Most of the time a stye requires little more than supportive care before resolving in about 7 to 10 days. Treatment for a stye may include gentle cleansing of the eyelid, warm compresses, and antibiotic ointment. Occasionally, minor surgery is required to drain pus from a stye. However, most small styes will resolve without surgery.
Specific treatment for a stye may include:
- Eyelid cleansing for a stye:
- Gentle cleaning with warm water and baby shampoo
- Do not press or squeeze it
- Warm compresses:
- Applied to the affected area for 10 minutes at a time, 4 to 6 times per day
- Antibiotic ointment for a stye:
- Bacitracin ophthalmic ointment (AK-Tracin)
- Erythromycin ointment (E-Mycin)
- Tobramycin ophthalmic solution or ointment (Tobrex, AKTob)
- Oral antibiotics for a stye:
- Erythromycin (EES, E-Mycin, Ery-Tab)
- Dicloxacillin (Dycill, Dynapen)
- Tetracycline (Sumycin)
- Cloxacillin (Cloxapen, Tegopen)
- Surgery for a stye:
- A very small incision is made in the skin, in order to drain pus from the eyelid.
For more information:
Hordeolum Questions For Doctor
Questions to ask before treatment:
- What are my treatment options?
- Do I need surgery?
- What are the risks associated with treatment?
- What are the complications I should watch for?
- How long will I be on medication?
- What are the potential side effects of my medication?
Questions to ask after treatment:
- Are there any medications or supplements I should avoid?
- What else can I do to reduce my risk for another stye?
- Will I need to see my doctor for a checkup?
Continue to Hordeolum Home Care
- Barza M, Baum J: Ocular infections. Med Clin North Am 1983 Jan; DA - 19830407(1): 131-52 
- Jackson TL, Beun L: A prospective study of cost, patient satisfaction, and outcome of treatment of chalazion by medical and nursing staff. Br J Ophthalmol 2000 Jul; 84(7): 782-5. 
- Olson MD: The common stye. J Sch Health 1991 Feb; 61(2): 95-7.