How to get rid of a stye overnight? Why do people get a stye infection? This article will attempt to answer all of those questions, as well as how to treat an eye stye naturally using these 8 home remedies.
What is an eye stye?
This actually goes by another name, which is hordeuolum. You’ll recognize it by its raised, small, and painful lump that’s found inside or outside of your upper or lower eyelid.
A stye infection is contagious. It’s caused by a combination of blocked oil duct and bacteria (Staphylococcus bacteria), which generally lives on the surface of your eyelid without causing an infection.
Generally, a stye affects only one eye. But there are cases where a person gets styes on both eyes or have more than one stye in one eye.
Eye stye symptoms
Eye stye symptoms are light sensitivity, watery eye, redness, painful bump, eyelid drooping, localized swelling of the eyelid, and a sensation of a foreign body in the eye. A stye doesn’t usually cause vision problems.
Some styes will normally go away on their own, while others may require the intervention of a qualified eye doctor. With treatment, styes may heal in around a week.
What to do for an eye stye?
Rule #1: As I’ve said, this is a contagious eye infection, so never ever pop a stye like you would do for zits.
Ease the pain by applying warm compresses on the affected area for up to fifteen minutes, four to five times daily. This will help bring the stye to a head and eventually rupture on its own.
Just in case that doesn’t help, here are other eye stye home remedies you could try.
How to get rid of a stye quickly and naturally
1. Leaf Extract of Guava (Psidium guajava)
The different parts of a guava have been used in folk medicine for various ailments, such as diarrhea, cholera, wounds, and ulcers. This is often used when antibiotics are inaccessible or too expensive. Guava leaf extract is rich in flavonoids, eugenol, tannins, cineol, mineral salts, chlorophyll, and other beneficial substances.
Why is it good for styes? Clinical investigations have shown that its leaves, fruit, and bark are able to reduce inflammation, ease pain, and suppress fever. In a 2005 study, researchers found out that guava leaves were highly effective against Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.
These two gram-positive bacteria are the common culprits for styes. But majority of the cases of the stye are caused by Staphylococcus epidermidis.
How to cure a stye fast with guava
- Boil 3 cups of water, and then add about a cup of dried guava leaves (crushed).
- Boil for another 2 to 3 minutes before removing all the solid particles. Alternatively, you could steep a guava tea bag in warm water for up to 4 minutes.
- Dip a cotton ball in the warm guava leaf extract, and then lay it on the infected area with your eye closed.
- Leave it for 10 to 15 minutes. Then cautiously dry your eye after.
2. Chamomile Tea Bag
Chamomile is a plant that belongs to the daisy family. It’s native to Europe and Asia. It goes by other names, like Chamaemelum nobile and Matricaria recutita.
For thousands of years, this medicinal herb has been used for treating an upset stomach and anxiety. Two of its most common varieties are Roman Chamomile and German Chamomile.
Today, chamomile is a popular ingredient in many medicinal products intended to treat earache, toothache, external bump, and sharp pain due to nerve damage or irritation. Although it contains many medicinal active ingredients, experts have found out that they’re more effective as a whole than as individuals.
There are two reasons why you should take advantage of chamomile. One, it’s believed to contain active components, like chamazulene, alpha-bisabolol, and apigenin, that alleviate inflammation. Second, oil from chamomile possesses antibacterial properties against gram-positive bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus.
How to use chamomile for eye stye infection
To maximize the benefits of chamomile tea, it would be best to drink it and apply the used tea bag on the affected eye.
- To fix yourself a cup of chamomile tea, steep a chamomile tea bag in hot water for 10 minutes. Make sure to cover the cup with a saucer.
- Drink it after it has cooled a bit. Then place the used tea bag in the fridge for cooling down.
- Assume a supine position, and then place the cooled tea bag on your infected eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes. Thoroughly wash the area after.
- Chamomile is generally safe to consume. However, people with known allergies to marigold, ragweed, daisy, and chrysanthemum would most likely be allergic to chamomile, too.
- If you’re taking any blood-thinning medicines, like coumarin, it’s best to ask your doctor first before taking chamomile preparations in high amounts for prolonged periods. Chamomile may enhance the effect of your drugs.
3.Aloe Vera Gel
Since the time of the ancient Egyptians, aloe has already been used for the treatment of different ailments, such as skin infections, hemorrhoids, burns, acne, and even hair loss. It’s believed that its medicinal activities are due to a compound called aloin, which is bitter and yellow-brown colored.
Out of the 300 species of Aloe plants, it’s the Aloe barbedensis that’s widely used for making aloe vera products. That’s why the word Aloe vera often refers to this species of Aloe plants.
Aloe vera contains antibacterial properties. One study revealed that freeze-dried juice extracted from Aloe vera is highly effective against seven species of microorganisms, including the stye-causing Staphylococcus aureus.
It could also help relieve pain and swelling because of its anti-inflammatory properties. This is the best “asset” of Aloe. The extracts from its roots, leaves, and bark work by inhibiting the activity of the cyclooxygenase enzyme (COX-1 and COX-2). This then eases the pain and inflammation you’re feeling.
What exactly is in Aloe vera that makes it effective against inflammation and infection? A short review published in the Indian Journal of Dermatology offers answers. Aloe vera contains:
- Bradykinase that doesn’t only reduce skin inflammation, but it also helps in fat and sugar breakdown.
- 4 types of plant steroids (lupeol, cholesterol, campesterol, and beta-sisosterol), which all have anti-inflammatory capabilities, while lupeol has antiseptic and pain-relieving properties.
- Salicylic acid is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and is used commercially to treat scaly skin diseases.
- Urea nitrogen, phenols, lupeol, sulfur, cinnamonic acid, and salicylic acid are able to inhibit the growth of viruses, fungi, and bacteria.
How to treat an eye stye with aloe vera
There are two ways: buy a good quality high concentrated Aloe vera product or use its fresh leaf. Whichever you choose, it would be best to combine it with warm compresses on the affected eye to maximize its medicinal benefits.
If you prefer using freshly cut Aloe vera leaf, my tip is to allow the excess sap to drain before cutting it lengthwise. Harvest its inner pulp, and then apply a thin amount on your stye. Be careful not to get it into your eyes, though.
Alternatively, you could buy an aloe juice and pour a small amount on a cotton ball or gauze. Leave it for 10 to 20 minutes on your infected eye. Do this procedure at least twice or thrice per day until your stye completely goes away. Make sure to properly dispose of all the materials you used directly on your eye to avoid spreading the bacteria.
- It’s generally safe to apply topically, but there are some cases wherein people experience itching and burning of the skin. Please do a skin patch test first before using aloe vera on your skin.
4. Coriander Seed Extract
Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is an herb and spice that’s native to southern Europe. It’s a staple part of any Indian cuisine. Its seeds are considered to be medicinal and traditionally used for treating conjunctivitis (pink eye) and high blood sugar levels.
Most of the healing activities of coriander are linked to its exceptional antioxidant properties and other active components. In fact, a study showed that Staphylococcus aureus is highly sensitive to the seed extract of coriander.
Some of the antioxidants found in coriander are quercetin, apigenin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, chlorogenic acid, and caffeic acid. All of these exhibit activities against inflammatory conditions. Aside from being an anti-inflammatory, quercetin also acts like an antihistamine. Meanwhile, kaempferol is considered as an antibacterial, antiviral, and neuro-protective agent.
How to cure a stye quickly with coriander
There are two ways to do this. You could add one teaspoon of coriander seeds in a cup of boiled water or in a cup of room temperature water.
If you choose the latter option, allow the coriander seeds to soak for about an hour. After that, press the soaked seeds to extract the water you’re going to use for washing your infected eye. Repeat this procedure up to four times a day for one week.
- Like I always advice, perform a patch skin test before using coriander, which could cause increased sunlight sensitivity and hypersensitivity reactions. Make sure to put on sunblock on your face when going out, or just completely avoid sunlight whenever possible.
5. Sliced or Mashed Potatoes
People often use potatoes as treatments for sore eyes, arthritis, and burns. Well, like other alternative stye remedies, there aren’t many solid scientific evidences to confirm their medicinal activities.
How do potatoes work?
One theory is that potato peel contains some kind of chemical that’s able to stop bacteria from attaching to host cells. Another theory is potato starch and extracts from its peel contain anti-inflammatory properties, which help soothe your infected eye.
Which variety of potato works best—white, yellow, purple, fingerling, Russet, or red? Well, if I’ll base it on its nutrient values, I would choose white potatoes. Again, there’s no scientific basis for this.
Another desirable option would be using sweet potatoes.
According to the data given by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of raw sweet potato contain 2.4mg of vitamin C (in ascorbic acid form), 14187 IU of vitamin A, 1.8µg of vitamin K, and 0.209mg of vitamin B6. All of these vitamins combat inflammation plus other health issues.
How to get rid of an eye stye fast with potatoes
There are different ways to use potatoes. The simplest is to just slice a raw potato and place a piece directly on your affected eye.
Another way is to grate unpeeled potato and mash it. You could also boil it first before mashing it with a small amount of water in order to make a paste. Place the mash potato in the fridge to cool, and then put an ample amount in a clean cloth.
Find a surface to lie down, and then place the potato poultice to your stye. Allow it to stay there for 10 to 15 minutes. Thoroughly wash the affected area after. Repeat twice to thrice daily.
- There’s really not enough information regarding the safeness of a raw potato as a treatment for the skin.
6. Green Tea (Camellia sinensis)
Since the year 2737 B.C., green tea has been popularly consumed because of its taste and healing properties. This healthy beverage contains components that are said to fight off inflammation, microorganisms, free radicals, and tumor.
Most tea varieties contain different amounts of natural organic tannin, a type of antioxidant and astringent. Since green tea is non-fermented, it retains most of its original flavor and contains more catechins, also known as condensed tannins, than oolong and black teas.
Tannin is said to kill the microorganism responsible for your stye. In one study, researchers found out that Staphylococcus epidermidis, a stye-causing bacterium, is highly sensitive to green tea extract. As an astringent, it’s able to reduce swelling by constricting body tissues. And because of the warmth emitted by the tea bag, the pus would be able to come to a head, rupture, and drain faster.
How to treat an eye stye with green tea
The amount of tannin’s in your green tea would highly depend on the temperature of the water and steeping time. Tannins usually break up at 176°F, so you would want your water temperature to be lower than that. As a general guideline, steep your green tea bag between 1 and 3 minutes.
After it has cooled a bit, just enough that it won’t burn your skin, dip a cotton ball in the infusion, and then hold it to your affected eye for 10 to 15 minutes. Please avoid pressing hard on the cotton ball (or tea bag, if you prefer) against your eye.
Afterward, thoroughly wash the area with clean water. Repeat the procedure three to four times per day.
- Always check the temperature of the water using the back of your hand. It should be warm, not hot to avoid getting your skin burned.
- Wash your hands and immediately dispose of the used cotton ball or tea bag to prevent spreading the infection.
- Expect to feel a stinging sensation on the first instance of applying a green tea (or other tea varieties) over the affected area.
7. Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Eucalyptus essential oil doesn’t just soothe your aching joints. It’s also a natural antiseptic and astringent. In traditional medicine, it has been used to kill harmful microorganisms that cause boils, sores, and infected wounds. You can also use it as a natural insect repellent that soothes itchy and irritated insect bites.
Alternative medicine practitioners usually use the leaves and oil of the eucalyptus plant to heal different ailments. It contains tannins, volatile oil, and plant-based antioxidants. These are responsible for its activity against inflammation and some strains of bacteria and viruses. In fact, one clinical study revealed that three species of eucalyptus (Lemon Scented Gum, Tasmanian blue gum, and Forest Red Gum) contain pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effects.
How to get rid of an eye stye quickly with eucalyptus oil
Before you even try rubbing this on the affected area, make sure you rub a small amount on your inner lower arm first. Wait for 30 minutes to 6 hours to see if you’re allergic to it (or to other essential oils).
The University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that you mix 15 to 30 drops of eucalyptus oil to 4 ounces of your favorite carrier oil (e.g. virgin coconut oil, olive oil, and sweet almond oil).
- On the skin, eucalyptus oil is usually safe. However, it’s NOT safe when you directly apply it to your skin undiluted.
- Avoid applying any topical eucalyptus preparation, whether oil, cream, or salve, on a kid who’s under two years of age.
- If you’re asthmatic, prone to seizures, hypotensive, pregnant, breastfeeding, or have kidney or liver problems, steer clear from eucalyptus.
8. Juniper Berry
Juniper is an evergreen shrub that’s found growing in some parts of Asia, North America, and Europe. This is known to Native Americans as “Paal,” “Wapi,” and “Sammapo.” They use it for rheumatism and birth control. The lye from the ashes of this shrub is used for leprosy, scab, and itchy skin.
Juniper is considered a pain-reliever, disinfectant, antiseptic, and antibacterial. That’s why many herbalists use this today to treat different skin issues, like acne, psoriasis, and eczema. It’s also ideal to use on oily skin and clogged skin pores.
The bad news is the essential oil from Juniper berry seems to have a weak activity against certain strains of bacteria, like Staphylococcus aureus. The good news is that it has a remarkable activity as an anti-inflammatory and pain-reliever. Its effect against inflammation may be due to its vitamin C, flavonoid, and tannin components.
How to clear a stye with juniper
Since mixing the essential oil is too much of a hassle, I prefer using an organic facial wash that use Juniper berry as a key ingredient. Normally, these types of organic facial wash products contain other natural ingredients that could help to soothe and heal your eye stye. An example is Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis) organic juice.
- As I always say, remember to dilute the pure oil first before applying it on your eyelid in order to avoid irritation and blisters. Please refer to an aromatherapy text for the recommended dilution ratio for Juniper essential oil.
- This is not advisable for women who are breastfeeding or pregnant because it stimulates uterine contraction.
How to Prevent an Eye Stye
To observe a proper hygiene—I can’t stress that enough. As I’ve mentioned earlier, a stye is highly contagious. It’s spread from person to person or person to object through direct contact. Thus, maintaining a proper hygiene is highly important.
Here are other things you should keep in mind about preventing a stye:
- Refrain from using any makeup until your stye subsides. Or if you really have to, make sure to remove makeup entirely to avoid clogging your eyelid ducts.
- You can use a cotton pad or Q-tip soaked in warm water.
- You could also use a mild organic liquid soap or mild baby shampoo and mix a few drops with warm water. Then use a cotton ball to gently rub to clean your eyes and eyelashes.
- Avoid pressing, touching, or massaging your stye no matter what.
- Take time to de-stress. They say that people who are stressed out are prone to developing a stye.
- You could also apply warm compresses to your eyes for a maximum of 10 minutes every night.
Before you try any of these home remedies for styes, make sure to consult your doctor about them.