How to Avoid a Stye

Woman removing makeup
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A stye (or hordeolum) occurs on the eyelid when an eyelash follicle or a gland becomes clogged with oil or dirt. A stye looks like a small red pimple, usually with a yellowish surface. Styes can be painful and annoying, usually causing the eye to tear excessively. If you are prone to developing styes, the following tips may help you avoid them.

  • Relax. Styes often develop in times of stress. College students cramming for exams often wake up with a stye. During times of stress, our bodies excrete certain chemicals and hormones that may play a role in developing styes. Because stress is unavoidable in life, it is important to find ways to reduce or prevent stressful incidents and strive to decrease negative reactions to stress.
  • Keep It Clean. Clogged glands that line the eyelid can become infected and possibly develop into a stye. Take time daily to properly clean your face, gently washing your eyelids to remove excess debris. Never fall asleep without removing makeup. Residue from cosmetics can easily clog the glands of the eyelids. Avenova, produced by NovaBay Pharmaceuticals, is a daily eyelid and eyelash hygiene system that is easy to apply and very effective. Avenova contains pure hypochlorous acid 0.01%. Hypochlorous acid is a naturally occurring chemical that is released by neutrophils (white blood cells) to destroy organisms and their neutralize their toxins. OCuSOFT produces HypoChlor Spray and Gel (Hypochlorous Acid 0.02%) and is also effect at disinfecting and keeping the eyelid margin clean.
  • Scrub. If you are prone to blepharitis, an inflammation and infective eyelid disease, put yourself on a schedule of weekly or even daily eyelid washes. Pre-packaged and pre-medicated eyelid wipes are available in stores, making it easy to scrub the eyelids to reduce or eliminate bacteria that cause blepharitis, reducing the chance of developing a stye. Tear-free baby shampoo applied to a warm washcloth is a less-expensive alternative and makes a great eye scrub. Commercially prepared eyelid scrubs are available as well and come in several different varieties. Ocusoft Eyelid Scrubs produced by Ocusoft contain a surfactant formulation that dissolves eyelid oils. Cliradex, prouced by Bio-Tissue, is a natural, preservative-free eyelid and eyelash cleanser that is effective against blepharitis but can also be used to clean the face after makeup removal. Cliradex uses a moist towelette in individual packages to deliver melaleuca altenifolia, a type of tea tree oil to the eyelid and eyelashes.
  • Compress. Right before bed, apply a warm compress or washcloth soaked in very warm water to your eyes for 5 to 10 minutes. Other methods of been used in the past, such as heating potatoes or a bag of corn up in the microwave. These items seem to hold their heat longer. However, extreme care must be taken. Never heat them up so hot as to burn your skin and cause serious injury.

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