How to Prevent a Sty From Forming

Basic hygiene can help prevent a sty from forming.
Basic hygiene can help prevent a sty from forming. (Image: Jupiterimages/ Images)

A sty, also called a hordeolum, is the inflammation and infection of the oil glands of your eyelids. The sty is a red raised bump that is painful and can cause excessive tearing and blurry vision. Treatment may include the application of antibiotic ointments, or manual drainage by a physician. Some stys require no treatment at all and resolve themselves. Prevent a sty from forming by practicing good facial hygiene.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Towel
  • Contact lens solution

Wash your hands and face several times daily with soap and water, and dry yourself thoroughly with a fresh towel. Bacteria and viruses that linger on the surface of your skin spread easily to your eyes and can lead to sty and other infections. Keep your hands away from your eyes, as much as possible.

Check the expiration date on all cosmetic products, including facial moisturizers and eye makeup. Products that are past their prime can harbor bacteria and make sty more likely to form. Discard old cosmetics after an eye infection and start fresh to stay healthy.

Use sensitive skin formulas or unscented face creams, ointments and lotions. Blockage of the oil glands is the cause of a sty; products that are marked "non-comedogenic," "hypoallergenic," "fragrance-free" or "non-acnegenic" are gentler and less likely to block pores and glands.

Clean your contact lenses thoroughly with lens solution before wearing them to avoid a sty. Dirty lenses can create irritation and infection in your eyes and the surrounding tissues. Wash your hands before putting your contacts in your eyes.

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