What Causes a Sty?


Quick Answer

The buildup of staphylococcal bacteria causes sties to develop on the upper and lower eyelids, according to WebMD. Debris such as dead skin cells and makeup can also clog eyelid glands and cause sties, reports MedicineNet.

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Full Answer

A sty is a tiny white, yellow or red bump on the eyelid. Those who regularly develop sties should wash both eyes daily with a mild soap to prevent bacteria, dead skin cells and other debris from clogging eyelid glands, recommends WedMD. To promote faster healing, those suffering from sties should place a warm compress over the sty to soften skin tissue and loosen trapped debris, notes MedicineNet.

In addition to keeping eyelids and surrounding skin tissue clean, maintaining a diet that contain omega-3 fatty acids or taking daily supplements helps improve the flow of skin oils, reports MedicineNet. This helps prevent eyelid glands from becoming clogged.

Common symptoms of a sty include redness, swelling and watery eyes, according to MedicineNet. If the sty does not disappear or becomes worse after a few days, individuals should seek medical attention to prevent the bacteria from spreading inside the eyes or to surrounding skin tissue. Physicians may prescribe an antibiotic along with anti-inflammatory medications to reduce pain and swelling.

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