What is a stye?Stye

A stye or hordeolum is a bacterial infection (usually staphylococcal) of the tiny glands at the base of an eyelid. They are really small abscesses and the areas are red and tender.


Most styes drain spontaneously, either outward or inward.

  • Apply warm, moist compresses for 10-15 minutes at least three times a day. (Do not use this cloth for anything else to prevent further spread of the infection.)
  • Antibiotic ointment or drops may be used.
  • Do not apply eye makeup to the affected area.
  • May need to be drained by a health care provider.


  • Keep hands clean
  • Avoid touching or rubbing eyes with unclean hands
  • Do not share eye makeup

Information provided by University of Missouri-Rolla Health Center