treat a stye

How To Treat A Stye: 13 Effective Home Redemdies

When it comes to worrying about our appearance, many of us, myself included, think only about how we can perfect our bodies. We’ll often spend hours looking to tone up, build muscle, and eat healthily. Sometimes though, we overlook other issues that have just as much importance in how we look, many of which are largely out of our control.

In order to minimize the impact these have on us, we need to be prepared to combat them, if and when they occur. One such issue, that many people will have to deal with at some point in their life, is a stye.

How Do You Treat A Stye And What Is It?

A stye is an infection in the eyelid, that causes an often painful red lump that fills with pus. They can present in one of two ways, either internal or external. Internal styes appear within one of the small oil glands inside the eyelid, while external styes form at the base of an eyelash.

Styes are usually caused by bacteria, such as staphylococcus, and while not contagious can be incredibly uncomfortable and can often reoccur, if not treated properly.

Some common symptoms of styes include:

  • Swollen Eyelids
  • Soreness
  • Inflammation
  • Redness
  • Discharge
  • A closing of the eyelid which can affect vision


While the discomfort and potential vision issues are unpleasant, some people maybe even more worried by their appearance.

A stye can appear like a large boil and are very unattractive. This could make people very self-conscious, to the point that even leaving the house to get treatment for it could be an issue while sporting one.

That’s why I’m going to try and help you out today, by providing 13 home remedies that you can use to treat a stye quickly and efficiently, without ever having to leave the house.

Soap And Water

Sometimes, the simplest solutions are the most effective. When it comes to deciding how to treat a stye, keeping the surrounding area clean is the easiest way to allow the infection to clear up on its own.

Mix a bowl of warm water with some soap and then using a facecloth, cotton pad, towel, etc gently dab it around the affected area. Make sure not to be too rough, as this could further inflame the stye.

Any normal hand soap will be sufficient but antibacterial varieties may be more effective. As the eyes can be a sensitive area, if it makes them run then try switching to baby shampoo, which is a gentler option, specifically designed not to make the eyes water.

A Warm Compress

Another simple, yet incredibly effective method to treat a stye is to use a warm compress.

Wet a facecloth or towel in warm water until it’s of a suitable temperature. Wring out the cloth until it’s no longer dripping. Gently place the cloth over the affected area and leave it for 5 to 10 minutes.

The warmth from the cloth draws out and dissolves the pus from the stye, allowing it to drain naturally, removing the bacteria that are causing the issue.


An option that doesn’t require any additional equipment, simple massage has been proven to help treat a stye. Similarly to using a compress, this method encourages the contents of the stye to drain away, leaving the area better suited to heal.

Make sure you thoroughly wash your hands first and then gently, using your fingertips, massage the area around the stye. Make sure to have some tissue paper on hand to wipe away any discharge that may occur, either from the stye draining or your eyes watering.

If at any point it begins to become painful stop massaging immediately.

Warm Tea Bags

An even more effective alternative to using a traditional warm compress to treat a stye is to use a warm teabag. It will provide the same benefits that the compress does, but has the added benefits that come directly from the tea.

Black tea can be very effective, due to its antibacterial and analgesic properties, which can help to alleviate irritation and, in turn, reduce the swelling. Chamomile is also a very effective choice as it’s proven to help heal and soothe the irritated skin.

Using a combination of the two, with the black tea to treat the issue and the chamomile to soothe after the fact is a very well rounded approach that will have great results.

Simply boil your tea bag in a cup of water for a minute or two before removing it and squeezing out the excess water. Allow it to cool until it’s a comfortable, warm temperature before applying.

Saline Solution

For generations, salt has been used to both cleanse open wounds and draw out infections. In the case of how to treat a stye, it can do both.

You can mix up a simple saline solution by dissolving salt into warm water and mixing it thoroughly. Take a cue-tip and dip it into the solution. Dab the stye and surrounding area gently but firmly and repeat the process a couple of times, dipping the cue-tip back into the solution each time.

This will simultaneously break down the bacteria in the stye, enabling it to drain away, as well as cleansing the surrounding area, to provide the best conditions possible to heal.

Coconut Oil

A treatment that’s becoming more and more popular for skin conditions, coconut oil can be a very effective method to treat a stye.

It has a combination of antibacterial, antifungal, and anti-inflammatory properties, that make it perfect to not only ease the pain from the stye but also heal the stye itself.

Start by washing both your hands and face and then dab them dry with a clean towel. Proceed to fill a small container with some coconut oil and then gently use the tip of your finger to apply a small amount to the stye. Make sure it completely covers the stye and then allow it to sink in naturally. Try to reapply more as soon as it dries out.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has long been used in alternative medicine for its numerous health benefits and styes are one of the many ailments it can be used to treat.

When looking specifically at how to treat a stye, its benefits are twofold. The alcohol content helps to dry out the stye, dissolving the pus, and then its antibacterial and antiseptic properties help it to heal faster.

Mix the apple cider vinegar with boiling water at a ratio of 1:2 and then leave it to cool. Apply it firmly to the stye with a cotton pad or washcloth. Hold on the affected area until most of the mixture has been absorbed. Reapply as and when necessary.

Tea Tree Oil

One of the most popular home remedies going is tea tree oil. It’s an essential oil that can be used on cuts and grazes, as well as skin conditions and fungal issues. With a resume like that, it should come as no surprise that it’s an effective treatment for helping to treat a stye, by dissolving the pus.

Mix at a ratio of 1:6 with boiling water and leave to cool. Apply using a dry face cloth or clean cotton pad and leave to sink in. Reapply up to four times per day.

Aloe Vera

A common inclusion in many skin creams and moisturizers, aloe vera is also an incredibly versatile ingredient when it comes to its medicinal properties.

For years it’s been applied as a home remedy for sunburns and wounds, due to its antibacterial properties, enabling it to reduce swelling and redness. This makes it a perfect solution when looking at how to treat a stye, as those are the two primary symptoms.

While obtaining the gel directly from the plant itself is the ideal situation, it can also be bought from stores. Using clean hands, simply apply the gel to the stye and leave it to sink in.

Oregano Oil

Probably one of the least common options on this list but potentially one of the most effective. Oregano oil is proving to be a powerful antibiotic, to the point that several scientists believe it may be as strong or stronger than some prescription varieties.

This enables it to not only help to treat a stye but also completely kill off the bacteria that causes it, preventing it from returning in the future.

Simply place a couple of drops under your tongue and hold it there for a few minutes before swallowing. This can be done up to four times per day.


You may think of this more as an ingredient you’d find in a curry than a skincare routine but it has been used for its medicinal benefits in eastern culture for many years. When relating to how to treat a stye, its ability to remove inflammation is perfect for helping to alleviate pain and dissolve pus.

It can be made into a paste using a small amount of water, or you could combine it with coconut oil instead to reap the benefits of both products.

Wash both your hands and face with warm water before applying the paste to the stye. Leave it for 15-20 minutes before rinsing it off. This can be performed up to 5 times per day if necessary.

Over The Counter Pain Medication

Sometimes the most efficient way to combat an issue is to treat the symptoms, as opposed to the issue itself, as this gives the body the best chance possible to fix the root of the problem itself.

This is true when looking at how to treat a stye and pain medication. When the area around a stye is sore, you’re much more likely to touch or rub it, which will only serve to aggravate the stye and make it worse.

There are a variety of antibiotic ointments, eye drops, medications, and scrubs that are available over the counter without a prescription. These will all provide relief from the pain caused by the stye, removing your temptation to touch the area and giving your body the best chance possible.

Avoid Using Contact Lenses Or Makeup

While most of this list focuses on things you should do to treat a stye, this point is more about something you shouldn’t do.

Keeping the eye and surrounding area clean and clear is the most important thing when dealing with a stye, so avoiding products such as contact lenses and makeup is essential to speed up the healing.

Makeup will clog the pores around the eye and cause dirt to build up, providing a condition where the bacteria in a stye can thrive.

Contact lenses can irritate the eye itself when conditions such as a stye are present, causing watering and inflammation. This will aggravate the stye and not only prevent it from healing but could also make the issue worse.

Combine both of these and you’ve got a recipe for disaster so try and avoid using both while you have a stye, if at all possible.

Author: Steve
Fitness Writer and Personal Trainer with over a decade of experience in the industry. As a semi-retired professional wrestler and fitness model I've travelled the world expanding my knowledge on all things fitness.

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