Sty Treatment

The majority of stys can be treated without medical intervention. Most stys either resolve spontaneously or resolve with simple home treatment by applying a warm compress or washcloth to the sty for about 10 to 15 minutes three or four times a day. This causes the sty to drain and resolve.

Picture of Sty

What are the risk factors for a sty?

Foreign substances, such as makeup and dust, can clog the gland's opening if they are not properly washed away. Infections, burns, or trauma resulting in scar tissue can also prevent the glands from properly draining. Sluggish outflow of the sebum (oil) from the meibomian glands is commonly seen in a chronic inflammatory condition called meibomian gland dysfunction (also called meibomitis). Meibomian gland dysfunction is frequently associated with acne rosacea on the cheeks and nose, but it can also be seen alone.

What are sty symptoms and signs?

A sty appears as a bump in the eyelid, often with redness, tenderness, and pain in the affected area. There may be discomfort when blinking the eyelid.

If infected, a bit of pus (appearing as a small, yellowish discharge) may also be present, and if the infection spreads beyond the gland, the skin and/or eye may be red.

Reviewed on 8/28/2015
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