Eye stye

"Most styes are harmless to the eye and disappear or improve within 48 hours. If it does not improve, persists, or the infection affects the rest of the eye or face, it is necessary to see a doctor."


What is stye?

An eye stye is a red, painful lump in the shape of a pimple or boil that appears spontaneously on the edge of the eyelid due to a bacterial infection of the Zeiss sebaceous glands.

There are two types of styes: external, which begins at the base of the eyelash; and internal, which grows inside the eyelid. In both cases, the symptoms are similar and usually improve after a few days.

Chalazion is another type of eyelid infection, but unlike stye, it is usually larger and painless.

What are the symptoms of a stye?

The most frequent symptom of a stye is the appearance of a very painful red bump that may have a small dot of pus inside and forms along the edge of the eyelid, at the base of the eyelashes.

The condition generally presents with symptoms such as constant tearing, redness and stinging pain in the eyelid area, discomfort when blinking, and the sensation of having a foreign body or grit inside the eye. Sometimes the entire eyelid can swell.

Most styes are harmless to the eye, do not affect vision, and disappear or improve on their own within 48 hours. If it does not improve, persists, or the infection affects the rest of the eye or face, it is necessary to see a doctor.

What are the most common symptoms?

  • Red lump, sometimes with pus
  • Pain and discomfort when blinking
  • Constant tearing
  • Redness of the affected area
  • Eyelid swelling

Do you have any of these symptoms?

You may have a stye

What are the causes of stye?

The origin of the stye is bacterial, usually caused by staphylococcus. When infected and inflamed, the sebaceous glands located in the eyelashes and eyelid become clogged and styes form.

Blepharitis, chronic inflammation of the eye, is another cause of the appearance of styes.

Although it is not as common, stress and hormonal changes can also be responsible for the appearance of styes, as well as some skin diseases such as acne, rosacea or seborrheic dermatitis.

Additionally, people with diabetes or other medical problems, as well as those who have had a stye before, are more likely to develop it again.

How to prevent its appearance?

Lack of hygiene is a key factor in the appearance of styes, which is why it is very important to take the following measures to prevent eyelid infections:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water before touching your eyes.
  • Keep your contact lenses clean and wash or disinfect your hands before handling them.
  • Be careful with your makeup products. It is important to remove makeup well before going to bed and not use expired products.
  • Proper cleansing of the face and especially the eyelids is essential.
  • Manage blepharitis or other skin conditions you may have as indicated by your doctor.

How is stye diagnosed?

<p>Revisi&oacute;n en oftalmolog&iacute;a&nbsp;</p>

The stye is diagnosed by the clinical picture that the patient presents. These are very characteristic symptoms and the doctor who examines the eyelid will easily recognize if it is a stye or another eyelid infection.

Although the stye usually disappears after a short time and has a very good prognosis for healing, it is advisable to go to your doctor or ophthalmology specialist to make a correct diagnosis and choose the best possible treatment.

How is stye treated?

It usually does not need any specific treatment. However, there are some guidelines to relieve pain or even medication and surgical treatments for more complex or recurring cases.

Home care

To relieve pain and help the stye drain, you can only place cloths moistened with warm water every so often during the day. A delicate massage with your fingertips on the eyelid can be of great help. It is important to wash your hands well before doing it.


If the infection persists or the pain becomes worse, your doctor may prescribe antibiotic drops or a topical antibiotic ointment to apply to the eyelid.

Minor surgery

In the event of a complication, your doctor would consider the possible removal of the stye through minor surgery, making a small incision to drain the pus, relieving the pain and pressure on the eyelid.

Where do we treat it?


The Department of Ophthalmology
of the Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Equipped with the latest technology, the Department of Ophthalmology has the necessary equipment, both technical and human, to offer comprehensive and specific assistance to each patient.

We are one of the few centers that have a microsurgery laboratory for the improvement of clinical practice.

Organized in specialized units

  • Cornea and eye surface
  • Retina
  • General Ophthalmology
  • Refraction defects
  • Oculoplastic
  • Pediatric ophthalmology
Imagen de la fachada de consultas de la sede en Pamplona de la Clínica Universidad de Navarra

Why at the Clinica?

  • More than 30 years of experience.
  • Experts in the diagnosis and treatment of ocular pathologies.
  • With the security and guarantee of a prestigious hospital.

Our team of professionals

Specialists in Ophtalmology with experience in treating eyelid diseases

Frequently asked questions about stye

Sometimes it is difficult to tell the difference between a stye and a chalazion.

A stye is very painful. It generally appears on the edge of the eyelid and usually has a small tip of pus in the center. It causes tearing, discomfort and a stinging sensation in the eye. They take about two days to heal on their own or with antibiotics.

A chalazion, on the other hand, is larger and does not cause pain. It usually develops further back on the eyelid and does not cause swelling. If they increase too much in size it can affect vision. They disappear in a few months.

A stye usually does not need any specific treatment. It disappears in a few days and does not affect vision.

Warm water compresses with a gentle massage and maintaining good eyelid hygiene can relieve symptoms and help drainage, facilitating rapid healing.

Do not try to pop the tip of the stye at home to prevent infection of the eye or eyelid.

It is ighly recommended to see your doctor for a correct evaluation and treatment.

Generally, most styes swell for about 2 days before they open and drain. Within a week, all aesthetic symptoms such as redness of the eyelid disappear.