- The best home remedy for a stye is to wash your eyes and eyelids with a gentle, tear-free detergent like baby shampoo.
- To treat styes at home, you can also apply a warm washcloth to your closed eye for 10 to 15 minutes three times a day.
- If your sty is causing pain or affecting your eyesight, see an ophthalmologist as this could be another, more serious eye condition.
- Check out Insider’s Insider Reference Library for more advice.
A Pigsty is a bacterial infection that causes a swollen bump to form on the base of the eyelashes or eyelid. These bumps form like pimples and can usually be treated at home.
Here’s What You Should Know About Styes and Five Home Remedies You Can Use to Treat the Infection.
What is a pigsty?
Styes are small, red lumps on or around your eyelid that can be painful. They occur when an oil gland or hair follicle around the eyelid becomes infected or blocked.
There are many oil glands around your eye that produce an oil that says tears stick to the eye and keep them lubricated Fiaz Zaman, MD, FACS, an ophthalmologist with Houston Eye Associates in Houston, Texas.
What Causes a Pigsty and the Best Ways to Get Rid of One?
These glands can be clogged from excess oil, dead skin cells and bacteria that lead to pimple-like formation on your eyelid. It is similar how a pimple forms when the pores on your face clog.
Symptoms of a pigsty include:
- A lump on the eyelid
- Crusts around the eyelid
Styes can last a few days to a few weeks, says Zaman. Here are some home remedies that can help relieve pig sty symptoms and speed up the healing process.
1. Clean your eyelids
Maintaining good eye hygiene can help prevent and treat styes, says Michael Nelson, OD, FAOO, Optometrist and President of the Canadian Association of Optometrists.
Here are some Tips so that you can keep your eyelids clean:
- Do not use expired makeup
- Take off your makeup at night
- Wash your hands regularly, especially if you wear contact lenses
- Do not rub your eyes if you have allergies
If you have a pigsty, you can clean the area with it diluted tear-free baby shampoo, that’s gentle on your eyes. This will help reduce bacteria around the sty and prevent the possibility of infection.
Maintaining proper eye hygiene by washing your eyelids and lashes with gentle soap to be used around your eyes every few days can also help Prevent styes.
2. Use a warm compress
Placing a warm, damp washcloth on the closed eye can help treat a pig pen.
“The heat helps open the clogged pore and let the oily material that’s stuck in there come out,” says Zaman. He recommends applying the warm compress two to three times a day for 10 to 15 minutes for best results.
Make sure you replace or clean The washcloth that you use for the compress after each use to prevent the infection from spreading to other parts of your eye.
3. Stop wearing eye make-up
Wearing eye makeup with a pigsty can further irritate your eyes and cause the infection to spread.
Zaman suggests avoiding makeup that is applied directly to the eyelid, such as mascara or eyeliner, in particular. He says eye shadows are usually safe to wear as long as they are applied outside the edge of the eyelid.
After your stye has healed, it is best to throw away the eyeliner or mascara that you used before you get a stye. Nelson says there are two reasons for this:
- Your makeup could have been the source of the bacterial infection.
- You may have transferred bacteria from your infection to your makeup and can transfer the bacteria to the other eye.
4. Do not wear contact lenses
Styes can interfere with the eyes’ natural lubrication process and cause discomfort if you normally wear contact lenses.
“The oil that is produced in the eyelid is part of your tear film. If not enough oil flows into your natural tear, your eye can dry out faster,” says Zaman.
If you’ve got dry eyes from a stye, avoid wearing contact lenses until your stye has healed. However, according to Zaman, you can still wear contacts as long as your eye is comfortable.
5. Don’t pop
If you burst a pigsty, there is a chance that you will push infected material further into your eye socket, making the infection worse. “If the infection spreads, it could cause further irritation or even affect your eyesight,” says Nelson.
Styes should only be drained in a controlled environment, by an ophthalmologist, or alone. Styes that drain naturally do not push the infection into the eye. “That’s the body that naturally takes it out, which is fine,” says Zaman.
When to see a doctor
If a sty is causing pain, it’s a good idea to have a doctor examine it so you don’t experience unnecessary discomfort, says Zaman. He also says that you should see a doctor right away if your vision is blurred or impaired.
If the sty isn’t causing you discomfort, it can last up to months without causing any problems. However, having a doctor examine a sty can help differentiate it from other eye conditions that may be more serious, Nelson says.
Other conditions that could be mistaken for a pigsty include:
- Blepharitis: These condition causes inflammation of the eyelids
- Rosacea on the eye: These condition is a subtype of Rosacea that affects the eye
A doctor may also prescribe certain treatments to get rid of the sty more effectively than home remedies. According to Zaman, these include:
- antibiotic Cream, ointment or tablets
- Steroid shot
- Controlled drainage by an ophthalmologist
Insider to take away
Styes are common bacterial infections of the eye that cause a small bump to form on your eyelid. They’re generally not harmful and usually go away on their own. Regularly applying a warm compress to the affected area and keeping your eyelids clean can speed up the healing process. However, you should see a doctor if you experience pain or your eyesight is impaired.