How to Get rid of a Stye

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Eyelids have roughly 100 oil glands near the lashes for lubricating the eyes. Bacteria can enter these glands by rubbing the eyes, leaving make up on overnight or wearing unsanitary contact lenses. When bacteria gets into the glands it can create a swollen irritated bump called hordeolum, commonly known as a stye. If several glands are affected it inflames the eyelid. This condition is blepharitis, causing watery gritty or itchy eyes and crusting, accompanied by flaking eyelid skin and light sensitivity. If oil ducts are blocked, the bacterial overload causes an infected cyst-like growth called a chalazation, which is related to blepharitis and has similar symptoms. Thankfully a stye is not especially harmful, and most disappear without medical treatment. Below is a way to get rid of a stye by cleansing the area that is recommended by most doctors.

Things You'll Need

  • Baby shampoo
  • Clean washcloth and towel
  • Hot running water
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap. Leave the water running hot.

  • Wet the corner of a clean washcloth with very hot water.

  • Apply one or two drops of baby shampoo on the wet corner and rub to produce suds.

  • Scrub gently along the edge of your upper and lower eyelid, inside the lash line of the affected eye. Limit direct eye contact with the lathered washcloth. Baby shampoo can irritate the cornea when rubbed against the eye.

  • Rinse the washcloth corner thoroughly with hot water and run it over your eyelid edges. Cup hot water into one hand and rinse out the eye completely. Dry your face with a clean towel. Launder the washcloth before using.

  • Follow steps 1 through 5 in the morning and before bedtime to get rid of a stye and keep it away. Do an additional cleansing anytime a stye deposits gel into the eye.

Tips & Warnings

  • Clean hands, washcloths and towels are essential to success and preventing infection.
  • Water temperature must be at least 120 degrees.
  • Use only baby shampoo with a non–tearing formula.
  • Seek medical attention if any of the conditions below occurs.
  • You experience any vision problem.
  • Redness or swelling extends to your face or cheek.
  • An eyelid bump bleeds.
  • The condition doesn’t respond to home treatment or becomes worse within 14 days.
  • Reinfection reoccurs soon after successful treatment.
  • You have any questions about the condition of your eyes.
  • If this remedy does not get rid of a stye for you within a week or two, seek help from a physician. A doctor may recommend antibacterial eye drops or a medicated cream. Health professionals can also use sterile instruments to lance the eyelid bump for relief of pain and pressure. Do not attempt to lance or squeeze a stye yourself. That only spreads the infection!

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