If there’s anything sexier than a big ol’ stye on your eyelid, I have yet to see it. The red bump, the swollen eyelid and the sensual way they leave the rest of your eyeball all goopy and nasty so that your eyelashes stick together when you wake up are truly things of beauty. I spent the better portion of my teenage years struggling with one stye or another and I’m here to tell you, I don’t miss these ugly little buggers one bit. Sadly, the main reason I don’t miss them is because I still get them as an adult.
What Are Styes?
Basically, a stye is a zit or abscess which forms on the eyelid; while they may look yucky, they’re not contagious. These harmless infections are typically caused by a blockage in the oil duct of your eye lid that traps bacteria inside. Although they can sometimes form on the underside of the eyelid, they’re typically on the outside of your eye for the whole world to view and enjoy.
Styes start out as pimples next to an eyelash that turn into angry looking red bumps that can be very tender. They typically only last for a few days before healing on their own, but some sufferers may need to make a visit to the optometrist to have theirs cleared up.
Internal styes can also result in a painful bump, but their location prevents them from looking as much like a pimple as the traditional kind. They usually disappear the same way that styes on the outside of the eyelid do.
What Causes Styes?
Styes are born out of an unholy alliance between oil glands and bacteria. Normally our bodies are covered with staphylococcal bacteria that frolic merrily upon the surface of our skin. However, at times their numbers swell, or they’re relocated from other parts of the body to the eyelid, where the oil glands have conveniently been churning out a little too much oil and before you know it, you’ve got yourself a stye. Staphylococcal bacteria have the uncanny ability to over-procreate the day before school photos, blind dates, and your senior prom.
How Do You Prevent and Cure Styes?
According to my hundreds of hours of research on the subject, the way to prevent styes is through proper eyelid hygiene and managing your stress levels. Apparently styes are more common during times of pressure (See above comment about the senior prom), because of excess hormones in the body.
If you’re sporting a stye on your eyelid right now (which I may or may not also be doing), all you really want to know is how to get rid of it. There are a ton of home remedies out there that I’ve tried over the years and while some of them worked out all right, I’m not sure it wouldn’t have been just as effective to wait them out. Remember that you should consult your physician or chiropractor before adding things to your eye that could potentially make the situation worse. In the meantime, I think conservative treatment is probably the best. Get a warm washcloth and lay it on the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes. That will help reduce pain and swelling. Use it a couple of times a day and the stye should go away in a day or two.
Styes are yucky and kind of painful, but they’re not really a serious problem. Try to keep the area clean, skip the makeup for a few days and break out the sunglasses whenever possible. Good luck and remember- it’s probably not as noticeable as you think it is.
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