inflamed’. They gradually faded from there over the course of a couple of weeks; I would imagine everyone’s might appear differently before they go away though. They never visibly ‘drained’ that time when using sulphur, as I recall. They just sort of faded.
      The very first time we used sulphur, it’s very hard to tell what happened. He had HUGE chalazions then… they were horrible — I felt like everyone was staring at him. I know we noticed within a week some changes though — ones where I kept having to ask my husband if I was imagining things. They started to shrink thereafter.
      Maybe your daughter’s chalazion just needs to get to a certain point before it’s ready to fade. If the other one isn’t growing, that’s hopeful!

      I know that sulphur is used for other skin infections, and can take about 6 weeks at times to treat those — though I am not suggesting using sulphur for 6 weeks because I’ve never had to. I would try for at least a couple of weeks consistently to be sure it isn’t having any positive effect.

      Thank you for keeping me posted on your little one’s progress. Even though it feels like nothing’s helping, you’re making an effort, and without that, they do grow bigger. :/ I know this because we didn’t get into an opthalmologist from July until November 2015, and our little guy’s chalazions were huge by then. The doctors we had consulted with had no idea and had just kept giving us antibiotics.

      After being (almost annoyingly) persistent with the cleaning and with the other solutions which have fortunately helped us a lot, I am still paranoid but I can say that they do leave, and your little girl’s eyes will look perfect once again. Please keep me updated!

    • Wanted to add: Continue with the sulphur only if you feel comfortable doing so. I’m not a doctor and I can only speak of my own experience with it but if you feel it is not helping, or is having negative effects, discontinue use!

    • Hi Naddie,
      Hope you are doing well. Any progress?

  9. Hello there Nik! Ive been reading the comments here and feeling a little better that Im not alone in this battle.My daughters chalazion has, in the past week, and still is, continuing to increase in size. Her paediatrician has sent a referral to an ophthalmologist but it would take forever before we can get an appointment Ive been told. I just want to ask – did your son’s ever get to a point where the lump got big and red, looking like its about to pop? Thats how our daughter’s is looking like right now but its not draining. Its just getting bigger its scaring me. Its so unslightly it breaks my heart, Ive been crying the last few days as I feel like I cant do anything to help her. Thankfully it’s not painful for her but I just want this gone 🙁

    • Hi Ivy! I feel you, so much. 🙁 Yep, my son’s got exactly as you said. And when we first started to clean with baby shampoo at that size, it became a blood blister (once, it even oozed out — our poor kid). I believe the blood blister happened twice to one of his chalazions. The interesting thing is, the opthalmologist had told us this might happen and that it was perfectly okay. Her advice was really just to keep it clean two or three times a day, to “really get in there and clean” [she made scary, hard-scrubbing motions while she said this] with a cotton swab or wash cloth, and that it was much more common than you’d think — that it would go away on its own, and the cleaning would help speed that up a little by removing debris.
      I remember we went to Old Navy once when his chalazions were huge and a little girl in line in front of us said “Look, Mommy! A baby!” and the mom hushed her as if she wasn’t supposed to look/talk about him. Maybe the mom was just being polite or maybe she hadn’t even seen his chalazions (she was turned the other way), but I felt like she thought we weren’t taking care of him, when the truth was it every couple of hours we were doing something to try and fix it. It’s so easy to take the things we can’t fix for them to heart.

      They do go away, though. And remarkably, they don’t leave much of a sign that they were ever there. It feels like it takes forever. Please feel free to use some of these tips if you haven’t yet. I’m a huge advocate of including 1 teaspoon of organic flax oil in the diet if your child has no issue with it, and the salty scrub on a cotton ball seemed to help a lot. Sulphur has had mixed results for some people, but it worked well for us. Again, not a doctor, but these are what worked best for us.

      I hope something helps soon! Please keep me updated — even if you find another solution somewhere else, I am always interested to know what has worked!

  10. Hi NIk, I am so happy that I found your blog. I am an adult suffering with a chalazion. I noticed mine on Christmas Eve after coming home from celebrations. The bump was NOT there in the morning and I had NO warning of it. Just reared its ugly head that evening as I was taking off my makeup. Freaked out and scared, I just figured it was a stye and treated it as such. Two weeks later I was researching, “stubborn styes” and came upon this thing called chalazion. I went to the opthalmologist for a confirmation and indeed this is what I have. He gave me an ointment called Neomycin abd Polymysin and Suflates. I knew this would be useless and it was and I stopped it within a week. NO results. I found the internet much more helpful and found your blog. I just got home from the store where I bought the exact coconut oil you have and some sea salt Mediterranean. I have tried salt, but it was table salt with NO results. I find the Johnsons baby shampoo to be effective. I am on a month of this now and I am loosing sleep over this. The opthalmologist wants me back in a week to do the injection and said if that doesn’t work the surgery. I am opposed to both. Determined to figure this out homeopathically. I am frustrated, scared and beyond stressed and I miss my winged eyeliner so much its not even funny.. let alone going to work with a makeup free face makes me feel horrible. I need a hug. LOL.. thank you for being here. I am excited to try the salt and coconut oil baby shampoo combo.. and I am thinking on the flax/sulfur.
    I am so glad your beautiful baby has won the battle against those dreadful critters and I am praying we all get there too.

    • Hi Enza!

      Thank you for your comment. We’re so relieved too, and can only hope that’s it for us.

      I’m so sorry you’re dealing with this. Did your doctor tell you how long to persist with the treatments he prescribed you? One thing I know about these things is they are stubborn and persistent, and you have to be just as stubborn and persistent, as annoying as it might be. That said, we had been prescribed Tobradex (which I think was a drop?) and also an ointment by doctors who weren’t specialists before we got to her, and it did nothing. Our doctor wouldn’t even suggest injection or surgery as they won’t typically do it for kids. It sounds scary, but with our boy after months I was almost wishing our opthalmologist would make an exception. It really does get that upsetting to watch.

      The homeopathic stuff does take time, but really helped us. Nothing is instantaneous with chalazions. If you can, try to get in some warm compresses a few times per day too. We never could get our little guy to let us do it for more than a minute or so, so I have no idea if they help and I’d love to hear from you if they do. I think 10-15 minutes was the recommendation, but when you have a kid, good luck with that. 😉

      One more tip, if I can offer it: Keep both eyes as clean as possible, as often as you can. Be careful what part of a cloth/cotton pad you use on your ‘good’ eye though — use a fresh part for each cleaning; our boy’s chalazions transferred to the other eye easily, and we were extremely careful.

      Good luck. Please let me know if something I’ve suggested here helps!

  11. Hi again Nik,
    I thought of a question last night after writing to you. It seems like with my chalazion it will look a bit smaller and then at some point in the day it looks filled up again. Its like its messing with me. My question is, when this thing drains, will it become a blood blister and pop and/or can it drain on the inside without becoming a blood blister? At times I think this thing is draining but never fully. They are dreadful. I have been keeping them clean as possible and not using the same cloth on both eyes. I am determined to get rid of it, but as you know, these things are relentless.
    To answer your question, my opth just said to use the ointment both inside and outside of the lid for two weeks and return if the bump didn’t go away. He examined the inside of the eye and no chalazion is there. I followed his instructions for a week, with NO results and when I read the cautions of the medication, it said long term use causes cataracts which naturally scared the living daylight out of me. That was when I researched what to do naturally. The coconut oil seems to bring it down a bit, but I feel like it fills back up. Did you also see this? I may go insane from this. I am terrified of the needles and surgery and I am not hearing great things about them in the long run. Many have said they got even more after the surgeries.. Thank you so much for getting back to me. I feel so alone in this process.

    • Hi Enza!

      I don’t want to scare you but I’ve also heard the best results came from just “waiting it out” — frustrating. For us, what worked was a combo of the ideas from my post, thankfully. As you also mentioned, I have not heard or read of a lot of positive results following surgery, even though I would still hold out hope that maybe it worked so well for some people that they never came back to all of those medical forums to discuss chalazions again. 🙂

      Cataracts?? That is scary! I wonder if the ointment we used also would have had those side effects. Eek.

      To answer your question about the blood blistering, it happened after our opthalmologist had told us to “really get in there” when we were cleaning with baby shampoo, and it happened on the outside. If your doc says the lump is not showing on the inside, I imagine it would probably happen on the outside. It really didn’t last longer than a full day or so and we were home for most of it anyway, but with him being a kid, ugh. It was hard to see.

      (Sorry, had to edit this part below.. I’m on 2 hours sleep and read something wrong. Oops!)
      I didn’t notice the chalazion filling back up, no. But! I did notice that in different lights it will look larger. Even today, in certain lights in our house (dining area for example), I always get scared that our kiddo is getting a new one.

      Don’t worry if the coconut oil doesn’t help immediately. I know how stressful it is, and you want to see any change. These things feel like they take forever… Luckily you’re starting early with any treatment. We weren’t given much of any help until something like 4-5 months after his first one surfaced. They were very well-established by then, poor kid. As you apply the coconut oil, gently massage in circles. I’ve read that helps to break up the fluid, though I have no idea if that’s true. I think more than anything, the coconut oil softens, and then prevents any extra scarring that may occur. I should post an updated picture one day, but our son’s scarring has gone down even since the last picture.

      If you’re really worried and have no dietary issues with it, I strongly recommend the organic flax oil — mixing it in somewhere that you can’t taste it seems best; I hide it between the boy’s honey and peanut butter on his toast each morning, hah. Ever since we’ve kept that a daily thing, and I don’t want to jinx it, but 1) the chalazions he had at the time healed much faster than the first bout of them (He’s had both eyes, twice), and 2) we have not had a recurrence. I don’t purport to know why exactly this seems to work, but I think it has to do with why skin is more supple and healthy when you take fish oils, etc.

      On that note, I have also heard that blepharitis (the condition that causes chalazions) is related to eczema. Our kid doesn’t seem to have eczema, but it might be helpful to know just in case.

    • Extra thing, because I am an insomniac lately… the blood blister happened during cleaning. The draining of the blood happened outwardly, with some pus drainage, but the pus mostly drained/shrunk slowly back into the skin? If that makes sense? As it had formed a hard lump and was not liquid it just slowly shrunk with treatment for several weeks before it was no longer a lump. Sorry if that’s too much info.
      Nik recently posted…What I learned when I took a leap — and why you should tooMy Profile

      • You answered my question about drainage thank u.
        I am definitely going to follow all of your suggestions and try really hard to eradicate this without surgery. I’m going to look into the flaxseeds. Where do I get them what brand how much do I take? You’ve totally intrigued me and I’m interested. At this point I’m desperate I just wanted to go away.

        • Organic flax oil here comes in a small-ish bottle found in the vitamins/supplements section of our local pharmacy, and you can definitely find it at a health food store. We buy the store brand. We use 1 tsp daily since he’s a toddler. Our bottle says 2-6 tsps daily for ages 15 and over. 🙂 I really hope something helps you soon!

  12. Thank you going to get the flaxseed oil this weekend. I’m going to think happy positive thoughts that this is going to work. Thanks again for all your research and time and also for getting back to not only me but all the people above me.

    • You’re very welcome! I’m persistent when it comes to fixing things — especially stubborn things. I hope something (or some things) I suggest are of benefit to you and everyone else reading. Thanks for your comments.

  13. Hi Nik,
    I am reading the comments on this blog. On June 12th I see you wrote that you discovered the salt washes which has helped a more speedy recovery. I am doing this as well. Not really seeing much progress with it as of yet. Sometimes the skin on the chalazion feels gritty or very dried out. Not sure if that is from oozing? I see you wrote that the salt, “draws the oil up and sometimes even opens the chalazion and drains it entirely. Of course it fills back up little by little but I find if you do it daily it doesn’t allow the chalazion to grow and promotes such faster healing”. I am seeing this also. At times the darn thing looks smaller and then I look again later on and it looks same size again. This has to be the most frustrating part. I get my hopes up and let down again. I keep reminding myself that the Dr said it was a chalazion so I don’t freak myself out with what else can it be then? Did you ever feel like it would never go away?? I am starting to loose hope.

    • Yes! The salt is a really, really big help.
      I had actually forgotten that it sometimes opened it up! Good catch! I do remembering it drying out and the chalazion shrinking. I don’t know if it was from oozing that it gritted up, or if it’s just because salt is very drying on the skin, but I know it does pull the oil up, and any movement or breaking up of that oil is progress. Otherwise it just sits and grows in our experience.

      Do not lose hope!
      To put it into perspective, our son had his first set of chalazions for many, many months (8 to 9-ish total?), and they can last over a year sometimes. :/ I would think that is without treatment however. You said this started around Christmas? (Sorry if that’s inaccurate. Toddler distractions! :))
      I think if you’re seeing any changes at all this early on, that is a great sign. If it is not constantly growing (which our son’s were for 4 months before we found a proper opthalmologist). Again, do not lose hope — even though I know it feels endless and fruitless. Keep trying, especially early on. When our son got his second bout of them around March last year, we saw him recover much sooner because we had experience with what worked and what hadn’t, and added the flax oil and salt wipes almost immediately too.

  14. Did you try apple cider vinegar and or Epson salt? By the way I bought flaxseed oil today but I’m afraid to take it because I was told if you’re high risk for breast cancer you shouldn’t go near that stuff.

    • Wow, I did not know that! Good to know. If you’re high risk, I’d avoid it then.

      We tried epsom salts a couple of times, and they seemed to work about as well as the Mediterranean sea salt (which is strange, since epsom salts apparently aren’t a true ‘salt’). I didn’t use them all that much because the sea salt was just quicker to grab out of the cupboard and seemed to help a lot.

      Apple cider vinegar would have been much too strong near his eyes, even diluted. I’ve used it as a toner for my own skin though, it certainly packs a punch of a smell, even diluted. It has a lot of great applications though, so I wouldn’t be shocked if it helped. Did you try it?

  15. Hi again, I am so sorry to keep bothering you. It seems no body on the net is active in this situation anymore, which is odd. Where did they all go? You had success and I need to find it also. I did try the ACVinegar. I didn’t have any success with it and it smells bad. I am at my wits end here. I have tried so many things. My upcoming eye apt is next Monday and he wants to inject it. I am TERRIFIED. Losing sleep over this and weight which is a good thing. I think I may be trying too many things and not giving any a true chance. I am keeping up with the sea salt and changing it up with the Epson salt, baby shampoo and I am not sure if the coconut oil is working. I use that and a neosporin ointment and or the ointment the dr prescribed, bc that also has a cortisone hoping for some shrinkage. This honestly is a nightmare. I feel so depressed and scared.

    • It’s okay!

      They literally take months to go away in most cases, and consistency with these treatments is the only thing that helped us. Even though it took forever, I am thankful that we made such an effort — given our first dealing with chalazions, I know his second bout could have lasted so much longer.

      That’s why I wrote this post to begin with, because to find anything that worked with consistency, it took up my every spare moment for weeks — reading other people’s experiences, doctors’ suggestions, naturopathic remedies suggested both online and by a personal friend who is one, then testing remedy after remedy.

      I’m not an expert by any means, but I wanted to pull most of the useful tips I found into one post because chalazions are so difficult to deal with, and because they take literally more time and persistence to heal than anything I’ve dealt with.

      So I know the stress you’re feeling. Can you bring someone with you to the doctor’s for support? I think that may help.

  16. also.. I may try fish oil instead of flaxseed oil. I don’t think its best for me to use the flax seed for medical reasons. Ughhh.

  17. I keep telling myself that it takes month which helps at times. I just hate looking like this. Its on my bottom lid right in the middle so its very obvious. I see people looking at it. Its not that big but I think bc I am working on it. I do not see any drainage at all, but I do notice that at the end of the day as I am less and less able to work on it, it fills up again. So I know if I left t alone it would increase in size. Mine is on the outside as the dr said and he said that is better. Did your son have them inside the lid or outside? I am curious as to if this thing will explode one day or just shrink? I had a boil on my face last year and with the help of a dr who squeezed it, thats when it finally drained. I was told to NOT squeeze this thing. I am tempted.
    I can bring someone with me to the dr, but I am not sure I want to go as of yet. I don’t think I am ready for the injection.

    • Outside lid, bottom center, both eyes, each time. We never saw any ‘explosion’, just a gradual disappearing along with less redness. Even if you didn’t risk infection by squeezing or lancing, I don’t know that it would help too much as the chalazion is a harder lump of oil, not really fluid like a pimple would be. I think that’s why procedure is to either inject or surgically remove it.

      It sounds like you’re doing everything you can at the moment, and that’s really the best you can do for now. Stay strong and keep reminding yourself that this too shall pass.

    • Hi Enza – how are you? Have you been able to get rid of your chalazion? Im interested to hear about any progress youve made.

      Hi Nik – hope all is well with your little one! I want to ask – how long did it take for your sons lumps to go away completely? My daughter’s extremely stubborn one on her lower eyelid has finally started to go down in size since last week, but really slowly 🙁 And having dealt with these nasty lil things for a few months now I know that it really takes time. The one on her other eye took 2 months to completely go away but these one has gone so much bigger and inflamed. We finally got an appointment with an ophthalmologist here in Edmonton but its not till 3rd week of March! Thats the soonest available schedule. So for now we are still on our strict routine of diligent eye washing and warm compress 4x a day. Ive also been giving her about 5ml flax oil and nordic naturals omega supplement for kids.

      • Hi Ivy,

        All is well, thank you! I’m happy to hear that at least one of these troublesome things has gone. Your efforts are surely helping!
        For our son, the first bout of the chalazions started in late June, but we thought they were styes until July 2015 when they got much bigger. We started the regular baby shampoo cleaning routine in November 2015 once we met with the opthalmologist and added the remedies mentioned in this post (except flax oil, which we didn’t know about til the very end). Judging from some old pictures I just checked, I would say the majority of the lumps were gone by mid-January 2016. Still, in December you could tell there had been significant shrinkage. By January, they were a little bit red, but the lumps were gone. Scar tissue? Not sure. So, let’s say June til January. 7 months that felt like forever.
        The second time he got them, it was in late March 2016. The left one was worse, but this time, neither of his eyes looked anywhere near as extreme as the first time. Having just looked at pictures of the dude, I’d say they peaked in mid-May 2016 (the left one was dark red and inflamed, bigger), but by mid-June you couldn’t even tell they were there anymore. Significantly shorter time — I’ll round it up to 3 months.
        Short answer: First time — 7 months. Second time — approximately 3 months.
        I hope you and your little girl don’t have to deal with this much longer. If this last chalazion is currently red and inflamed, maybe it will be like my son’s and disappear before you get to that appointment! I hope so, anyway. If it doesn’t, do not fret. You’re doing everything you can and everyone is different. Please continue to let me know how things progress. I look forward to hearing from you again.
        And yes! I would like to hear from you too, Enza! Hope you are well also.

  18. Aww, he had the same place as me. I will try and see how it goes.. thank you again. I am SO glad he is rid of this thing.

  19. I thought Id share our experience with chalazion as well, maybe it can be of help to others who’d read this post in the future

    We first noticed one on my daughter’s upper eyelid in early November 2016. Just like you we thought it was a sty. But I tend to research a lot even for minor things so after reading a few articles online about eye issues, immediately I had a hunch its not a sty but a chalazion cause it wasnt painful; it doesnt bother her at all. So we took her to her pediatrician who confirmed that it was indeed a chalazion. But it was really small, so he just recommended lots of warm compress and diligent cleaning with baby shampoo.

    About a month later in early December, we were still dealing with the first chalazion when I noticed redness on her other eye. But this one was different because her entire lower lid looked a little swollen, so for a few days I actually thought it was an insect bite. But of course it wasnt, its another chalazion. As the redness went away, what was left behind was a hard lump. So now we’ve got issues with both eyes, ugh. By late December, the one on her right upper eyelid started to subside but the one on her left lower eyelid started to increase in size. Unlike the first one which although noticeable remained relatively small (and completely went away 2 months after it first appeared), this second one in a matter of 2 weeks has gotten so big- like the size of a hazelnut, and so red and inflamed (it still hurts me to look at her pictures), and it was then we finally got a referral to the ophthalmologist (which is another long story – Ive always been thankful about our healthcare system but this time I got extremely frustrated about the wait time and the push backs I got before I got the referral).

    Due to the inflammation, my daughter was put on oral antibiotics for a week and we were also prescribed with Tobrex to use for a week. I doubt if they helped. Like you, I have tried many ways! Epsom salt, diluted apple cider vinegar, eyelid wipes, baby shampoo, castor oil, coconut oil, sulphur, erythromycin and tobrex. I was hopeful with the sulphur but unfortunately did not work for us. Out of all these things Ive tried, Id say so far whats been working for us are the following: epsom salt wash on a qtip or cotton ball followed by warm compress with gentle massage 4x a day, then coconut oil plus of course the consistent eyelid washing with either baby shampoo or eyelid wipes 3x a day. The apple cider vinegar Id say would be more helpful for an adult who can tolerate it, Ive read tons of testimonials that it worked for them. The eyelid wipes is working well for us too, but it can be drying. The new thing Im trying is a mixture of coconut oil and frankincense oil after the warm compress, Ive read that frankincense also helps with scarring. And as Ive mentioned in my last post, Ive also been giving her the omegas and the flax oil as well.

    Its been a frustrating and long journey dealing with this seemingly minor issue but Im hopeful that we are on the road to recovery. I have a feeling my daughter is prone to this too, unfortunately, as Ive noticed a new one rearing its ugly head a few weeks ago, but thankfully so far has remained under control possibly due to everything we’ve been doing so far. Its my hope and wish and prayer that we wont have to deal with this ever again!

    Lots of love to you Nikki, your post surely has helped me a lot!

    • Thanks so much for sharing, Ivy. I’m happy to help as much as I can.
      It’s funny how there can be such different methods that work best for people — the consistent thing about chalazions is how stubborn they are to leave.
      I had not heard about Frankincense to treat them! Saving that idea just in case. It could be very useful for newcomers to this comments section too. Thanks again Ivy. Speedy recovery to your little girl.

  20. Hi. I needed to write an update. I have been battling this chalazion for seven weeks today. I have tried: warm compresses, hot compresses, doctor prescribed ointment, epsom salts compresses, sea salt compresses, sea salt as an eye wash, apple cider vinegar compresses, I’m drinking ACV (a tablespoon, 4 oz water) in the morning, frankincense oil, coconut oil, gel compresses, chamomile tea compresses, supplements: fish oil, vitamin A, vitamin E, Multi vitamin and NOTHING has given me any results. I started looking into occuplastic surgeons. My last resort after the snow storm was to go and get castor oil. I felt inclined to post this because to my amazement, within the first 2 hours I noticed the thing changed in size. I thought, ok let me give it some time and see what it does. I also bought Ocusoft lid scrub because I have read many people using them and had some good results both with a current chalazion and prevention of others. They also have an Ocusoft for babies. After the scrub I did a chamomile steam treatment for 5-7 minutes. After the steam I applied the castor oil. The way I do it is I take a Q- tip and put a small amount directly on the bump. I rub it in a bit and then leave it alone. The bump is going down. Within 2 hours I noticed a difference, but now its been 24 hours and its half the size. It seems to be drying it out and reducing the size. I am in shock. I really thought nothing would work for me. I still will be doing my routine until it is completely gone. I will still take the supplements also and continue to drink the AVC, but I am sure it is the castor oil that is making a very big difference. Please all that is reading this, please try it. I am in complete amazement. I do believe what will work for one, won’t work for another and we have to find what works for us. I have found many wonderful sites on the internet including this one who have helped me. I may have gone nuts without this support. It was on a holistic site that I found the castor oil remedy and the people were promising it worked. Please, try it before you put yourself through the surgery. God Bless all and best wishes to those dealing with these dreadful things.

    • So happy to hear that, Enza! I’m open to any suggestions as I think you’re right — there is no “cure all” that works for everyone. Thank you for sharing. Please keep me posted if there’s any more progress!

  21. Will do.. and thank you for blogging for us your experiences too.. you helped me so much and allowed me to vent.
    xo

  22. UPDATE: Nothing really worked, am scheduled to see an oculoplastic surgery next week. Ugh.. just ugh.. depressed and frustrated!

    • Having gone through it twice — once for about 7 months on a baby boy who I felt like I was torturing with compresses and baby shampoo to try and help — I can imagine how frustrated you must feel. I’m sorry to hear nothing has worked for you, Enza. 🙁 Best of luck with everything.

  23. Please Enza and Nik, keep us posted about any remedie.. ENZA please tell us how the surgery will go… I have a Chalazion and it’s so depressing… I been doing everything.. And I just have a week with this.. So time consuming.. And feel devastated to read this can last even years… Thank you for sharing your time with us..

    • Will do, Sully. If you haven’t already done so and you can find the time, look through everyone’s comments here and see what others have tried. I know how time consuming and disheartening chalazions can be. Hope something helps you soon!

  24. I go in tomorrow to see the oculoplastic dr. Not sure if he will do the procedure tomorrow or if it’s only a consult. I’m terrified, but want this thing gone. Mine has come down a bit. People say they don’t even see it only in certain light but if you touch it, it’s really hard and feels like a BB is lodged in there. I will keep you posted.

  25. Hi. Back for an update: had the chalazion surgery yesterday. The doctor said that where mine was at that point, it would never have resolved on its own. It was so hard at that point. The surgery itself was not fun. The shot that they gave you to numb the eyelid is beyond painful and after that you only feel pressure. They clamp it down so you feel that and there’s a lot of tugging and pulling but I have to say the entire procedure was between five and 10 minutes it was so fast it was over before I knew it. Then I apply pressure for a little while talk to you for a little bit and send you on your way to pick up prescription eyedrops at the pharmacy list. My eye right now is a tiny bit swollen where you could see he made the incision. Mine was done from the outside I’m not sure why sometimes they do it from the inside. I have a small little cut but it’s not bad at all. I will post another update in a couple of days.

    • Wow. Thank you for describing the process. You’re the first person I’ve talked to who’s had the surgery. I hope in a few days it will look and feel like nothing at all ever happened!

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