A stye (hordeolum) is a boil on an eyelash, which can be painful. In general, this is a benign disease.


The stye can be defined as a small furuncle of an eyelash, usually located at the edge of the eyelid. This boil develops from the pilosebaceous gland of an eyelash. It is an infectious disease.


A stye is caused by bacteria, most often staphylococci (Staphylococcus aureus).
The stye is not very contagious, however, contamination from one eye to the other can occur, so it is preferable not to touch the eye, or if necessary, wash your hands well and disinfect them.
Diabetics, immunosuppressed people, or people under treatment based on corticosteroids are more likely to develop staphylococcal infections.

Blepharitis, a condition that affects the eyelids, is a possible cause or risk factor for a stye.


The eyelid becomes red and swollen, the small boil that appears at the root of the eyelash enlarges and usually fills with pus. This can be very painful and can be very itchy. A stye is shaped like a small bump.

The person may also have watery eyes and scabs forming around the eyelids.

The stye is formed mainly on the outer part of the eyelid, rarely on the inside of the eyelid.

Light sensitivity and other symptoms that affect the eyes may be present.

Duration of Symptoms
– It is estimated that a stye will mature and burst in 4 to 5 days.
– Normally, a stye disappears on its own within 1 or 2 weeks, but if you don’t take proper care of it, it can reappear.
– It is possible to have several styes at the same time, with a possible progression to blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).

When to see a doctor?

A stye can usually be cured with self-medication (with natural products, including compresses). The pharmacist may also recommend some over-the-counter products to treat the stye.

If you have vision problems, the stye doesn’t go away after two weeks, or the infection develops in places other than the eyelashes, see a doctor. If you suffer from styes recurrently, it is also advisable to consult a doctor, antibiotics are often necessary.


Diagnosing a stye is usually quite easy for a doctor to do by simply looking at the eyelids.


The conventional treatment to solve the stye consists of using creams for external use or antibiotics in the form of eye drops, the objective is to treat the stye and mainly to avoid recurrences. In advanced cases, the doctor may also prescribe antibiotics for internal use (for example, in pill form).

Self-treatment (mild cases)
Some health specialists, mainly in the United States, believe that if the stye does not present complications, the use of antibiotics is unnecessary because it is absorbed naturally after a few days. It is important to know that the vast majority of stye cases improve without drug treatment. See below under Good advice, discover recommendations for treating a benign stye.

It is highly recommended to always clean the eyelids with saline solution.

Against pain
It is possible to use analgesics (eg Paracetamol) and anti-inflammatories against pain.

In some advanced cases, the doctor may perform a surgical incision of the stye, especially if drug treatments are ineffective.

natural treatments

– A simple remedy consists of applying several times a day (4 times, each time for 10 minutes) warm compresses based on boiled water (to guarantee a certain sterility) on the stye, which promotes the release of pus. Once the pus has come out, wash your eyes and avoid touching them.

– You can also soak a black tea bag in cold or hot water and apply it as a compress on your eyelid. The tannins found in black tea reduce swelling around the stye.

natural remedies

– Remedy against styes (based on thyme ), eye bath for euphrasia


– Do not pierce the stye. Instead, try to get the pus out and be patient. To remove pus, warm compresses (about 38°C) can be applied to the eyelid, especially in children, and then gently massaged for 5 to 10 minutes. Remember to close your eyes.

– It is advisable to always remove contact lenses while there is a stye (use them again when there are no more symptoms). To prevent styes, make sure your lenses are always clean.

– Clean your eyelids daily with saline solution (for example, in the form of compresses, see also Natural treatment above).

– Avoid the use of cosmetics around the eyes, such as mascara, for the duration of the stye.


– Wash your hands regularly, especially after applying a treatment (cream, serum) to the stye. Children often tend to touch their faces, it is important to explain hygiene practices and how to wash their hands properly. The stye, however, affects adults more than children.

– Attention, do not use old cosmetics or contaminated products. Avoid sharing beauty products and cosmetics.

– When inserting the lenses, do not forget to wash your hands

– The way to prevent styes is to wash your eyelashes and eyelids daily with baby shampoo.

– A child with a stye can go to school or day care, because the stye is very little contagious from one person to another.

Jeanne Kenney
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I’m a stylist trainer, a content creator, and an entrepreneur passion. Virgo sign and Pisces ascendant, I move easily between my dreams, the crazy world I want, and my feet on the ground to carry out my projects.

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