A style or sty (hordeolum) is a red bump, sort of like a pimple, that forms on the outside edge of the eyelid. Your eyelids have lots of tiny oil glands, especially around the eyelashes. Dead skin, dirt, or oil buildup can clog or block these small holes. When a gland is blocked, bacteria can grow inside and cause a style to develop.
Symptoms of a style include:
- Pain and swelling
- Increased tear production
- A crust that forms around the eyelid
- Soreness and itchiness
- If your style isn’t painful, it may be a chalazion.
- Treatments for chalazion and styles are similar, but a chalazion may take longer to heal.
Here are eight ways to speed up the healing process for styles.
1. Use a warm compress
- A warm compress is the most effective way to treat a style.
- The warmth helps bring the pus to the surface and dissolve the pus and oil so the style can drain naturally.
- Wet a clean washcloth with warm water. Make sure the water is not too hot. Wring the cloth so it’s damp but not dripping.
- Then gently place it over your eye for about 5 to 10 minutes. Do not squeeze or try to puncture the style.
2. Clean your eyelid & mild soap & water
- Choose a tear-free baby shampoo and mix it with a bit of warm water.
- Use it to gently wipe off your eyelids using a cotton swab or clean washcloth.
- You can do this every day until the style is gone. Cleaning your eyelids also helps prevent future styles.
- Another option is to use a saline solution.
- It can help promote drainage and break down bacterial membranes.
3. Use a warm tea bag
- Instead of using a warm cloth compress, you can use a warm tea bag.
- Black tea works best because it helps reduce swelling and has some antibacterial properties.
- Boil water and drop the tea bag in a mug of it as if you were making tea to drink.
- Let the tea steep for about one minute. Wait until the tea bag cools enough to place over your eye, then keep it on your eye for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- Use a separate tea bag for each eye.