Do I have a Stye?

Do I have a Stye

A stye is an infection of the eyelid, where there is usually a small pus-filled spot on the eyelid. Styes usually get better on their own however hot compresses can help ease the
pain. Usually, only one eye is affected even though the eyelid could have more than one stye at a time. A stye could be external (common) or internal (less common).

External styes appear on the edge of the eyelid and are caused due to an infection in the root of an eyelash. It starts as a small red spot but soon becomes yellow and pus filled. An internal stye is caused due to an infection of a gland in the eyelid, visible from the outside only as a swelling of the eyelid.


The bacteria that cause the infection is known as staphylococcus aureus, which is a usually
harmless bacteria found on the skin. However, if this bacterium gets into the skin, it can cause infections. If you have a condition called blepharitis, you could be more prone to having styes.


  • Usually need no treatment and become better within 3-4 days
  • Hot compresses can help
  • Avoid wearing contact lenses and eye make-up. Discard any eye makeup used while the stye was forming
  • Taking antibiotics is not recommended

Are styes contagious?

They can be contagious. To minimize chances of spreading the infection

  • Do not share towels or other clothes
  • Wash hands regularly, particularly after touching your eyes and face
  • Avoid sharing eye make up

Are there any complications?

Most styes are very minor infections that clear within a few days by themselves. Sometimes the infection may spread to the surface of the eye, causing conjunctivitis. If this happens, you must contact your doctor. If you notice a red eye, swollen eye or fever contact your doctor

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