Every so often one pops up and causes discomfort till it magically disappears without a trace. Those pesky little pimples on your eyelid are actually called eye styes.
Eye styes are essentially eyelid infections, which usually manifest as a sore and painful red bump near the edge of the eyelid. There are 2 types of eye styes – internal and external. The types you get at the base of an eyelash are the external eye styes, and internal eye styes are the kind you get within one of the small oil glands in the eyelid.
These types of infections are caused by bacteria. Specifically, they are usually caused by staphylococcal bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus) found in your nose. Now you may be wondering, how does bacteria from my nose get anywhere near my eyes? Unfortunately for us, we are not as clean as we think, and this bacteria gets transferred really easily. So when you rub (or pick) your nose, don’t wash your hands, and touch your eyes, the bacteria gets transferred along as well.
Our eyelids have lots of really tiny oil glands, especially near our eyelashes. These glands are small, so lots of things, like dead skin, dirt or even oil build-up, can clog them. When a gland is blocked, and the bacteria can grow on the inside, a stye develops.
If you have had one before, you know that the signs and symptoms are pretty obvious. For the more fortunate among us who have never had to suffer from a stye, some common symptoms include:
Although styes usually go away on their own within a week and a half, they are usually painful and we want nothing more than to make them disappear quicker. Here are 3 ways you can quicken the healing process for styes:
Using a warm compress might be the most effective tip – the warmth will bring any pus to the surface, and dissolves the pus and oil so that the stye can drain naturally. A warm compress can be created with a clean towel dampened with warm water. Place over the eye for not more than 10 minutes each time, up to 4 times a day.
We all want to look and feel our best, but wearing makeup is not the best idea when you have a stye. Eye makeup can irritate the eye more, which delays the healing process, just the opposite of what we want. And if that wasn’t bad enough, if you don’t wash your makeup sponges, brushes and tools every day, the bacteria in one eye can be transferred over to the other eye. As if one stye wasn’t already bad enough, imagine feeling pain in both eyes.
Last but not least, contact lens wearers be prepared to stick to good old-fashioned glasses until the stye heals. Contact lenses are more likely to rub against the stye, which can cause irritation. Even worse, if the stye bursts while you have lenses in, the bacteria can get trapped under the lens.
Although most styes clear up quickly and on their own, if yours becomes unbearable, affects vision or doesn’t go away within 10 days, you should consult your eye doctor. They may prescribe treatments or suggest surgery for the extra stubborn styes.
Hope this article helps you learn more about what those pesky pimple on your eyelids are.
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