How to Prevent and Treat Styes

At ABC Children’s Eye in Phoenix and Mesa, AZ specialists can perform a procedure to help the stye drain.

A stye, also known as a sty (without the “e”) is an eye condition more common in children than adults. It’s often painful and unsightly, but not usually serious. A stye is a small red bump that forms at the base of your eyelashes, generally on the lower lid, or under your eyelid.

A similar eye condition, called a chalazion, is a bump, usually not painful, slightly more significant than a stye. Both conditions can usually be treated at home but may require treatment by a specialist if they don’t resolve within a few days.

How to prevent styes

Styes form because of sterile inflammation in the oil-producing glands in the eyelid. They look like a bug bite or pimple and cause swelling, eyelid pain, and tearing. The good news is that good hygiene practices can help prevent styes and other infections. Some practices include:

How to treat styes

Fortunately, most styes and chalazions go away within a few weeks. In order to heal, the stye or chalazion needs to break up and drain. Usually, this happens on its own. To make your child feel more comfortable, or to help soften the stye so that it starts draining, a warm compress placed on your child’s eyes for a few minutes several times a day can help.

If the stye doesn’t start to heal in a few days or gets worse, other treatment options may include:

Antibiotic cream

Antibiotic cream does not help the stye drain, but it does help prevent the infection. If the infection is more severe or widespread, your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics.

A procedure to drain the stye

If the stye is not draining on its own and is causing problems, pain, and discomfort for your child, the providers at ABC Children’s Eye Specialists can perform a procedure to help the stye drain. Your child receives anesthesia so they sleep throughout the procedure.

After the procedure, you’ll be given eye ointment to apply to the eye to help it heal and prevent infection.

If your child has a stye or chalazion that is not going away on its own, call ABC Children’s Eye Specialists, PC, with offices in Phoenix and Mesa, Arizona, for an appointment with a pediatric ophthalmologist. You can also conveniently make an appointment online through this website.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Does Ptosis Have to Be Treated?

Droopy eyelids might not seem like a big deal. But eyelid drooping — or ptosis — can cause some serious issues for your child, and not all of them are related to their vision. Here’s when and why ptosis needs to be treated.

Understanding the Three Causes of Amblyopia

Also called “lazy eye,” amblyopia is a common cause of vision problems during childhood. Understanding what causes amblyopia plays an important role in diagnosing it and treating it early. Here’s what you should know.

Will My Child's Pink Eye Go Away on Its Own?

Pink eye is a fairly common eye problem for kids, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK to simply ignore it. Here’s what to do if you think your child has pink eye, which is medically called conjunctivitis.

Does a Stye Need the Attention of an Eye Doctor?

Swollen, red, and sore, styes can look serious — but in most cases, they can be treated at home with a little extra attention. There are some times, though, when a stye needs a doctor’s care. Here’s what to do if your child has a stye.

How Do I Know if My Child Has Pink Eye?

Pink eye includes several “types” of conjunctivitis, including one really infectious type. Here’s how to tell if your child has infectious pink eye and what you should do to treat it.