LivingWhy do styes come out?

Why do styes come out?

Surely on some occasion you have suffered or have known someone who suffered from this annoying eye infection.

This painful, red swelling is usually located on the eyelid margin and can sometimes contain pus. There is no exact incidence of this pathology since it can affect all ages, although its incidence increases in adults between 30 and 50 years of age.

What are the eyelids and what is their function?

The eyelids are musculomembranous veils with mobility capacity and that cover the eyeball from the front. Its main function is to protect the eye from harmful light radiation and possible infectious agents or foreign bodies.

Why do they appear?

Beyond popular justifications that relate its appearance to an ” evil eye ” or ” bad looks from a pregnant woman “, the truth is that this type of infection of the sweat or sebaceous glands that we have along the eyelid, are responsible, and are usually related to the presence of ” staphylococcus “, although they can also be simply an inflammatory process.

States of immunosuppression, skin with excess oil, acne or diseases such as diabetes can also be triggers of this type of pathology.

We can classify styes as external or internal , depending on whether the drainage point is outside the eyelid or on the contrary it is deep and is located inside it, the latter is usually more painful for those who suffer from it.

Sometimes the stye can be confused with another ocular pathology such as the ” chalazion ” since both share certain symptoms, although the latter is usually not painful and is caused by an obstruction of the sebaceous glands.

What symptoms are usually associated with styes?

It must be remembered that this pathology does not usually represent seriousness, although the symptoms can be quite uncomfortable and can last for a few days.

The most frequent are usually: tearing, yellowish secretions, pain in the area of the swelling, headache, sensation of a foreign body in the eye, blurred vision and even some sensitivity to light.

Can I prevent its appearance in any way?

Although sometimes we cannot prevent its appearance, we can follow some recommendations that will help us prevent this annoying infection from being with us for a few days.

We must take extreme hygiene of the eyelids , especially in those people who have a tendency to oily skin or acne, it is enough to do a good facial hygiene before going to bed to reduce the risk. Likewise, rubbing our eyes is not recommended , since our hands are an important vehicle for microorganisms that could cause our gaze to be affected by an infection.

Remember that it is important to maintain a good nutritional status , avoiding vitamin deficiency.

We must be very careful with the use of makeup , especially with those products that are in contact with our eyelids, eyeliners and eye shadows are not always good allies.

Be careful with sharing objects such as glasses, towels … since these inanimate objects can also be responsible for this infection. If you wear contact lenses, it is essential that you change them when indicated and that you always handle them with clean hands.

I already have a stye and now… can I do something to treat it?

One of the most common mistakes is wanting to drain it quickly by pressing on it, this is not recommended as it could spread the infection or even cause other eye complications.

The drainage is sometimes spontaneous , simply keeping the area clean will help this problem to be resolved in a short time, for this we can use neutral soap or palpebral hygiene wipes.

If the drainage does not occur on its own, we can treat it locally by applying heat for 5-10 minutes 3 or 4 times a day, and for this we can use sterile gauze or compresses.

If it is not resolved, or if the stye was internal, it is recommended that we go to our health professional, family doctor or ophthalmologist who will probably prescribe a topical antibiotic drug such as erythromycin. In this case, the treatment usually lasts for a week and it would be necessary to assess that no other complications arise during the process.

In case you have this uncomfortable ocular inflammation and while it is not completely resolved, remember that your best ally may be your sunglasses, which even on cloudy days are the perfect complement to hide ” that evil eye “.


Rodríguez Santana, A. 2019. Localized inflammatory pathology of the eyelid: hordeolum and chalazion.

Sanz, JLA, & de la Hoz García, F. 2002. Diseases of the eyelids. FMC: Continuing Medical Education in Primary Care, 9(1), 4-10.


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