Skip to main content

What are Styes?

A stye is like a pimple, except it’s on (or in) the lid of your eye. Styes, like pimples, are all too common. They can happen at any age, and occasionally are uncomfortable or painful. But they typically don't cause vision problems.

Stye Causes

Causes of Styes

Sometimes an oil gland on your eyelid becomes infected, causing a stye to form. Staphylococcal (staph) bacteria is a common cause of this pimple-like bump, and it’s possible to spread it unknowingly by rubbing your nose and then directly touching your eyes.

Stye Symptoms

Effects of Styes

There are two types of styes: external and internal. External styes often form as red lumps that turn yellow and release pus. Internal styes are usually more uncomfortable and take longer to heal, but typically don’t cause redness. Both types might cause swelling, tenderness, or watery eyes.

Stye Solutions

The good news is that most styes heal on their own within a few days, and you can help the healing process by applying hot compresses a few times a day until your symptoms subside. Avoid popping a stye. If you experience styes frequently, your eye care professional may prescribe antibiotic ointment to prevent them from coming back.

Get started with contacts

Try ACUVUE® Contacts before you buy them.

Find a doctor nearby who carries ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses.

*Free trial lenses available from participating eye doctors. Exam and fitting fees not included.
1Subject to retailer.