Eye Stye: What is it? Causes and Treatment

eye stye causes and treatments

Despite taking immense care of your eyes, you can still get an eye stye. They are extremely unpleasant and annoying to have. Eye styes can make your eyelids feel itchy, heavy and painful. They often resemble a pimple and can cause your eyes to water. 

What is an Eye Stye?

An eye stye appears as a red bump outside your eyelid or inside it. It usually occurs during the summer or when there’s a lot of heat in your body. They typically leave after a week on their own and don’t cause much harm. If it stays for longer, then you probably have to seek medical attention. 

What are the Different Types of Styes?

There are two types of styes which are as follows:

External Styes

These appear on the outer edge of the eyelid and are extremely common. External stye starts in an eyelash follicle but at times can also erupt in an oil gland. 

Internal Styes

These usually start in an oil (meibomian) gland within the eyelid tissue (meibomian gland). You may feel like the stye is trying to push on your eye as they grow or turn bigger. Hence, they can be painful in comparison to external styes. 

Symptoms Associated with Eye Stye

  • Reddish lump
  • Can have pus like a pimple 
  • watery eye
  • eyelid swelling
  • sensitivity to light 
  • feeling like there’s something in the eye
  • a crust that occurs on the edge of the eyelid

What Causes Eye Stye On External Surface?

  • It can occur because of an infection in the eyelash follicle.
  • An infection in the sebaceous glands, which provides sebum for the eyelash follicle, can also lead to eye stye.

What Causes An Eye Stye on the Internal Eyelid?

  • An eye stye can appear on the inside of the eyelid too. 
  • It’s pretty painful and causes irritation as it disturbs the vision and makes your eyes water. 
  • It usually occurs due to infections of the meibomian gland. 
  • The meibomian gland is present at the rim of the eyelid and prevents the eye from drying out.

Few Other Reasons Leading To An Eye Stye

  • Avoid sharing eye makeup or any item that is related to eyes. 
  • Using expired makeup products can also cause a stye. 
  • If you wear contact lenses, it would be better to switch to glasses for a while to reduce the chances of infection.
  • If someone in your family has a stye, don’t use the towels or any other thing that they might use. 

How Can You Treat An Eye Stye?

  • Use a warm compress held against a stye for 5-10 mins. It is the only thing you can do to help your eye stye.
  • Stay away from makeup if you want it to disappear sooner.
  • In extreme cases of pain, over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen is available.
  • Along with this, your doctor may suggest some antibiotic and antiseptic creams. 
  • If you wear lenses, it’s better to get new lenses after the stye has left, to avoid infection. 
  • Most styes heal within a few days. However, remember never to try to pop a stye as it is in a sensitive area. 
  • It could further lead to an infection which could prove to be problematic for your vision as well.

Summing Up

Eye styes are pretty common and aren’t necessarily dangerous. In some cases, they can have pus within them or be a bit painful. However, they usually vanish on their own. If they do not go away in a few days or a week, cause discomfort, vision issues or bleeding, you need to talk to a doctor immediately. 


1. Can stress cause an eye stye?

Stress aggravates and worsens any condition, so it could increase your chances of getting a stye, especially when you have a lot of screen time. However, there’s no clinical evidence to prove it. 

2. What should you do if a stye pops in your eye?

Generally, a stye goes away in a few days and, on rare occasions, may burst. Avoid touching, picking or rubbing it as it can worsen your condition or spread infection. If it does burst, use lukewarm water to get rid of the remains. You could also try using a soft washcloth to clean it. Avoid using eye makeup as well as contact lenses until it heals. After that, you can clean or disinfect your lenses or get a new pair. 

3. An eye stye is contagious?

Yes, styes are contagious because bacteria cause them. That’s why people usually wear sunglasses to cover their eyes so that nobody else would see them and acquire the same. People are advised not to share common materials such as clothes and towels.

4. When should you see a doctor for a stye?

You should see a doctor under the following circumstances:

  • If the stye doesn’t go even after 7 days
  • You notice some kind of infection or the size of the stye keeps increasing
  • The stye is painful
  • You experience vision issues 
  • Even if you are concerned or notice anything unusual, do check with a doctor

Experiencing a painful stye? Don’t let the infection spread. Download the CureSkin App now by clicking here to get the best treatment. It’s easy, fast and affordable!



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Dr Jisha Gomez

She is a highly skilled dermatology physician with strong expertise in improving skin & hair health through the development of corrective treatment combinations. She completed her Post-graduate Diploma in Dermatology from Cardiff, UK & Fellowship in Aesthetic Medicine (FAM) from the Institute of Laser and Aesthetic Medicine, Delhi with over 5+ years experience treating skin patients. She has worked in Government hospitals in Trivandrum and Bangalore. She is actively involved in creating awareness for healthy skin, breaking the social stigma based on skin colour & stopping steroid abuse in our country.