An external eyelid stye is a painful red bump that sits on the surface of the eyelid. It often looks like a pimple and is tender to touch. External eyelid styes can appear anywhere on your eyelid, though they’re more likely to occur near the edge of the eye where the eyelashes and eyelid meet. There are oil glands here, and if they get clogged with bacteria, dead skin cells or oil, it can lead to infection.
It’s important to know that external eyelid styes can’t always be prevented. However, there are ways to reduce your risk for these painful bumps, especially if you’re prone to getting them.
Clean Your Eyelids
Eyelid styes form from clogged oil glands. By keeping these glands clean, you can prevent buildup from bacteria and oils. To do this, wash your eyelids every day with warm water, which can be done in the shower or during your morning routine. If you need something a bit stronger than water, add a small amount of baby shampoo or non-irritating cleaning solution recommended by your eye doctor in Brooklyn NY.
Remove Makeup Before Going to Bed
Never sleep in your eye makeup. This can plug up your follicles overnight. Makeup remover wipes are great when you’re looking for something quick and easy, but they generally don’t remove all makeup. You should still wash your face afterward. This will prevent black smudges in the morning and keep your pores clear. Also, replace eye makeup every six months to prevent bacteria buildup.
Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
If you have seasonal allergies, you may be tempted to rub your eyes for relief. However, rubbing the eyes puts you at risk for transferring germs, scratching the cornea and breaking the blood vessels. Talk to your retina doctor in Brooklyn about the different treatment options that are available for managing itchy eyes, such as antihistamine eye drops.
Disinfect Contact Lenses and Change Them Regularly
Take excellent care of your contact lenses. They trap bacteria, so it’s important that they are properly cleaned and sanitized. Follow the instructions on your contact lenses when it comes to how often you should change them. Most disposable contacts are changed every two weeks. If you do end up with a stye, switch to eyeglasses until it heals. And, always wash your hands before touching your eyes.
Don’t Share Items with Someone Who Has a Stye
If someone in your family has a stye, do not share towels or washcloths. External eyelid styes are contagious, and you don’t want the bacteria to spread to your eye. We also recommend keeping your hands and eyes clean during this period and not sharing pillowcases or bedsheets.
If you continue to have problems with styes, schedule an appointment with your ophthalmologist. It’s possible that something else is going on such as stress, allergies or inflammatory problems.