A stye is a lump on the eyelid. There are many steps you can take to prevent and treat styes.

Styes can be very uncomfortable. You can still get your eyes even if you take care of them.

Styes are caused by a bacterial infection in an oil gland or hair follicle on your eyelid. These glands and follicles can get clogged with dead skin cells and other debris.

Sometimes, a bug gets trapped inside and causes an illness. A lump called a stye is caused by this.

A stye is a lump on your eyelid. When a follicle becomes contaminated, it is filled with inflammatory cells. It can be very painful and tender.

Doctors call a stye (sometimes spelled “sty”) a hordeolum.

Types of styes

A stye can be on the outside or inside of your eyelid.

  • External styes: Much more common than internal styes, most external styes start in an eyelash follicle. Occasionally, they start in an oil (sebaceous) gland. They’re located on the outside edge of your eyelid.
  • Internal styes: Most of these begin in an oil (meibomian) gland within your eyelid tissue (meibomian gland). They push on your eye as they grow, so they tend to be more painful than external styes.

Like a pimple, the pus produced by the infection within the style usually comes to a head. It creates a beige or yellowish spot on top of the stye.

Other symptoms of a stye include:

Most styes are caused by Staphylococcus, a type of bacteria that live on your skin and are normally harmless.

When the bacteria are transferred to your eye and become trapped in a gland or hair follicle, they cause an infection.

Risks for developing a stye

Touching or rubbing your eye is the most common way for bacteria to be transferred. Some factors that increase the risk of bacteria entering your eye include:

  • having itchy eyes from hay fever or allergies
  • inflammation of your eyelid (blepharitis)
  • Using contaminated eye liner.
  • Leaving makeup on for a night.
  • skin conditions, such as rosacea and seborrheic dermatitis
  • some medical conditions, like diabetes
  • Not getting enough sleep, and rubbing your eye, are things that make you more likely to do that.
  • The meibomian glands are related.

Eye infections are frequently caused by improper care or use of contact lenses. Behaviors that increase your risk of a contact lens-related infection include:

  • Contacts were cleaned without proper care.
  • Before washing your hands, you should touch contacts.
  • While sleeping, wearing contacts.
  • Reusing disposable contacts.
  • using contacts after they’ve expired

If you have had one before, your risk of getting a stye is increased. After they have healed, syes can reoccur.

There are ways to lower your risk of getting a stye.

  • Touching or rubbing your eyes is not recommended.
  • Take medication to relieve itching.
  • Treat blepharitis, rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and The meibomian glands are related..
  • Keep contacts clean.
  • Before touching contacts, wash your hands.
  • “Don’t reuse disposable contacts.”
  • Use a hand cleanser that contains alcohol or wash your hands with warm water.

Some precautions to take while you have a stye include:

  • You should wash your hands frequently.
  • “Don’t wear eye makeup.”
  • All old eye makeup should be discarded.
  • “Don’t wear contact lens.”

Styes are not contagious, but can be transferred with makeup. You should not allow anyone else to use your makeup.

Makeup safety

According to the general guidelines, replace makeup regularly.

  • Mascara: every 3 months
  • Liquid eye liner: every 3 months
  • Solid eye pencil: every 2 to 3 years

A doctor can usually see a stye. They can use a light or magnifying device to look underneath the eyelid to see if there is a problem.

No special tests or exams are usually needed to diagnose a stye.

Styes usually get better without treatment. Occasionally, a problem that requires a doctor’s evaluation occurs, such as:

  • “Your stye doesn’t improve in a few days.”
  • The drainage has a lot of blood.
  • rapid growth
  • There is a lot of swelling.

If you see new signs of an infection, it could be a sign of a severe infection.

See a doctor immediately if:

  • The vision is affected, which could mean the infection is spreading.
  • you develop swelling and redness around your eyes, which could indicate the infection has spread to the skin around your eye (periorbital cellulitis)

Never squeeze or try to pop a stye. It can spread the infection to the rest of your eyelid.

Most styes go away on their own in about a week. Oral antibiotics can be used if the stye isn’t healing on its own.

A warm compress is the primary home remedy for a stye. You can make one by soaking a washcloth in hot water until it’s as warm as you can tolerate without burning your skin.

A warm compress can.

  • Help liquify the hardened material so it can drain.
  • The surface of the stye can be where the pus can come to a head.
  • The debris and the debris in the internal styes can be alleviated by clearing the gland.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends using a compress for 10 to 15 minutes, three to four times a day when you have a stye. Using a compress once a day can prevent a new or recurring stye, if you’re prone to getting them.

The stye can be broken up by massaging it after the warm compress. Move in a circular pattern with your clean fingertips.

There are many eyelid cleanser that are designed to help cleanse the eyelid. A cotton swab can be used to remove drainage and crusting.

There is a small amount of blood in the drainage. If there is a lot of blood, you should see a doctor.

“A doctor may perform an operation if your stye persists despite warm compress and antibiotics. The procedure is done in the doctor’s office.”

After numbing your eyelid, the doctor makes a small incision and drains the pus and debris. The material that’s removed is usually looked at under a microscope to verify it’s not a very rare but treatable cancer called a sebaceous carcinoma.

Sometimes a stye doesn’t completely heal and your body walls it off to contain the inflammation. This can form a rubbery, painless lump on your eyelid, which is also known as a chalazion. In most cases, this should resolve on its own without treatment.

How do I know if a stye is draining?

You may experience improvements in your symptoms once a stye starts draining.

You should never try to pop, squeeze, or drain a stye on your own. It is best to seek treatment from a doctor to determine if it is necessary.

What’s the worst that can happen from a stye in your eye?

In rare cases, the infection can spread to other areas around the eye, causing a condition called periorbital cellulitis. This leads to symptoms like swelling, pain, and redness around the eye and requires treatment with antibiotics.

How do I know if a stye is getting worse?

“If you don’t see any improvement within a few days, you should talk to a doctor to see if additional treatment is necessary.”

If I have an eye stye, how often should I change my pillowcase?

“If you have a stye, you don’t need to change your pillowcase more often.”

If the stye is oozing, the bacteria can spread through direct contact with pillowcases or towels. If you have a stye, it is best to avoid sharing pillowcases, towels, or bedsheets.

Why does the stye come back on the same eye?

Frequent styes may be a sign of certain skin conditions, including rosacea or blepharitis. If you experience recurring styes in one or both eyes, it’s best to talk to a doctor to determine the specific cause and best course of treatment.

“Styes can develop when a hair follicle on the edge of your eyelid becomes contaminated. They are very common in people who rub their eyes or don’t clean their contacts.”

Styes can be quite painful, but they usually go away on their own. Warm compress can help them heal quicker.

“A stye that doesn’t improve in a couple of days should be evaluated by a doctor.”