Also called a hordeolum, a stye is a small, red and usually painful lump, which normally looks like a pimple, that grows on either the base of the eyelash, or beneath the eyelid. For the most part, styes are typically triggered by a bacterial infection.
They are generally filled with pus and for the most part, they will disappear on their own after a few days. However, they tend to be painful or often cause discomfort, especially if they are big in size, making your eyes feel sore, swollen, and possibly itchy as well. Other symptoms include increased tear production and crust that forms around the eyelid.
Notably, there are two types of styes that may occur. One is called an external hordeolum, which is a stye that starts at the base of the eyelash. This type tends to occur due to an infection in a hair follicle, which normally looks like a small red, bump or pimple. The other type is called an internal hordeolum, which occurs inside the eyelid. Normally, this is caused by an infection in the gland that produces oil in the eyelid.
Although it may be tempting to touch it or even pop it, removing the pus inside the stye via squeezing may just spread the infection further, making things worse. Moreover, while styes are not necessarily contagious, they may spread to others via “casual contact,” or when you touch it and touch something or someone else.
Normally, stye swelling lasts for just a few days and will usually erupt and drain on their own, but there are cases when you will require medical treatment, like when they become exceedingly large, they’ve hardened, or become even more infected. The healing time takes anywhere between a week to 10 days using home remedies, but if it becomes bigger, more infected, extremely painful or bothersome, it’s always best to seek proper medical attention.
Here are 10 tips and treatments that can be done to help speed up stye healing.
1. Clean the Area with Soap and Water
Because styes normally occur due to a bacterial infection, keeping the eyelid and general eye area clean and clear of residue, dirt and oil build up is important. When a stye is present, it’s imperative to keep the area clean with either a mild soap or baby shampoo mixed with warm water to gently cleanse the affected part, as well as keep the eyes clean from any unwanted dirt, pus and possible oil buildup that can occur throughout the day. You can either use your hands, a cotton swab, or a clean washcloth to gently cleanse, wash and wipe away any residue in the affected area and make sure not to touch the area as much as possible. If you have to, always disinfect by washing your hands first to remove any dirt or germs before touching your eyes. Be sure to wash the affected eye every day until the stye is gone.