"Oh my - I'll try not to cry but there's a sty in my eye."
I used to say that all the time when I was in junior high; my hey day of sharing eye liner and mascara. One too many styes made me wise up and use my own make-up.
What exactly is a sty, anyway?
A sty is an acute infection or inflammation of the secretory glands of your eyelid. The gland gets blocked, the oil produced by the gland backs up and forces itself out through the wall of the gland. This forms a little annoying and unexpectedly painful bump on your eyelid.
Bacteria can infect the blocked gland, causing it to become even more irritated and inflamed. If it gets really bad, the infection can cause the white part of your eye to get red, and sometimes the outside of the eye and cheek can become red as well.
The actual bump appears with a whitish or yellowish spot (kind of like a pimple). Multiple styes can form on one lid and they will disappear as soon as the blocked gland is relieved.
Want to know how to prevent the evil sty in the first place? Then
- Don't share make-up (including eyelash curlers and eye make-up brushes). It's a great reason to get rid of your old make-up and buy new stuff.
- Remove eye make-up completely every night before going to bed.
- The obvious - Try not to touch or rub your eye unless you've just washed your hands.
If you do get that frustrating little sty:
- Apply warm compresses (with your eye closed) to the infected area for about 15 minutes to help with the drainage.
- Very gently wash your eyelid with warm water and nonirritating soap like baby shampoo (again - keep your eye closed).
- Very important - Do NOT squeeze or puncture your sty - it may get even more infected.
- Ditch the eye make-up and eye creams you were using because they may also be infected.
- If you're a contact lens wearer, you may want to switch to your glasses until it goes away.