You'd like to get noticed by your friends, but not for a red, irritated bump that suddenly appeared on your eye or eyelid. Unfortunately, a stye can linger and feel uncomfortable. Caused by staphylococcal bacteria, a bacterium that grows in the nose, styes can be contagious so avoid handling these bumps with your bare hands. Hide a stye behind a pair of protective sunglasses when you're outside. If you want to treat the pain, soothe this type of bump with a few compresses and over-the-counter treatments.

Step 1

Clean your eye area with mild baby shampoo and warm water. Your eye should be completely free of makeup and debris.

Step 2

Wet a clean, piece of flannel cloth in very warm, but not burning, water. If you don't have flannel available, use a lint-free cloth. Use caution when getting the cloth wet. Hot water can burn you if you splash it on your skin.

Step 3

Squeeze the excess water out of the cloth carefully. Place the folded cloth or compress directly on the stye. For relief, the stye needs to release the built-up oil and infection. By applying a warm compress, you soften the skin and open the pores for evacuation. Leave the compress on your eye for five to 10 minutes.

Step 4

Repeat this process three to four times a day. Use a clean compress each time to avoid transferring the bacteria to other parts of your eye area.


  • Throw away all eye makeup like eyeliner and mascara. After a stye appears, these items are contaminated.

  • Never squeeze a stye.


  • Ask a parent for an over-the-counter pain medication, such as a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, if your eye hurts or feels tender.

  • If the stye has swollen around an eyelash or grows, you should see your physician.