Chances are that day in, day out you subject your eyelashes and skin around the eye area to lashings of mascara, eyeliner and eyeshadow but as we’re all aware, the eye area is the most sensitive part of your face.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, our eyelashes actually grow, fall out and replace themselves every 10 weeks. The trouble is when our eyes get itchy, and eyelashes fall out and lodge themselves in places they shouldn’t be, they can cause an eyelash infection, otherwise known as a stye.

We spoke to Mr Vik Sharma MBBS BSc FRCOphth, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at the London Ophthalmology Centre, to get to the bottom of all things eye health and styes.

What is a stye?


It is a blocked oil gland within the eyelash follicle root on the eyelid margin. It can also be mistaken for a blocked (miemobian) oil gland in the actual eyelid tarsal plate, which forms a lump called a chalazion.

What happens when you get a stye?

A lump appears on the eyelid margin that can be white in appearance as it fills with oil or mucus.

What causes styes?

We don’t really know but inflammation of the eyelid margin is a factor and inflammation of the oil glands can make you more susceptible.

How do you reduce the inflammation of styes?

A daily hot compress and eyelid margin cleansing with detergent tissues can help. According to Healthline, compresses involve a clean cloth soaked in warm water. The warm cloth is then applied and compressed on the skin, wound, or other site. Bringing heat and moisture to certain conditions may help alleviate pain, inflammation, and other issues.

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Some antibiotics (Tetracyclines) also help to reduce inflammation of the oil glands. Additionally, some new massage and ultrasound treatments may be beneficial.

Are there creams/at home remedies you can do to help get rid of styes?

Lid hygiene with heat and hot massage and lid wipes and lubricant eye drops can help.

Eye health is often overlooked, but it’s important to keep your eyes healthy with regular eye tests every 6 months and keeping a consistent eye care routine.

Read more on the best eye creams here.





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