5 Stye Remedies and Ways to Prevent Styes | What is a Stye?
What is a Stye?
A stye is a red, painful lump near the edge of your eyelid that may look like a boil or pimple. Styes are often filled with pus and are usually inflamed and red. A stye can form on the outside of your eyelid, and you may be able to see a whitehead, or it will form on the inside of your eyelid. This type looks like a large, red bump on the skin of your eyelid. Both forms may cause overall swelling of the eyelid.
A stye (also known as a hordeolum in medical speak) is a red bump, similar to a pimple, which forms on your eyelid. Your eyelids have tiny oil glands within them which can become blocked by dead skin, dirt, bacteria, or oil buildup. When these small glands become clogged, bacteria breeds and begins to block the flow of oil out of your glands. This causes a stye to develop.
In most cases, a stye will resolve on its own in a matter of days. In the meantime, there are a few remedies you can try to treat the stye more quickly.
Keeping the eyelids clean is your best defense against styes. A proper eyelid hygiene routine helps prevent allergies, blepharitis, and bacteria from irritating your eyelids and causing styes. Cleansing the eyelids daily can also prevent styes from recurring. Use of a hypochlorous acid based solution cleans the eyelids to decrease the growth of bacteria and promote proper oil production of the eyes. We recommend using our Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser twice daily for maintenance. Simply spray the solution onto your closed eyelids, rub in, and let it dry. It's that simple and it is easy to incorporate this into your daily routine. You can use the solution up to four times daily while you are actively treating your stye.
2. Use a Warm Compress
This is essential for stye treatment. We recommend you purchase a warm compress eye mask for this step, because it's much more convenient than trying to heat up a washcloth or rice in a sock.
Microwave your mask for 20 seconds, until warm to the touch (test on the inside of your wrist before using).
Place over your closed eyelids for 10-20 minutes.
Repeat this step 2-3 times per day while actively treating your stye.
3. Drink Water
Hydration is key! If you've got a stye, you may be dehydrated which has caused your oils to not flow freely. You'll want to increase your intake of water whenever you are experiencing bothersome eyes, and it's best to keep it up! We recommend drinking at least half your body weight in ounces of water daily (that's 75 ounces for a 150 pound, or 68 kilogram, person), which will help you flush your system out and increase hydration throughout the body.
4. Avoid Eye Makeup
It's tough to do for many of us, but it needs to be done. Makeup contains bacteria and chemicals which can further irritate your eyes and eyelids, and this is the last thing you want while treating a stye. Stay away from all eye makeup, including mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadows and primers. Once you're healed, you can resume the use of more natural makeup slowly...and throw out all of the eye makeup you were using prior to getting the stye, as it could have contributed to it!
5. Practice Proper Hygiene
Do NOT attempt to pop your stye. In fact, keep your hands away from your stye unless you are directly treating it with a hypochlorous acid cleanser. Use new washcloths and towels daily, and make sure to never share either of those with other people, as this will only spread bacteria and germs. Wash your hands frequently, especially after eating or using the bathroom. Although this tip seems like common sense, it's a necessary one to mention.
When Should I Contact a Healthcare Professional About a Stye?
Most individuals will be able to treat their stye successfully at home over a few days, but if yours is not improving or it's worsening in any way, it's time to see your eye doctor.
Some particular infections will not drain well even after warm compresses and eyelid hygiene, and an incision may even be required if the stye has been around for quite some time and is no longer red and inflamed. Use your judgement, but if you've got a red, swollen, painful eyelid, it's not going to hurt to get a diagnosis and treatment regimen from your eye doctor.
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