Styes & Eye Care
Updated: May 6
Would anyone like to join my club of the Eye Hate Stinkin' Styes Club? These phenomenons are mean and stubborn! If you've experienced one, you know exactly what I am talking about. What is a stye? "A stye (also called a hordeolum) is a small, red, painful lump that grows from the base of your eyelash or under the eyelid. Most styes are caused by a bacterial infection. There are two kinds of styes:
External hordeolum: A stye that begins at the base of your eyelash. Most are caused by an infection in the hair follicle. It might look like a pimple.
Internal hordeolum: A stye inside your eyelid. Most are caused by an infection in an oil-producing gland in your eyelid."
(Quoted from https://www.aao.org/ )
A briefing of my story with these eye perpetrators is this: I never experienced an eye stye until I was 40 years of age, and in one year, I experienced four of them! What the heck? I was wondering all sorts of diagnosing thoughts: Is this something that magically happens when you are 40? Is it my hormones? Am I eating something I am sensitive to? I could not figure it out. Then suddenly, one day while applying a gentle retinol treatment, it hit me! The only thing that I could note in a change in my lifestyle was the use of retinol. I had begun using two different retinol products, simply because I had read countless times that it was a game-changer for wrinkles. Prior to the age of 40, I did not care, but suddenly, looking in the mirror at my more than 30-year-old self, I thought, "I should take the expert's advice and give retinol a try." My target area is my smile lines. I have my Dad's smaller eyes, high cheekbones, and a somewhat wider smile + too much sunshine to add find lines = a nicely etched pair of crow's feet. Hence, this is where I was mainly focusing on the retinol treatment. Every time I would use this serum and cream, my eyes would end up aching or being extra sensitive the next day. Within a few days, a stye would appear. I was careful when applying to NOT to get the treatments in my eyes of course, but somehow in the night, I am guessing the retinol would travel up into my eyes and eyelids with my movement. My sensitive skin would react to the retinol I was using (and it was a gentle, low % form), which is why I always used it at night so my skin had calming recovery time. Eureka! I found the culprit. Sadly, my skin (and eyes) do not love this powerful age reverser. Que the frown and throw-away of my retinol + allowance for aging gracefully, crow's feet, and all.
Let's be clear that styes come from some main contributing factors. I am sure retinol serums are not most people's issue. In my loads of research in eye infection preventing and combating, here is what I found to be significant factors to styes:
- Bacteria in the eye
- Food sensitivities (i.e. gluten) or sensitivity/reaction to a topical product.
- Blocked gland Note: "A chalazion is a swollen bump on the eyelid. It happens when the eyelid’s oil gland clogs up. It may start as an internal hordeolum (stye). At first, you might not know you have a chalazion as there is little or no pain. But as it grows, your eyelid may get red, swollen, and sometimes tender to touch." (https://www.aao.org/)
What I did/do to clear up a Stye/Eye Infection:
- Wash, wash, wash your eyelids. I use castile soap with tea tree. Obviously, close your eyes and gently wash your face and over your eyelids, rinsing well. Dr. Woods Naturally Castile Soap Tea Tree with Fair Trade Shea Butter 32 fl oz https://bit.ly/3dJ7mTW Another great cleanser that is also tea tree oil-based is from Cliradex. It is a light foam, which makes it super gentle: https://cliradex.com/product/cliradex-light-foam
- Using an eyecup + saline solution to rinse out the inner eye from bacteria.
- Supplements to support healing: High-quality Probiotics (supportive to immune and gut health) and Zinc, also an immune booster. Ancient Nutrition SBO Probiotics Gut Restore 90 Caps https://bit.ly/2ILXWM1 Garden of Life Vitamin Code RAW Zinc 60 Vegan Caps https://bit.ly/2TdnRhH
- Rest, rest, rest! Going to bed early and taking melatonin to encourage sleep is crucial in the healing process. Dr. Mercola Melatonin Sleep Support Natural Raspberry (Spray) https://bit.ly/3mcsULF
- Warm compress (but not burning hot because eyelids are super sensitive and can burn). Teabags work very well such as green tea or chamomile tea. I created a gentle yet effective anti-microbial herbal blend which I now use to soothe and cleanse my eyelids when needed. Check out Soak & Soothe Organic, Herbal Eye Care Bags: https://www.etsy.com/listing/961145806/eye-stye-soak-soothe-organic-herbs
- I used a wonderfully natural, antibiotic ointment by Nutribiotics. I applied to my eyelid every night, gently massaging the moisturizing ointment over my eye. It is thick and healing! NutriBiotic Skin Ointment 0.5 fl oz https://bit.ly/2HjLWkF
Important: This is my experience, but please note that if you have a stye or suspected eye infections, sometimes it is best to see your Primary Care Provider straight away. They often will prescribe an antibiotic cream and sometimes an internal antibiotic medication. Medically draining the stye is also an option, but NOT an at-home option. Trying to puncture and drain the stye yourself is dangerous and can cause the bacteria to sink deeper into the eye, causing more severe problems!
If you have any antidotes for eye care, please share them with us!