A swollen red bump on your eyelids usually indicates an eye stye, or hordeolum, one of the truly awful beauty problems, that can last for up to a week. Discover how to get rid of a stye and how to prevent this unpleasant infection that temporarily ruins your look.
What Is a Stye?
Unlike chalazia, infections which form on the upper eyelid and are usually painless, styes usually form at the base of the eyelid, caused by an infection of sebaceous glands or apocrine sweat glands. Usually, improper hygiene is a big factor in the formation of an eye stye, but other issues can also increase the risk of formation.
More common in teenagers, eye styes can also be caused by nutritional issues or simply by rubbing the eyes with dirty hands. The inflammation of the eyelid is usually observed in the morning, as styes tend to swell up overnight, filling up with water and pus. Styes can cause pain, which varies from mild to excruciating at every blink. When you’re dealing with severe pain, you should consult a physician, to reduce the risk of any complications.
Stye treatment is simple of other eye infections and you can start it right away. If the following stye treatment suggestions don’t lead to significant progress in 48 hours, you should seek the advice of a doctor.
How to Treat a Stye?
The most important step in treating a stye is cleaning your eyelids are soon as you spot it. Gently rub your eyelids with warm water after washing your hands. Massage the eyelid and gently push the bump towards the edge of your eyelid.
Apply warm compresses throughout the day to get the swelling down and hurry the drainage. Keep them on for at least 5 minutes at a time and replace them if they cool down before the time is up. When you feel or see pus or any other type of discharge coming out of the eye stye, clean your eyelids again, as much as needed. Use a mild soap with your eyes closed or a gentle tear-free shampoo.
After the drainage has begun, the stye usually heals on its own, leaving to scars or marks. Stick to warm compresses and never try to lance the eye stye to hurry up the process. Lancing can help the infection spread much faster.
Some symptoms associated with an eye stye, like itching, can start the night before. If you feel your eyelid getting itchy and starting to swell, you should clean your eyelids immediately and apply a special antibiotic ophthalmic ointment. Don’t use general purpose antibiotics, stick to erythromycin, chloramphenicol or amoxicillin in ointments specifically designed for use on and around your eyes. Other over the counter options include antibiotic ointments also used in the treatment of pink eye, such as moxifloxacin or bacitracin zinc.
Refrain from using any cosmetics on the eyelid during the eye stye treatment. Avoid makeup, lotions and stop wearing contact lenses on the affected eye until the eyelid is fully healed.
How to Prevent the Formation of an Eye Stye?
Good hygiene is the best method of prevention when it comes to an eye stye. This is especially important if the condition resurfaces, in a different place on the eyelid or on the other eyelid.
One of the most important ways in which you can minimize the risk of a stye on your eye is to always remove your makeup before sleeping. Waterproof eye makeup tends to be more difficult to get rid of, so make sure you’re using the right makeup remover and that you’re gently rubbing your eyelids as much as you need to clean all the coloring, dirt and dead skin cells.
If you’ve never kept your makeup on for too long, you simply need to start cleaning your eyelids more frequently. You can use baby shampoo mixed with warm water to make sure your eyes are properly cleansed, gently rubbing them for up to 30-40 seconds. You can also skip the shampoo altogether and just use warm water, as long as your hands have been thoroughly cleaned before you touch your eyelids.
Some skin conditions, like rosacea or blepharitis, can be responsible for reoccurring eye styes, despite good hygiene. In such cases, you’ll need the help of a specialist, a dermatologist who can help you manage your existing condition to prevent the future formation of eye styes.
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