What Medications Treat Styes?
A topical antibiotic ointment or drop may be prescribed to treat styes.
For a stye that has not resolved in three weeks or for multiple styes, one may be prescribed oral antibiotics by an ophthalmologist. Doxycycline (Vibramycin, Oracea, Adoxa, Atridox) is an antibiotic that is commonly used to treat persistent or complex styes.
When Is Surgery Necessary for a Stye?
- If one has a stye that has not responded to medical treatment or if one experiences complications resulting from a stye, a surgical procedure may be required.
- During this surgical procedure, an ophthalmologist makes a small incision in the eyelid. The incision is made either on the inner surface of the eyelid or on the outer surface of the eyelid if the stye is pointing externally (outward). Once the incision is made, the ophthalmologist then drains the pus (or blocked oil) out of the gland.
- This procedure is commonly performed in the office using a small amount of local anesthetic injection. In children, general anesthesia may be required..
- A one-week follow-up appointment is usually recommended after this surgical procedure.
- The ophthalmologist rarely may need to perform a biopsy on the stye. During the biopsy, a small piece of tissue from the stye is removed and sent to a laboratory for microscopic examination by a pathologist (a physician with special training in tissue diagnosis) to ensure that the stye is not a form of skin cancer.
Last Reviewed 8/30/2017
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