May 2009


Management of chalazia in general practice

Volume 38, No.5, May 2009 Pages 311-314

Graham A Lee

Hannah Gilchrist


Chalazia, or meibomian cysts, are often seen in general practice. While most can be resolved with a minor operation in a designated procedure room, there is a lack of published literature on the details of the incision and curettage used to treat this condition.


This article outlines the management and treatment of chalazia in the general practice setting.


Chalazia are a common cause of morbidity in people of all ages. Treatment, which is based on clinical diagnosis, can involve conservative management, intralesional steroid injection, or incision and curettage.

A chalazion, or meibomian cyst, is a benign lipogranulomatous collection arising from one of the meibomian glands lining the tarsal plate of the eyelid (Figure 1). A common cause of morbidity among people of all age groups,1 the chalazion is distinct from a stye, which arises from an infected hair follicle on the lid margin (Figure 2). Chalazia are caused by lipid inspissation in the meibomian glands, which ruptures and releases lipid from the gland into the surrounding tissues,2 causing a granulomatous inflammatory reaction.3 Patients with underlying conditions such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis or blepharitis are more prone to multiple and recurrent chalazia.1,4

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