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The stye explained by Dr. Alex Shortt



A stye is a small white lump on the surface of the eyelid that is caused by blockage of one of the hair follicles and which then gets infected. It’s a very very common condition but it's also very simple to treat. It's treated by removing the eyelash follicle so pulling out the eyelid and allowing the blocked duct to drain.


A stye presents as a small white lump on the front surface of the eyelid which has to be quite painful and to be red and swollen. The most important thing to look for if you think you have a stye is the little white blockage which signifies the blockage and the opening of the hair follicle which causes the condition. If you think you have a stye, I think it's important to see an ophthalmologist in order to check whether the stye is going to result in a severe infection or whether you may have another common eyelid condition called a chalazion. It’s important to also be checked for blepharitis because this is a very common cause of both stye and of chalazia.


The treatment of a sty is first of all treatment of any infection using an antibiotic. The second treatment is to actually pluck or remove the eyelash from the blocked eyelash follicle and this is done simply by plucking out that individual eyelash and by gently massaging the area to try and drain the blocked secretions and infection from the eyelash follicle. If you think you have a stye or if you've had recurrence styes, it's very likely that you also have a condition called blepharitis. Blepharitis is a chronic irritation or inflammation of the edges of the eyelid. The treatment for the blepharitis and the recurrent styes is to remove the bacteria, the built-up secretions, and the dead skin from the edge of the eyelid by cleaning. It’s important to use the right product to clean, something like the Blephaclean®wipes or Blephasol® solution or even the Blephagel®. These are all medicated and specifically designed to treat blepharitis and remove the dead cells, the bacteria and the oil from the edges of the eyelid.