How to treat an infected eyelash

Written by ellen ray
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How to treat an infected eyelash
(Jupiterimages/ Images)

Do you have a red, swollen, tender bump above your eyelash line? If so, you may have an infected eyelash follicle, also known as a sty. This type of infection occurs when bacteria from the skin clogs a follicle gland. According to, 90 to 95 per cent of the time, the bacterium Staphylococcus aureus is behind this type of infection.

Although a sty may look and feel awful, the majority of sties are harmless and can easily be treated at home with a warm compress.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Soap
  • Washcloth

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  1. 1

    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

  2. 2

    Hold a clean washcloth underneath running warm water. When the cloth is soaked thoroughly, remove it and wring the water out.

  3. 3

    Close the affected eye and place the washcloth over top of it.

  4. 4

    Hold the washcloth over the eye for 10 minutes. If the washcloth starts to feel cool, re-wet it with warm water.

  5. 5

    Repeat this process four to six times a day, until the sty is healed. You should see improvement within a day or two.

Tips and warnings

  • If the sty gets worse or does not improve within a week, contact your health care provider. Topical antibiotics or surgical intervention may be necessary.
  • To help prevent future sties, wash your hands thoroughly before touching your eyes or surrounding skin and regularly clean off any excess oil that may form on your eyelids.
  • Do not press or squeeze a sty as this can cause the infection to spread to other eyelash follicles.
  • Do not wear contact lenses while you have a sty, as the contact lenses can become contaminated with bacteria.

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