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Sty In My Eye

"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.
Join The Conversation
RCLdesigngirl RCLdesigngirl 10 years
Oh, god, I have the WORST story about styes. I got the flu during my junior year of high school. I didn't finish my round of medication, so I relapsed - and it was way worse the second time around. My fever was really high, and I got a fever blister ON MY CHEEK and then a stye in the eye above the fever blister. I looked like I'd been slugged by a boxer. Well, after the fever blister went away, and the swelling in my eye went down, I had this wart-like growth on my lower lid where the stye was. My body had been so amped up on antibiotics, that it had formed scar tissue around the stye and created a chelazion (I have no idea if that's the correct spelling). The only way to get rid of it was to have it removed by a cosmetic surgeon!
yayita yayita 10 years
are they genetic?
katie225 katie225 10 years
the question i have is: are stys really contagious themselves? is there a certain bacteria (like, a sty-bug) that causes a sty? or is it just bacteria in general? can i get a sty from sharing mascara with someone who doesn't have a sty?
LaLaLola LaLaLola 10 years
No wonder! I knew a lot of girls back in school who wore TONS of makeup and shared lots of eyeliner, mascara the works! And I saw some with stys but I didn't know they were stys! Now I know!
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
my boyfriends whole family gets these atleast twice a year..so weird!
DStirk DStirk 10 years
Thanks crispet, that is so interesting.
crispet1 crispet1 10 years
A little tip Id like to share. I JUST overheard it at the eye doctors office, oh about an hour ago. Some girl had a sty and her mom was freaking out because it oozed. The doctor said thats a good sign and not to be alarmed, not even if there is a bit of blood that comes out of it. Sorry to be gross, but you wouldnt want to freak out over a natural process, as that is how the sty heals.
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