Styes are small fluid-filled lumps that develop in or at the edge of the eyelid. A stye is often filled with pus and appears on the eyelid as a small red bump that may look like a boil. Styes usually heal within a week, while chalazions can take a few months to heal.

Causes of a Stye

A stye is usually caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. Some of the conditions contributing to the development of a stye include:

  • Touching the eyes with unclean hands
  • Blepharitis
  • Dermatitis
  • Rosacea

Treatment of a Stye

In most cases, a stye will begin to disappear on its own in a few days. The pain or discomfort of a sty may be relieved by applying a warm, clean washcloth to the eyelid. If the stye does not go away, other treatment options are available. They may include:

  • Antibiotic eyedrops or ointment
  • Surgery to drain the stye and reduce pressure

Patients should avoid wearing makeup or contact lenses until after the stye has healed.


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