22 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Styes (With Photos)
What Is a Stye?
Styes are common, but they're also painful and bothersome. The medical term for a stye is hordeolum. Simply put, a stye is an infection of the oil-producing glands of the eyelid. Anyone can get a stye, but they are more common in younger people.
There are two types of styes. External styes are located at the base of an eyelash follicle. Internal styes are found in the oil glands inside or under the eyelid.
Both types form reddish bumps that look like pimples. It may be tempting to try to pop your stye, but don't do it! These painful bumps are not pimples. Squeezing them will only make them hurt more and won't make them go away any faster.
Styes usually go away on their own within a week. If yours does not go away within this time, consult a doctor. Your stye may require prescription antibiotics.
Most Common Symptoms
- slight swelling of the eyelid
- crusting around the edges of eyelid
- drooping of eyelid
- blurred vision
- sensation that there is something in eye
- light sensitivity
- burning sensation
- discomfort when blinking
How to Get Rid of a Stye Fast
- Wash your hands well before touching your eye.
- Dilute a small amount of "no tears" baby shampoo with warm water and apply to eye with clean fingers. Gently massage the area.
- Make a warm compress using a clean washcloth and hot water. Hold the compress against your eye for ten minutes.
- Keep the eye clean and do not wear makeup or contact lenses until stye is gone.
- Repeat warm compress and shampoo wash daily. The stye should be completely gone within a week. If it isn't, consult your doctor.
Home Remedies to Treat a Stye
1. Warm Compress
The best treatment for a stye is a warm compress. Use a clean cloth or towel and place in warm or hot water. Squeeze out excess water and make sure the cloth isn't too hot to the touch.
Place over your eye and hold in place for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat this several times throughout the day until the stye disappears.
2. Gentle Lid Scrubs
Believe it or not, very gentle baby shampoo can be used directly on the eyelid to clean the area. The idea is to clear away bacteria and debris so the eyelid can drain naturally. Baby shampoo breaks down bacteria, cleaning and clearing the duct area.
- Wash hands first!
- Use only a few drops of baby shampoo.
- Dilute with warm water and, leaning over a sink, massage the eyelid gently with the soapy solution.
3. Saline Solution
Simple saline solution, the same type used to clean contact lenses, can be applied to the eye. Wash your hands first and massage the eyelid with saline solution to clean the area and encourage drainage.
4. Teabag Compress
Use the same technique as you would for a warm compress. Soak some black or green tea teabags in hot water and place them over your eyes for 8 - 10 minutes. Do this several times a day. Green tea in particular is known for its antibacterial properties.
5. Topical Antibiotic Ointment
Doctors recommend warm compresses more than any other treatment for a stye, but in some cases they may prescribe antibiotic ointment to hasten along the healing process. Apply with a clean finger.
Alternative Treatments for Styes
The methods mentioned above are supported by medical professionals. Following is a list of alternative treatments. Consult your doctor before trying these approaches to get rid of your stye, and never use any of these methods directly in your eye. Apply only in the form of a warm compress.
Remember: Wash your hands before touching your eyes!
6. Tea Tree Oil
Tea tree oil is an effective antibacterial, but it is also a potent essential oil. Never apply directly to your eye. Instead, add a drop or two to a cup of hot water. Soak your clean washcloth and squeeze out excess water. Apply as a warm compress for ten minutes.
7. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is another antibacterial that may soothe your stye by reducing swelling and inflammation. Add a tablespoon or two to hot water and make a warm compress. Apply for ten minutes and repeat.
Potatoes have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce swelling. Microwave a clean potato (with the skin on) for four minutes. Make your warm compress by soaking a clean wash cloth or small towel in warm or hot water. Squeeze out the excess water and wrap it around the potato. Apply this to your eyelid until it cools down (about 15 minutes). This can be repeated intermittently through the day.
This spice is known for its antimicrobial properties. Studies haven't shown yet how much turmeric oil is safe to use, so don't apply the essential oil directly to your eye. Instead, add turmeric spice or oil to a pot of cold water.
- Put one teaspoon of turmeric into 2 cups of water and boil.
- Boil until the solution is reduced down to half its original amount.
- Pass the liquid through a fine gauze to remove all turmeric granules.
- Soak a clean cloth in the remaining liquid and apply as a compress.
10. Mint Tea Compress
Make a hot compress using a clean cloth soaked in hot mint tea. Apply to your eye for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat several times a day. You can even use the mint tea bag, if this is comfortable.
11. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has antibacterial properties, which may help fight the infection that caused your stye. Wash your hands and apply a bit of solid coconut oil to your stye to reduce swelling and pain.
12. Hard-Boiled Egg
Some people claim that applying a peeled, hard-boiled egg wrapped in a sock to the eye helps draw out bacteria. Can't hurt to try!
13. Guava Leaves
It is said that soaked guava leaves can ease the swelling and irritation of a stye. To try this method, soak a couple of guava leaves in hot water and place on a warm, damp cloth. Apply this compress slowly over your eyes.
14. Aloe Vera
Apply aloe vera gel with a cotton swab to the affected area. Some swear by this method to ease the pain and swelling of a stye as it heals.
15. Chamomile Tea
Soak a chamomile tea teabag and allow to cool. Apply to affected eye to reduce swelling.
16. Cucumber Slices
Cucumber slices work well to reduce puffiness and swelling. Place slices on the infected eyelids to reduce inflammation and pain.
17. Chard, Spinach, or Parsley
Wash a handful of chard, spinach, or parsley leaves and boil in a little water for five minutes. Strain the liquid and let it cool. Soak a clean cloth in the liquid and apply to the affected area. Repeat this three times a day until the stye disappears.
Ayurvedic Remedies for Styes
According to Ayurveda, an eye wash of dissolved alum may help ease the discomfort of a stye. To prepare the solution, mix 2 - 3 granules of alum in a cup of warm water. Soak a clean cloth in water and apply to the eye.
19. Calendula Ointment
Apply a bit of calendula ointment to the affected area to soothe pain and inflammation. Remember to wash your hands well first.
20. Coriander Seeds
Boil one teaspoon of coriander seeds in 1/2 cup water for 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and let cool. Filter and then soak a clean cloth in the liquid. Use this cloth as a warm compress.
Old Wives' Tales for Treating Styes
Yes, saliva. Old wives' tales claim that styes can be cured in their early stages with the application of spit collected first thing in the morning. Saliva contains bacteria, so this method is not recommended.
Another old wives tale tells of rubbing the closed eye with a gold ring. This story may originate from the fact that in many households Mother's wedding band was the cleanest object in the home, given that her hands were so often in soapy water.
Again, not a recommended method.
If you have a stye, don't wear contact lenses or eye makeup until the stye is gone. Avoid sharing contact lenses or eye makeup in general.
How to Avoid Getting Styes
There are several glands around the eyelid that drain through ducts onto the eyelashes. If something clogs a duct, that drainage can't happen and the gland gets backed up. It becomes swollen and inflamed, causing a stye.
The best way to avoid getting styes is to keep your hands clean. When we rub our eyes we spread whatever germs and bacteria that's on our hands to our eyes. Other tips include:
- Replace eye liner and mascara every 3-4 months.
- Remove eye makeup before going to bed.
- Always wash your hands and disinfect contact lenses before putting them in.
Are Styes Contagious?
No, styes are not contagious. While they do develop from bacteria, you can't "catch" a stye from simple contact with someone who has one. While bacteria from a stye could be passed to someone else, they would only rarely cause an infection in the receiving person.
What Is a Chalazion?
A chalazion is another type of eyelid infection. It can be hard to tell a stye apart from a chalazion. The main difference is that styes are quite painful and chalazions are not.
Sometimes an untreated stye can develop into a chalazion. If you are concerned about the bump on your eyelid, see your doctor.
If you see pus coming out of your stye, wipe it away with a clean cloth soaked in warm water.
What to Avoid When You Have a Stye
- No squeezing, pinching, or pressing the stye. Do not pop or touch it. This will make it worse. You must allow it to drain itself.
- Do not use eye makeup. If you do so, you are inviting an infection. To avoid spreading the stye, do not share your cosmetics and eye makeup.
- Styes aren't contagious, but it's best to avoid sharing towels, clothing, or pillow cases with other people.
- Avoid wearing contact lenses. They can become contaminated and the bacteria can be transferred to the uninfected eye.
- Galan, N. (2017, March 02). How to get rid of a stye: Treatments and home remedies. Retrieved November 06, 2017, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/313668.php
- Nordqvist, C. (2016, September 16). Stye: Causes, Prevention, and Treatment. Retrieved November 06, 2017, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/220551.php
- Lindsley, K., Nichols, J. J., & Dickersin, K. (2010, September 08). Interventions for acute internal hordeolum. Retrieved November 06, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4261920/
- (n.d.). Retrieved November 06, 2017, from http://scialert.net/fulltext/?doi=rjmp.2011.330.337
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