First Time User? Enroll now.
As the COVID-19 situation has evolved, our visitor policy is evolving as well. Get full details.
For the most current information, please visit our Coronavirus resource pages.
Home > Health Library > Stye
A stye is an infection in the tiny oil glands that surround the base of each eyelash along the edge of the eyelid. A stye begins as a red, tender bump, and looks like a small pimple.
A stye usually comes to a head (clear or yellow fluid collects in the stye) in about 3 days, after which it breaks open and drains and heals in about a week. Though the cause of a stye is often unknown, it can develop from rubbing the eyes or using products near the eyelid that can irritate the eye, both of which can transfer bacteria to the skin and cause infection.
Usually, home treatment is all that is needed to treat a stye. This includes not wearing eye makeup or contact lenses; letting the stye break open by itself; applying warm, wet compresses to the eye area; and using nonprescription medicines.
Current as of: April 29, 2021
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2021 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.