A stye, which is also known as hordeolum, is a problem that affects the skin around the eyes. To be more exact, it usually manifests itself as a red bump, pimple, or dot on your eyelid. This problem is quite irritating as it makes it difficult to keep your infected eye open from time to time.
For most people, styes are merely an esthetic problem. Although they can cause pain, they are usually harmless, with complications occurring in very rare cases. Still, because it affects their appearance, many people look for ways how to get rid of a stye.
What Causes a Stye?
Before you learn how to get rid of a stye, you have to know what’s causing it. This information will not only help you with the treatment but it might also help you with its prevention in the first place.
Styes are usually caused by bacteria on the eyelash follicle or by inflammation of the same area. You see, there are plenty of oil glands located around the eyelash that use ducts to drain themselves. If a duct is blocked by something, the oil has no other option but to return into the gland.
The gland now becomes swollen and changes its color to sharp red, slowly taking the form of a stye. There are two types of styes based on where they are located. If the stye is located at the base of the eyelash, we call it external. If it’s located inside the eyelash, we call it internal. The treatment, however, is same for both of them.
Getting Rid of a Stye
So, how do you get rid of this problem without visiting the doctor? For one, you should never squeeze a stye. If you pop a stye, it may lead to other problems. Worse yet, it may spread the infection. Here is what you can do at home instead:
1. Wash Your Hands
Hygiene! Having poor hygiene is one of the most common reasons why bacteria “attack” your eyelashes in the first place. Washing your hands thoroughly will increase your chances of getting rid of a stye and also help prevent one.
Remember that most bacteria are located on your hands, so before touching other body parts and transferring the bacteria there as well, wash your hands with a bar of soap.
2. Use Something Warm for Compression
The most popular treatment that you can easily do is warm compression. Simply take a clean towel soaked in warm water. After, put the towel on the infected area, slightly press it down, and leave it like that for about 15 minutes.
As advised by experts, this should be done at least four times a day, every single day until the stye is gone. If your stye hurts for a long period of time, that means that it is sore. You can use pain relievers in order to help yourself withstand the warm compression treatment.
3. Clean Your Eyelid
It is advised to clean your eyelid regularly. However, you shouldn’t be using regular soaps for this procedure as some of them may irritate the skin even more.
In order to clean your eyelid, your first choice should be a baby shampoo (tear-free). Mix the shampoo with warm water and apply to the infected area. Then use a cotton swab or a towel to gently remove the shampoo from your eyelids.
4. Use Tea Bags
You can use a warm tea bag for compression as well. So, should you use just any type of tea that you may find? Well, if you don’t have anything else, you can try them out, sure. However, some herbs are more helpful than others.
For example, if you can find black tea, that would be the best possible solution as it reduces swelling and kills bacteria.
Simply boil water and then put the tea bag inside. In other words, make tea!
Then wait for the tea bag to cool off a bit so that you can put it on the infected area without problems.
Besides black tea, you can use green and white tea as all of them contain caffeine. According to research, caffeine helps with eye treatments.
5. No Makeup
Think of this as a rule. If you want to get rid of that stye as soon as possible, forget about your makeup habits for a while. Makeup can slow down the healing process and irritate the skin even more.
On top of that, there is a risk of spreading even more bacteria by using makeup brushes and pencils.
If your symptoms last for a long period of time, you should definitely visit the doctor. After explaining the situation, the next step would probably be to take antibiotics for your stye. Keep in mind that this is the last solution that you should think of as antibiotics could be dangerous if misused. That’s why you should avoid them while you can and try to get rid of your stye with one of the natural home remedies mentioned above.
NOTE: Individuals who are using contact lenses need to be extra careful. Your hands always need to be clean when taking your lenses off or putting them on. Also, proper contact lens hygiene must be maintained.
Now that you know how to get rid of a stye you also know how to prevent it from happening in the future. Note that you can use these remedies anytime you want, even when your eyelids aren’t infected. That will help you with your overall hygiene.
As you can see, stye treatment isn’t that hard at all and this problem isn’t serious. However, as we’ve mentioned before, if you fail to maintain proper hygiene and treat the stye correctly, it might grow into a more serious problem.