Written by Dr. Rashida Shabbir Tankiwala , Diplomate of National Board (DNB) | 
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Nithin Jayan, MBBS, DNB on Oct 21, 2020


The Stye is an acute infection of the sebaceous gland of zeis at the base of the eye lashes at the lid margin. It appears as a red, swollen bump. It is tender, especially to the touch.

Styes are usually caused due to lack of hygiene or rubbing of the eyes.

Hot fomentation should be applied two to three times a day. If it does not resolve it is drained surgically by an ophthalmologist, and generally under local anesthesia. The procedure consists of making a small incision on the outer surface of the eyelid or epilating an eyelash depending on where the stye is pointing. The pus is drained through the opening.

Stye on the lids

Prevention of Stye: Proper hand washing can not only reduce the risks of developing styes, but also all other types of infections. To prevent developing styes, it is recommended to never share cosmetics or cosmetic eye tools with other people. Women are recommended to remove makeup every night before going to sleep and discard old or contaminated eye makeup.


  1. Jonathan J. Dutton, Gregg S. Gayre, Alan D. Proia: Diagnostic Atlas of common eyelid diseases
  2. David A. Lee, Eve J. Higginbotham: Clinical guide to comprehensive ophthalmology
  3. The Merks Manuals: Online Medical Library

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