What Are Styes? When To See A Doctor If You Have It, And How To Prevent Them

Date February 28, 2018

What are styes and why do they form?

Styes are red, swollen bumps that can form near the edge of the upper or lower eyelid and usually develop as a result of a staphylococcal infection. Styes may or may not be painful, and they usually don’t affect your vision. They normally go away on their own after a few days and rarely require treatment. Styes are different from chalazia.

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When do I need to see a doctor if I have a stye?

Styes usually aren’t serious and go away on their own, but there are situations when it’s better to see a doctor if you have a stye.

It’s recommended to see a doctor if:

  • the stye haven’t started to improve in two days;
  • the pain and swelling have spread beyond the stye itself;
  • the swelling from the stye obstructs your vision;
  • you feel pain in or near your eye;
  • there's eye discharge;
  • you have recurrent styes.

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Is there a way to make a stye disappear faster?

The best thing you can do is wait for the stye to heal while taking certain self-care measures, which include the following:

  • apply a warm compress to the stye on a closed eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes a few times daily until it goes away;
  • wash your eyelids gently with warm water to remove makeup particles and other debris;
  • refrain from putting makeup on your eyes until the stye disappears;
  • never try to pop a stye, as it can make the infection spread beyond the edge of your eyelid.

How can I prevent styes?

There are several steps you can take to prevent styes from developing. These include the following:

  • don’t touch your eyes or eyelids with unwashed hands;
  • never use low-quality or expired makeup products;
  • don’t share your mascara and other eye makeup products with other people;
  • always remove makeup before going to sleep;
  • wash your eyelids gently every day to remove small makeup particles, dust, and other debris that can clog the oil glands in your eyelids.

Source: Mayo Clinic, WebMD, HealthDirect

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This article is purely for informational purposes. Do not self-medicate, and in all cases consult a certified healthcare professional before using any information presented in the article. The editorial board does not guarantee any results and does not bear any responsibility for harm that may result from using the information stated in the article.