A stye is an infection in the tiny oil glands that surround the
base of each eyelash along the edge of the eyelid. A stye begins as a red,
tender bump, and looks like a small pimple.
A stye usually comes
to a head (clear or yellow fluid collects in the stye) in about 3 days, after
which it breaks open and drains and heals in about a week. Though the cause of
a stye is often unknown, it can develop from rubbing the eyes or using products
near the eyelid that can irritate the eye, both of which can transfer bacteria
to the skin and cause infection.
Usually, home treatment is all
that is needed to treat a stye. This includes not wearing eye makeup or
contact lenses; letting the stye break open by itself; applying warm, wet
compresses to the eye area; and using nonprescription medicines.
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Christopher J. Rudnisky, MD, MPH, FRCSC - Ophthalmology
The Health Encyclopedia contains general health information. Not all treatments or services described are covered benefits for Kaiser Permanente members or offered as services by Kaiser Permanente. For a list of covered benefits, please refer to your Evidence of Coverage or Summary Plan Description. For recommended treatments, please consult with your health care provider.