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What causes a stye?

Andrew Bellingham

Andrew Bellingham

Pharmacist | 20+ Years | BPharm | Dip Clin Pharm

A stye is caused by a bacterial infection of an eyelash follicle or oil gland on the eyelid.

Styes are common eyelid infections that cause a tender, red bump to grow near the edge of the eyelid. They happen when bacteria around the eye infects an eyelash follicle or oil gland. 

If you’re currently dealing with a stye, you can read our other articles to find out how long styes usually last, and how to get rid of them as quickly as possible. 

How to prevent styes

To prevent styes from coming back, it’s important to keep things clean. Always wash your hands before touching your eyes or face. Try not to rub your eyes too much because that can spread bacteria and make infections more likely.

Also, don’t share eye makeup, towels, or pillows with others. This helps stop germs from spreading. If you wear contacts, make sure you clean them well and follow the instructions for keeping them germ-free.

Lastly, consider cleaning your eyelids regularly. Use a gentle cleaner or special wipes made for eyelids to get rid of extra oils and dirt. This helps keep your eyelashes and oil glands clear, which can prevent styes.

Frequently asked questions about styes

What are the symptoms of a stye?

Symptoms of a stye include a red, tender bump on the eyelid, swelling, and sometimes pain or discomfort.

How can you treat a stye at home?

Home treatment for a stye includes applying warm compresses, keeping the area clean, and avoiding squeezing or popping.

Are styes contagious?

Styes are typically not contagious, as they result from bacteria commonly found on the skin or in the eyelash follicles.

A close-up photo of a woman covering an eye with her hand, ther visible eye has a stye on the upper eyelid which is very swollen and red.

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