Are you experiencing a painful, unsightly red swelling on your eyelids? Does it look like a pimple? This might indicate a stye.
Styes or eye pimples, harmless in nature, can affect a wide variety of age groups including children. The ancient science of Ayurveda suggests unique herbal treatments that balance your Doshas and holistically treats the root cause of the condition.
Scroll down to understand what causes a stye and the best possible natural treatments to cure them.
What Is A Stye?
A stye  or an eye pimple is a small, painful cyst that occurs along your eyelashes owing to a bacterial infection of a follicle or an oil gland. Styes are medically referred to as Hordeolum.
The ancient medical texts of Ayurveda, speak of two inflammatory conditions of the eyelids known as ‘Anjananamika’ and ‘Kumbhika Pidaka’. These conditions can be correlated to what contemporary medicine refers to as stye.
What Does Stye Look Like?
Stye is characterised by a small, painful cyst that occurs along the eyelashes owing to a bacterial infection of a follicle or an oil gland.
What Are The Types Of Stye?
Styes are generally classified into 2 types:
1. External Hordeolum
These are inflammatory pimple-like lumps that occur on the outer edge of your eyelids. Due to the presence of pus, styes are often painful. A bacterial infection of an eyelash follicle is usually responsible for external styes. However, they can also be caused by an infection in a sebaceous gland or a sweat gland in your eyelid.
2. Internal Hordeolum
In an internal stye, the suppurative inflammation occurs under your eyelids. This is commonly due to an infection of the meibomian gland in your eyelid. Internal styes are comparatively rare but are more painful than external styes.
What Causes A Stye?
1. Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria
Eye Styes are caused when Staphylococcus Aureus Bacteria  gets trapped within a clogged eyelash follicle or the associated Zeis (oil gland) or Moll glands (sweat gland). The accumulation of bacteria leads to infection. Your immune system’s immediate response to any infection is always inflammation which eventually leads to the formation of an eye pimple or hordeolum.
Blepharitis  is a chronic eye condition that occurs when the oil glands present in your eyelids get inflamed. People diagnosed with anterior bacterial blepharitis often have a risk of developing an eye stye.
3. Ocular Rosacea
Styes are one of the common symptoms of ocular rosacea , an inflammatory condition of the eyes. According to medical research, around 60 percent of patients affected by ocular rosacea were reported to suffer from hordeolums.
As per the ancient science of Ayurveda, Anjananamikas  develop when there is a Dosha (Vata, Pitta, Kapha) imbalance in your body along with a vitiation of the Rakta and Rasa Dhatus. This leads to the accumulation of harmful Ama toxins which cause styes to appear.
What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of A Stye?
Ayurveda lists down the signs and symptoms of ‘Anjananamika’ as ‘netra pidaka’ (eye pimple), ‘ruja’ (pain), ‘daha’ (burning sensation), inflammation and srava (pus).
The commonly known signs and symptoms of styes according to contemporary medical science are mentioned below:
- Painful pus-filled cyst in the outer edge of the upper or lower eyelid
- Eyelid Hyperemia
- Localized Edema
- Obstruction of vision
- Eye Irritations
- Sensitivity to light
- Watery Eyes
- Eyelid tenderness
- Yellow Discharge
- Eye Mucus
It is quite rare to develop styes in both eyes simultaneously. However, one may get multiple abscesses in the same eye in their upper and lower eyelids.
What Are The Risks Of Developing A Stye?
Most of us unknowingly have a habit of frequently touching our eyes with unwashed hands. This increases the risk of bacterial infection which can result in an eye stye. Other common risk factors include:
- Excess use of comedogenic eye creams and make-up.
- Using expired products. Remember, bacteria can grow in the make-up products you’ve been using for a long time. Check the expiry date and replace them with new ones.
- Not following proper hygiene while wearing contact lenses also increases the chance of developing stye.
- Improper sleep, poor nutrition leading to weakened health conditions can lower your body’s immunity levels. This can increase the risk of eye styes.
- Diabetes like medical conditions can also trigger eye styes.
“Poor scalp and hair hygiene, including dandruff can trigger styes,” says Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix.
Usually, styes heal on their own, but care must be taken when you develop one to prevent further aggravation of the condition. Styes affect the gland of Zeis  and the infection might spread if it’s left untreated.
How To Get Rid Of An Eye Stye?
A. Home Remedies
1. Neem Wash
Due to its antiseptic qualities, neem is often used to treat bacterial infections including stye in your eyes.
How To Use
To treat stye at home, boil neem leaves in water. Cool the water and use it to wash your eyes. Repeat this twice a day till the condition improves.
2. Turmeric Paste
Turmeric is one of the most known stye treatments. The magical compound, curcumin, in turmeric has amazing anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic qualities. Regular application of turmeric paste can quickly heal eye styes.
How To Use
Make a paste of raw turmeric with honey or coconut oil and apply to the affected area. Leave it on for 20 to 25 minutes and wash off.
3. Tulsi Paste
Holy basil or tulsi is another effective home remedy for styes. Its antimicrobial properties help reduce bacterial infection and inflammation of the affected eyes. Tulsi also calms your eyes and reduces eye irritations caused by pimples.
How to Use
Make a paste of tulsi leaves along with honey and apply it to the affected area. Wash off after 25 minutes.
4. Marigold Petals And Leaves Paste
Marigold petals and leaves are potent antiseptic home remedies that are used for the treatment of styes. They are also known to display anti-inflammatory qualities that not only prevent bacterial proliferation but also help drain the styes.
How To Use
Make a paste of marigold petals and leaves and apply along with honey or coconut oil on the styes. Wash off after 25 minutes.
5. Guava Leaves Paste
Guava leaves have been used in traditional medicines and home remedies for ages to treat bacterial infections.
How To Use
Blend 10 to 15 guava leaves and add a few drops of coconut oil to it to make a paste. Apply on the eye pimple and wash off after half an hour.
B. Natural Methods
1. Keep Your Eyes Clean
Washing the area of stye with mild soap and lukewarm water is one of the best natural methods to treat it. Do this twice a day. Keeping the area clean prevents the spread of the infection. This also helps remove dead cells and dirt that tend to clog your lash follicles.
You can also use disinfected eye wipes available in medical stores to keep the affected area clean.
2. Warm Compress For Stye
Warm compresses are often recommended by ophthalmologists as a natural stye treatment. Use a clean, sanitized cotton ball or cloth to compress the eye pimple. Before application check the temperature of the water to prevent burns. Gently compress the area 3 to 4 times a day. You may even add a few drops of antiseptic liquid to the warm water.
Warm compresses help unclog your follicles/ glands, make external styes in your eye come to a head and soften and help drain the pus of an internal stye. This helps to naturally heal the stye on your eyelid.
3. Massage The Affected Area
Gently massaging the affected area with honey or coconut oil can help reduce the inflammation caused by stye and drain the pus. Stop massaging if it increases discomfort in your eyes.
4. Warm Tea Bags
Tea contains flavonoids, a natural anti-inflammatory compound that helps reduce stye on eyelids. Warm tea bags can be used in place of warm compresses. Simply dip a tea bag in warm water and let it stay for a minute. Now check the temperature of the tea bag and compress the eye pimple with it. This can be done for 10 to 15 minutes a couple of times a day.
C. Ayurvedic Remedies
1. Ghee Application
Ghee is an ancient Ayurvedic remedy for styes. Apply ghee on the stye on your eyes with clean hands and gently massage the area. Ghee helps soften the plug and drain the stye easily.
Bidalaka is an Ayurvedic treatment used to heal netra rogas or eye disorders. A medicated paste made of ancient herbs is applied on the eyelids to cure the condition of Anjananamika or eye pimple.
A. Triphala, Yashtimadhu, Ginger And Honey
Filled with medicinal qualities, triphala is used to treat various kinds of eye disorders in Ayurveda. Both yashtimadhu and ginger are anti-inflammatory in nature and reduce swelling and redness around the area.
How To Use
Make a paste by adding honey to triphala, yashtimadhu and ginger powder and apply on the stye. Wash off with lukewarm water after 20 to 25 minutes of application.
In the Netra Tarpana Therapy, a well-like structure is constructed with barley and black gram around the patient’s eyes. Medicated ghee is then poured onto the closed eyelids and is contained by the well. Lastly, the patient is asked to open his/her eyes and retain the medication.
Netra tarpana is used to cure a variety of eye problems such as inflammation, irritations in the eye, vision obstructions and redness. To cure Anjananamika (stye), tarpana must be done daily or as advised by your Ayurvedic doctor.
Putapaka often follows Tarpana therapy. Specially prepared juice from Ayurvedic herbs is poured over the eyelids in a manner quite similar to the tarpana treatment. The putapaka vidhi helps treat both the stye outside and inside your eyelids.
D. Topical Treatments
1. Antibiotic Eye Ointments
Eye styes are rarely considered serious eye disorders. Hence their topical treatment includes antibiotic eye creams that treat bacterial infection. Your doctor may advise you to compress the area a few times a day and apply antibiotic medication.
How To Prevent A Stye?
Now that you know what causes a stye, below mentioned are a few precautions that you can take to prevent the appearance of styes in your eyes.
1. Keep your eye area clean.
2. Avoid touching your eyes with unwashed hands.
3. While using contact lenses, wash your hands and clean your lenses before wearing them. Use clean hands to remove lenses. Don’t overuse contact lenses beyond the specified time period.
4. Limit your usage of eye make-up. Constant use of heavy eye make-up can lead to the clogging of your lash follicles resulting in pimples in your eyes. Remember to remove your eye make-up before going to bed.
5. Avoid sharing eye make-up, handkerchiefs and face towels. Though styes are not spread through contact, sharing personal use items may increase your chances of spreading infection.
6. Consume an antioxidant and vitamin enriched healthy diet. This increases your immunity and helps your body fight infections better.
7. Don’t skip your sleep. Research proves that stress and fatigue can play an important role in the frequent occurrence of eye pimples or styes.
Vedix Tip: Consuming manjistha, triphala and guggulu with honey can help reduce inflammation and redness like symptoms related to your stye.
When To See A Doctor?
Styes often go away on their own. However, if you notice complications such as the ones mentioned below, it is better to consult a doctor:
- Frequent appearance of eye pimples or multiple painful abscesses.
- The stye in your eye does not improve despite using effective home remedies.
- Increased swelling, redness and eye irritations.
- You notice a lot of blood draining along with pus from your stye.
Frequently Asked Questions About Styes
1. Is Stye Contagious?
Styes are not contagious. Though styes are caused by a bacterial infection, there is no chance of it spreading from one person to another.
2. How Long Does A Stye Pimple Last?
Styes that are less severe in nature last around 3 to 4 days. However, a stye may last longer than a week to about 10 days.
3. Can You Pop A Stye?
No, it is not advisable to pop a stye. This may spread the infection to the surrounding follicles or further aggravate the condition. A warm compress can help drain your stye without the need to pop it.
The Last Word
Styes or eye pimples can be prevented by following simple hygiene. Stye on the upper eyelid and lower eyelid can be cured with Ayurvedic and home remedies mentioned in this article. For pimples under the eyes, herbal washes, warm compresses and Ayurvedic stye treatments are recommended. However, the best way to prevent its recurrence is to consult your Ayurvedic doctor for a complete analysis of your Doshas. This will allow the treatment to be more specific and treat the condition from its roots.Know Your Dosha Now
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