Ow. That’s what you say when you have a painful stye giving your eye problems. Similar to a pimple, a stye is usually filled with pus and the lump can feel tender to the touch. Your eyelid does not look or feel good.

In most cases, staph bacteria is the source of infection that blocks your eyelid glands. When they become impacted, a lump will form. Redness and swelling may also be present, and they can be found on the outside or inside of the eyelid.

Although they often go away on their own, sometimes styes are just so unbearable that you want to get rid of the pain and discomfort right away. Below are home remedies to shorten their stay on your eye.

Some of these treatments involve using an eye wash, and you can purchase an eye wash cup at your local pharmacy.

  1. Tea Bag

    tea bagsPublic Domain Pictures

    An inflammation fighter, green tea seems to be a winner among tea treatments. But black, mint, or chamomile tea are also very effective. Soak a tea bag in warm or hot water for a few minutes and then hold it on the eyelid for 15 – 20 minutes.

  2. Warm Compress

    The most common remedy is to apply a warm or hot water compress throughout the day to the infected eye. This remedy is kid-friendly and safe to leave on overnight for a stye that is extra painful. Keep applying them until the stye drains and is healed.

  3. Baby Shampoo

    Baby shampoo is formulated to be gentle on the eyes, so you can dilute some with warm water and use it to wash the eye. Either clean the eye with the diluted solution or dab it onto the eyelid with a cotton swab.

  4. Tumeric

    tumeric powderSteven Jackson via Flickr

    Tumeric is a natural inflammation fighter and antiseptic. Mix 2 teaspoons of turmeric with 1 cup of warm water to make an eye wash. You may also mix turmeric into a paste with castor oil and leave it on the affected eye for 10 – 15 minutes before rinsing off. Do that twice a day until the infection clears up.

  5. Castor Oil

    You can put castor oil directly on the stye using a cotton ball. Just a few drops 2 – 3 times a day will release castor oil’s anti-inflammatory properties into your lid’s pores.

  6. Coriander Water

    Coriander has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and using it on a stye can help draw out the infection. Boil 1 -2 tablespoons of coriander seeds in 1 cup of water. Allow them to cool for at least an hour and strain the seeds out. Wash the affected eye with the coriander water. Repeat if necessary.

  7. Milk

    milk in glassCongerDesign via Pixabay

    Warm up some milk and dip a cotton pad in it. Leave it on the stye overnight and it should drain and/or shrink. For a double of dose of stye-fighting action, add ¼ – ½ teaspoon of turmeric to the milk.

  8. Apple Cider Vinegar

    Don’t be silly and think that you should douse your eye with this stuff. There are two ways you can go about this: compress or drink. Stir 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar into 16 ounces of warm water. Sip this mixture for a few days as an internal infection fighter. Or, use it as a compress on the eyelid.

  9. Salt

    Stir salt into some warm water and apply the salty solution to the eye with a cup or washcloth. Salt is an infection fighter and can help relieve the pain and swelling.

  10. Gold Ring

    gold band ringjjhhaayy414 via Pixabay

    Believe or not, people swear by plain gold wedding bands as a tried-and-true stye remedy. Rub a ring that’s at least 14K gold on the stye for about 5 minutes a couple of times a day. It’s said the pain will stop and the healing time will be cut down.

  11. Potato

    The enzymes in raw potato can soothe inflammation and pain. Shred some potato and wrap it up in a clean cotton cloth to make a poultice. You can also use a raw potato slice to place directly over the eye.

In order to prevent the chances of you getting a stye, here are a few precautions you can take:

  • Avoid using dirty makeup brushes or sharing makeup
  • Remove contacts every night before going to bed
  • Wash your hands before touching your eyes
  • Keep the eyes clean

Since styes are can be triggered by lax hygiene, it’s important to keep your eyelids clean to avoid a reinfection. Remind children to wash their hands before touching their eyes, and not to share glasses or makeup. If you have an underlying infection such as pinkeye or rosacea, be careful not to spread it to the glands of the eyelid.

Also, protect your eyes from strain or environmental conditions that could expose them to germs or debris. If your stye gets worse or causes your eye or cheek to redden, seek medical attention immediately. Do not try to squeeze or drain the stye on your own!

Have you ever had to beat a stye infection? Did you use one of the remedies above? What’s your go-to treatment for styes?


Dr. Axe