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Sty (cont.)

Stye Follow-up

The stye usually goes away within one week. Reevaluation is required if the stye lasts for more than three weeks.

Is It Possible to Prevent a Stye?

Good hand and facial washing may prevent styes from forming or coming back.

Upon awakening, application of a warm washcloth to the eyelids for one to two minutes may be beneficial in decreasing the occurrence of styes by liquefying the contents of the oil glands of the eyelid and thereby preventing blockage. This can also be performed at bedtime on a nightly basis.

All cosmetics and cosmetic tools should be kept clean and protected from the environment. Do not share makeup or eye cosmetic tools, such as eyelash curlers. Makeup should be thrown away when it becomes old or contaminated.

Some studies suggest oral flaxseed supplementation may help prevent the occurrence of styes.

What Is the Prognosis of a Stye?

A stye may come back, even after appropriate medical or surgical care. These persistent styes need further evaluation and care because they may signal other health problems; rarely, they can be an indication of cancer or other health conditions including infections, inflammatory conditions, and parasites.

Astigmatism and corneal irregularity may improve after treatment of a stye.

Stye Pictures

This woman has an acute stye on her lower eyelid and a chalazion on her upper eyelid.
This woman has an acute stye on her lower eyelid and a chalazion on her upper eyelid.

This child has an acute chalazion on his lower eyelid.
This child has an acute stye (hordeolum) on his lower eyelid.


Bagheri, A., H.R. Hasani, F. Karimian, M. Abrishami, and S. Yazdani. “Effect of Chalazion Excision on Refractive Error and Corneal Topography.” Eur J Ophthalmology 19.4 July-Aug. 2009: 521-526.

Driver, P.J., and M.A. Lemp. "Meibomian gland dysfunction." Survey of Ophthalmology 40.5 (1996): 343–367.

Last Reviewed 8/30/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Hordeolum and Stye »

A hordeolum (ie, stye) is a localized infection or inflammation of the eyelid margin involving hair follicles of the eyelashes (ie, external hordeolum) or meibomian glands (ie, internal hordeolum).

Read More on Medscape Reference »

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