Sty | Treatment

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How are sties treated?

Sties can usually be treated at home and should go away in 7 to 10 days. Don’t try any over-the-counter medicines, drops or ointments without talking to your family doctor first.

The following are some things you can do to help your sty go away:

  • Put a warm, damp compress on your eye for 5 to 10 minutes, 3 or 4 times a day. The compress should be warm but not so hot that it burns your eyelid.
  • Keep the area around your eye clean.
  • Avoid touching or rubbing your eye.
  • Avoid wearing eye makeup or contact lenses while the sty heals.
  • Never try to squeeze or pop any bumps near your eye. Doing this can spread infection.

If a sty requires medical treatment, your doctor may use antibiotics, minor surgery to drain the sty or a steroid injection to reduce swelling. Your doctor may also treat any underlying conditions that are causing your sty or making it worse.

Written by familydoctor.org editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 07/09

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