Is an eye irritated? Is part of the eyelid red, swollen and sore? Then you may have a Stye – an inflammation of the sebaceous gland. It is harmless and usually disappears by itself after a week. 


APPOTEK can help you treat styes.


Styes are experienced by people of all ages and are most commonly caused by a blocked oil gland at the base of an eyelash. They can be triggered by poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, bad hygiene, lack of water or rubbing of the eyes.


Styes can also result from a Staphylococcal eye infection or as secondary infections from blepharitis or a deficiency in immunoglobulin.


The first sign of a stye is a small, yellowish spot at the center of an inflamed bump on the eyelid. This develops as pus expands in the area. Other stye symptoms may include:


  • A lump on the top or bottom eyelid
  • Localized swelling of the eyelid
  • Localized pain
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Crusting of the eyelid margins
  • Burning in the eye
  • Scratchy sensation (itching)
  • Blurred vision
  • Mucous discharge in the eye
  • Irritation of the eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Tearing
  • Sensation of a foreign body in the eye

Prevention and protection

Stye prevention is closely related to proper hygiene. Proper hand washing can reduce the risks of developing not only styes, but also many other types of infections.
On waking, application of a warm washcloth to the eyelids for one to two minutes may be beneficial in decreasing the occurrence of styes by liquefying the contents of the oil glands of the eyelid and thereby preventing blockage.


To prevent developing styes, it is recommended to never share cosmetics or cosmetic eye tools with others. People should also keep their eye tools clean and generally practice proper eye hygiene. It is also recommended to remove makeup every night before going to sleep and discard old or contaminated eye makeup.


Be careful not to wear contact lenses when you have a stye.


Most cases of styes resolve on their own within one to two weeks, without professional care. The primary treatment is application of warm compresses. As a part of self-care at home, people may cleanse the affected eyelid with tap water or with a mild, nonirritating soap or shampoo (such as baby shampoo) to help clean away any crusted discharge. Cleansing must be done gently and while the eyes are closed to prevent eye injuries.


Incision and drainage may need to be performed by a doctor, if resolution does not begin within 48 hours after warm compress treatments are started.

When to consult a doctor

Seek medical care if the area around the eye is very swollen and painful.

How APPOTEK can help

  • Consulting
  • Individual assessment, prescriptions and referral if necessary

Vadym Diadiun, Doctor of Medicine, M.D.