How to Soothe a Stye

Wash your hands frequently, especially after catching a sneeze or blowing your nose.
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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

Mimi Bullock's writing reflects her love of traveling the back roads of small towns and sampling the local cuisine. As a regular feature writer for "Southern Hospitality Traveler" and journalist for "Beachin' Magazine," she gets to experience the rich heritage of the southern culture. She is also a licensed cosmetologist who has her own skin care line.