In the eyelid, either the meibomian glands along the edges of your eyelids, or the eyelash follicles can become infected, like a pimple on the eyelid. Both are common, causes discomfort, looks painful but are not serious.
The meibomian glands become infected when oils from these glands are changed into acid-like compounds which irritate the eye and cause it to turn red. Excess oils encourages bacterial growth and skin irritation, and the formation of scales lead to more irritation.
- Clean your eyelids at least twice daily with warm water, baby shampoo or a commercial preparation, or oral and topical antibiotics (prescribed by a doctor).
- Relieve the symptoms by applying a clean, warm, damp cloth over gently closed eyelids two to four times a day for ten minutes.
- Allergic blepharitis usually improves on its own.
Simple home treatment can help them come to a head and resolve more quickly, and a visit to the doctor is not usually necessary.
Apply warm compresses to the stye for 10 minutes 5 or 6 times a day until the stye comes to a head and drains. This is most easily done by dipping a clean cloth in warm water and then holding it against the eyelid. Take care not to burn the lid.
If you can identify the offending eyelash emerging from the point of the stye, carefully removing it with tweezers will promote drainage and hasten recovery.
- Do not squeeze the stye before it has begun to drain spontaneously, and then only the gentlest pressure should be applied to help expel the pus.
- Less severe styes will go away on their own without treatment.
- The swelling gets worse or does not resolve despite home treatment.
- The redness spreads to other parts of the eyelid.
- Styes become recurrent.
- The swelling is anything other than a stye.