How to treat a stye naturally

Updated November 21, 2016

A stye is a minor bacterial infection along the rim of the eyelid resulting from a clogged oil-secreting gland. Styes can occur on the lower or upper eyelid and will manifest themselves as red, painful bumps sometimes the size of a small pea. Even though styes are not harmful, they are very painful and can make opening and closing your eye uncomfortable. Treating a stye naturally may help it go away more quickly in addition to soothing the pain.

Wash your hands before and after you treat a stye. Germs from your fingertips can get into the stye and make it worse. Bacteria from the stye can also get moved to another area on your eyelid, causing a stye there as well.

Make a warm compress and apply it to your eye several times a day. Boil a pan of water. Dip a soft washcloth into the water. Ring out the excess water and allow the washcloth to cool to a warm temperature. Fold the washcloth and lay it on the affected eye for 10 minutes. The warmth of the compress will soften the skin around the stye and allow the gland to unclog and drain. You may need to dip the washcloth back in warm water several times during the 10 minutes to keep it from getting cold.

Use a tea bag as a warm compress to soften the stye and bring the infection to a head, allowing it to drain and heal. Boil a cup of water and let the tea bag steep for about 2 minutes. Lift the tea bag from the water and allow it to cool off a bit so it is not too hot. Apply the tea bag to your eye for approximately 10 minutes. You may need to dip the tea bag back in the water to warm it back up. Any type of tea makes an effective compress for styes. Tea contains tannic acid, which helps shrink the blood vessels to make the lump smaller and less painful.

Rinse the eye with regular homogenised cow's milk. Dripping milk into the eye will heal a stye more quickly and soothe the inflammation. Use an eye cup with a small amount of cold milk to drop some in the eye. You can also use an eyedropper or a small cotton ball soaked in milk.

Apply herbs to the eye in the form of a compress. Make a compress with cheesecloth or a tea bag containing herbs soaked in water. Herbs that work well to cure a stye naturally are eyebright and goldenseal.

Use eyedrops to soothe a stye. All natural saline eyedrops may make your eye feel better temporarily, but will not cure a stye faster.


Remove contact lenses when you have a stye. Do not share your make-up at any time, even when you don't have a stye. Do not squeeze the pus from a stye. If you are continually plagued with styes, see your doctor. Avoid wearing eye make-up while you have a stye.

Things You'll Need

  • Soap
  • Warm water
  • Wash cloth
  • Tea bag
  • Hot water
  • Milk
  • Eye cup
  • Cotton ball
  • Cheese cloth
  • Herbs
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