A stye is a small, red bump on the eyelid that occurs when the eyelid glands get clogged or infected, most often due to the staphylococcus bacteria. If you’ve ever had the experience, your first thought was probably how to get rid of styes. They can be very painful, with symptoms including itching, swelling and eye watering. (1) Natural stye treatment methods can help relieve pain and heal the infection.

Stye Causes and Risk Factors

  • Sluggish outflow of sebum from the glands that line the rim of the eyelids
  • Obstruction of the gland’s opening by scar tissue as the result of trauma, burns or infections
  • Clogged glands due to factors such as makeup or dust

Stye Symptoms

  • A red lump on your eyelid, often with a pus-filled center (2)
  • Swelling and puffiness of the eyelid
  • Eyelid pain
  • Feeling like something is in your eye
  • Crust along the eyelid
  • An itchy feeling around the eye
  • Watering of the eye

stye eye

Stye Treatment

1. Warm Compress

A stye will usually drain and heal on its own over time, but a warm compress can help encourage healing. Wet a clean washcloth with warm water then ring it out. Gently place it over the infected eye and hold it for 10-15 minutes at a time. Use this method several times a day as a stye treatment. (3)

2. Skip Contact Lenses and Makeup

While you’re wondering how to get rid of styes, it’s important to skip your contact lenses and makeup for the time being. Contact lenses can become contaminated bacteria and worsen stye symptoms. Be sure to replace your eye makeup, especially your mascara, after you’ve had a stye. For optimal eye health, never sleep with your contact lenses in or makeup on.

stye makeup

3. Proper Eye Health and Coriander Seeds

Keeping your eyelids clean is an important part of stye treatment and prevention. Wash your eyelids with warm water and avoid rubbing your eyes, especially when your hands aren’t clean. You can use coriander seeds to make a tea-like liquid to cleanse your eyes. Coriander has antibacterial properties that may be helpful in stye treatment. (4)

4. Black or Green Tea

Black tea can help lower inflammation and fight the bacterial infection that causes a stye. After brewing some black tea, place the tea bag on your closed eyelid once it has cooled down. Make sure the tea bag is moist, but not dripping wet. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes and throw each tea bag out after each use. (5)

stye tea

5. Cucumbers or Potatoes

Natural stye treatment may include cucumbers or potatoes. Cold cucumber slices can help decrease inflammation and irritation. Slice a cucumber that has been in the refrigerator and place the slice on the affected eye for about 10 minutes. If you don’t have a cucumber handy, potato slices can work too!

Caution: See a health care professional if:

  • Your stye has not improved after a few days
  • Your stye has gotten worse after a few days
  • You are experiencing pain in your eye, instead of just your eyelid
  • Your eyelid is swollen, red and won’t open completely
  • Redness and swelling has spread to your cheek or other parts of your face
  • You are having vision trouble
  • You are experiencing styes on a regular basis