Are you dealing with a painful and unsightly bump on your eyelid? Well, it may be a stye. The good news is you can treat it at home! The first step to healing though, is understanding. You need to know what a stye really is. There are many different problems associated with bumps in and around the eye, but a stye can be easily identified by its location on the ridge of your eye near your eyelashes. According to The U.S. National Library of Medicine (2011), a stye may appear swollen, red, or similar to a pimple. It often can be painful, especially to the touch. Some individuals complain of painful blinking, and teary eyes. Styes can heal on their own over several days, but healing time can be quickened or slowed by treatments.
If you think that a stye is the culprit of your discomfort, you’re probably interested in knowing how it developed. The U.S. National Library of Medicine (2011) says a stye is formed from bacteria. Common perpetrators are contact lenses, old makeup, and rubbing your eyes with dirty hands. When bacteria is introduced to the oil glands around the eye, it becomes infected and inflamed.
No one likes a stye, and fortunately there is a way to make them heal much faster. Using just a washcloth and hot water the stye can be diminished in hours. To help both pain and healing you should use warm water (as hot as you can possibly tolerate without a burn), and a clean cloth. Hold the wet cloth over your eye until it is no longer warm. Repeat as often as possible. The more it is repeated, the quicker you will feel pain relief. The heat from the water kills the bacteria inside of the stye from within, and it will start to disappear. From personal experience I can tell you this is the very best way to handle a stye.
Please remember, when treating your stye it is very important to have clean hands. Do not touch your eye any more than necessary. You do not want to try to drain the stye- this can result in infection, and spreading of the stye. Let it drain on its own if it needs to drain at all. Do not put any sharp tools near your eye either. When treated properly a stye can heal within a day. Natural healing usually occurs within a couple of days. Healing can be delayed greatly when drained or treated incorrectly.
To prevent future occurrences try to identify what caused your stye. Dispose of your eye makeup to eliminate the possibility of the stye reoccurring. According to CBS News (2009), mascara should be regularly replaced every 3 months, concealer every 6 months, eye liner, powders, and lipstick every year. Contact lenses should only be worn as long as the recommended time by your eye doctor. Sleeping in contact lenses not meant for sleep wear builds up bacteria and can cause damage to your eye. If you must touch your eye, do it carefully with clean hands.
If a warm wash cloth doesn’t work and the stye does not go away in a few days, you may want to consider seeing a doctor. Some M.D.s will prescribe a medicine you can put on. A doctor can also make sure that it really is a stye, and not something more serious.
CBS News. (2009). When Your Cosmetics Expire. Retrieved
U.S. National Library of Medicine. (2011). PubMed Health: Eyelid Bump , Retrieved from