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How to treat a sty in the eye

Updated March 11, 2019

A sty is a red pimple-like lump that shows up on your eyelid or in it. It is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria. It can be very painful, and sometimes it can itch. Although sties go away on their own after a couple of days, you may want to begin treating them as soon as you see them. This can help alleviate your discomfort and help the sties go away a little sooner. Just remember to keep washing your hands before and after touching your eye.

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  1. Soak a wash cloth with warm water and then wring it out. Place this washcloth over your sty for 15 minutes. Repeat this every 3 hours. This will help the sty get to a point where it will drain (most sties are filled with pus) and begin healing.

  2. Dip a tea bag in warm water and wring it out. Place the tea bag over your sty for 15 minutes. This works the same way as the warm washcloth.

  3. Remove the eyelash that is causing the problem. If your sty is not formed on an eyelash, then you can skip this step. Use a pair of tweezers to pluck the eyelash out. Some of the pus may come out. Just place a warm wash cloth on the sty for 15 minutes.

  4. Call your doctor and ask for an antibiotic cream. This cream will work for any sty that is on the outside of the eye. If the sty is under your lid, you won't be able to use it. Your doctor may call the cream in to the pharmacy based on your description of the symptoms, or he may ask you to come in to the office first.

  5. Tip

    Practice frequent hand washing. This is very important if you use contacts and you touch your eyes on a daily basis. Washing your hands and keeping them clean will prevent you from transferring any bacteria to your eyes.


    You will need to seek medical attention if the sty begins to interfere with your ability to see clearly.

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Things You'll Need

  • Wash cloth
  • Warm water
  • Tea bag
  • Tweezers
  • Antibiotic cream


About the Author

Alicia Bodine has been a professional writer for 13 years. She has produced thousands of articles for online publications such as Demand Studios, GoBankingRates and WiseGeek. Bodine is passionate about gardening, travel, education and finance. She has received awards for being a top content producer.

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